Dr John Manley
Dr. John Manley, originally from Colchester, came to Bristol in the mid 70s to read Chemistry, followed by a PhD in Quantum Chemistry. After postdocs in Milan and Toronto, he jumped to Artificial Intelligence with a post-doc in Speech Recognition at Sussex. Hewlett-Packard opened their European long-range Research Labs, the first outside Silicon Valley, in 1985. John returned to Bristol to join HP Labs and stayed for 28 years, retiring as the Laboratory Director of Cloud Computing. Over those 28 years his groups carried out next-generation massive-scale systems research from Knowledge Base Management Systems to management of the global telecommunications network, from the convergence of the telecoms network with the Internet to the emergence of the Web and the Cloud. HP Labs Bristol built some of the very earliest prototypes of Utility/Grid/Cloud Computing, including the first CGI film rendered in the Cloud, and the first experiments in market-based Cloud use.
Interest in High-performance Computing led to collaborations with Dreamworks on CGI rendering (Shrek2, Madagascar,…), with Williams F1 on CFD (computational fluid mechanics), with Schlumberger on oil field reservoir simulations and investment banks on CDO optimization. The next step was to augment the Net + the Web + the Cloud with the ability to sense (smell, taste, touch, hear and see) the world and the ability to change the state of the world with actuators. John sat on/chaired several advisory boards in Cloud/Grid computing, high-performance networking, quantum computing, largescale complex IT systems and technology incubators. The CERN Grid Advisory Board was a particularly fascinating time.
Dr Manley was a Trustee of Bristol University for nine years, where he chaired the University IT Committee and sat on the Audit Committee. He was a Trustee of St George’s Bristol and President of the Anchor Society. He is a Visiting Professor at UWE in the Faculty of Business and Law, and a Freeman of the City of London. In March he became High Sheriff of the County of the City of Bristol.