Dominic Orchard, is a Lecturer in the School of Computing known for his enthusiastic teaching style. He is also active in research as a member of the Programming Languages and Systems Research Group.
- What three words would you use to describe yourself?
Determined, Happy, Curious.
- What inspires you in your work?
I love creating and solving problems. Computer science is essentially made for both of those things! I also love to learn and Computer Science is a very big field!
- When did you first realise your interest/passion for your role?
I have been programming for quite a long time. I remember my Dad bringing home a computer and showing me how to use it, including the QBasic programming environment. I then remembered I had a book which had some BASIC code in it. I typed it up, but it didn’t work right away because the syntax of QBasic is a little different. I tinkered with it for ages, and when I finally got it working it was the coolest feeling ever: I just made a computer do something! I’ve never looked back. I did an undergraduate degree in Computer Science but I really started to get into the idea of being a lecturer during my PhD. I found how much I loved teaching and doing research, so this job is ideal!
- What would you say was your greatest achievement?
Managing to get a job at the University of Kent!
- What would you say is the best part of your job?
I love getting to choose the problems that I work on and working with many different people, students and researchers, from around the world.
- Why did you choose to work at the University of Kent?
The Programming Languages group (my area of research) is one of the best in the world so it is an amazing environment to work in, with fantastic colleagues. I also loved the campus and the proximity to Canterbury.
- What has been a personal highlight for your achievements in your work?
I created a new programming language called Granule a few years ago. The project is really starting to take off now.
- Where is the most interesting place you have been?
Nara, the former capital of Japan before Kyoto, and presenting my research there inside a traditional Noh theatre.
- What are your proudest achievements outside of your work?
Being a dad to two wonderful kids and a husband, and also running the Iceland Midnight Sun Half-Marathon!
- What has been your greatest challenge?
Life can sometimes be a difficult balancing act. I think the challenge is always to love your work but also to not let it consume everything else.
- What do you like most about Canterbury?
It’s peaceful and green. A really great place to do some serious learning and thinking.
- If you could pick anyone throughout history, to talk to, who would it be and why?
Ada Lovelace. She worked with Charles Babbage in the 19th century on his ideas for the first mechanical computers. She wrote their first programs and seemed to understand their potential much more than Babbage himself. I’d love to tell her about where we’ve ended up in computing 200 years later and see what she thinks of it!