Paul Watson is Professor of Computer Science and Director of the Digital Institute. He is PI of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Cloud Computing for Big Data and also directed the £12M RCUK-funded Digital Economy Hub on Social Inclusion through the Digital Economy. He graduated in 1983 with a BSc in Computer Engineering from Manchester University, followed by a PhD on parallel graph reduction in 1986. In the 80s, as a Lecturer at Manchester University, he was a designer of the Alvey Flagship and Esprit EDS systems. From 1990-5 he worked for ICL as a system designer of the Goldrush MegaServer parallel database server, which was released as a product in 1994.
In August 1995 he moved to Newcastle University, where he has been an investigator on research projects worth over £40M. His research interest is in scalable information management with a current focus on Cloud Computing. He sits on the board of Dynamo North East, an industry-led organisation created to grow the IT economy of the region. Professor Watson is a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow of the British Computer Society, and a member of the UK Computing Research Committee. He received the 2014 Jim Gray eScience Award.