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Director: Dr Jen Allanson

“Kind, generous, straight. A great lead, she stopped us getting off the point while never getting in the way of our ideas and creativity”

Background

I’m a successful academic with an international research profile. In 1999 I became the first full-time female lecturer in Computer Science at Lancaster University. I subsequently moved to a senior lectureship in The School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences at LJMU, then held an honorary lectureship in The School of Psychology at LJMU.

I left school aged 15 and spent eight years moving between jobs to find out what I enjoyed. I worked in retail, licensing, customer service, legal administration, tourism and outdoor pursuits. I studied for an ONC in Interior Design and completed a foundation course in Fine Art. During this time I met people in all sorts of roles in all sorts of organizations. They shared their stories, gave me advice and feedback and generally helped me on my way to the next opportunity. I went back into education in the early 90s, via an access course in Engineering, then completed a BSc and PhD in Computer Science.

My academic research has been concerned with various aspects of human-computer interaction including virtual reality, computer-supported collaborative work (precursor to social media), ubiquitous computing, interactive art, participatory design and physiological computing.

Training and Development

I started my facilitation career in 2000 when I was invited to do some consultancy work for Vitae (formerly UK Grad). I was inspired by their commitment and creative approach to training and development and found working with them both rewarding and fulfilling. In 2004, after several years of part-time consulting alongside my full-time job, I decided to quit my academic position and work for myself.

In 2005 I spent a year at The University of Manchester as a project officer on the Academic Career Toolkit. This evolved into an online resource called An Academic Career which later won a Times Higher Education Award

Over the intervening years I’ve delivered nearly 300 workshops and training events throughout the UK, Europe and Japan. I’ve worked with people from every continent and from an incredibly diverse range of disciplines. I share best practice between organisations and constantly renew my own skill set.

I’m privileged to work as part of a network of skilful and inspiring trainers and coaches. Together we can design and deliver a unique event in support of your organisation’s creative and professional aspirations.

“Great at making us feel relaxed and able to participate at all times. Excellent sense of humour which is an essential quality”