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Professor Dave Cliff


Prior to joining the University of Bristol in 2007, I'd held faculty posts at the University of Sussex School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences, at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and at the University of Southampton School of Electronics and Computer Science. I'd also spent roughly half my career working as a researcher in industry: initially for Hewlett-Packard Labs, where I ended up as a Department Scientist; and latterly for Deutsche Bank London, where I was a Director/Trader in their Foreign Exchange Complex Risk Group.

From 2005 to 2013 I was Director of the UK Research and Training Initiative in the Science and Engineering of Large-Scale Complex IT Systems (LSCITS). This was funded by GBP10M of UK public funds (from EPSRC), with significant support from partners in industry and the UK public sector. 

Most of my personal research work in the ten years before I got involved in LSCITS was centered on adaptive automated trading systems for various types of financial markets, and on automated design of market mechanisms. I started doing this in 1995, for market-based control of ultra-large-scale remotely-accessed data-centres, the facilities that cloud computing services are built on. In 2001 a team at IBM showed my "ZIP" trading software beating human traders, which got the attention of various companies in the global financial markets. 

In 2013-14 I led the design and development of Bristol's University Research Institute in data science, the Jean Golding Institute. In 2015 I was appointed as Head of the School of Computer Science, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, and Engineering Maths (SCEEM); I stood down from this post to take on the role of Academic Director for the University's new Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus (TQEC), a GBP350M new-build project, scheduled to open in 2022. I was TQEC Academic Director for two years, for the phase or initiation and mobilisation; that role was dissolved as the project moved into its implementation and execution phase, and academic leadership passed to the University's newly-created role of Deputy Vice Chancellor for TQEC.