Gerry Pennell

I enjoyed both the academic side which was challenging and thought-provoking, but also the social ambience.  I met my wife at Manchester also, so I have a lot to thank the University for.

Course: Mathematics (3 Years) [BSc]

Course dates: 1977 - 1980

Current occupation: Chief Information Officer for LOCOG, the LONDON Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games

How has your career progressed since graduation?

I started in software development (mathematical modelling) and progressed to project management inside and outside IT, eventually in succession becoming Director of Technology for the 17th Commonwealth Games in Manchester 2002, CIO for the Cooperative Financial Services and the Co-operative Group and, my current role, just finishing up as CIO for LONDON 2012 - an enormous technology undertaking. ·  

How has your degree helped you in your career?

In two ways - initially, the actual skills and knowledge were essential in my first technical roles - both the maths and the significant subsidiary courses I took in computer science at Manchester.  Latterly, I think its the thinking and analytical skills that mathematics provides that have helped.

What is your greatest achievement to date?

Undoubtedly, delivering the £500m technology programme that underpins the Olympics. In particular everything involved with measuring the athletic performance and then delivering the results to broadcasters, commentators, press agencies, our own website and, as a service provider, to 680 other organisations.  

What advice would you give to someone thinking of pursuing a similar career route and what skills/experience do you consider to be necessary?

Get a wide breadth of experience.

What did you most enjoy about your time at Manchester?

I enjoyed both the academic side, which was challenging and thought-provoking but also the social ambience.  I met my wife at Manchester also so I have a lot to thank the University for.    

Why would you recommend the University as a good place to study?

It has a solid academic record in a great city, with all the cultural life you could wish for on the one hand and easy access to the Lake District and the Peak District on the other.

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