My name is Majdi Owda; I am Associate Professor in Computer Science, School of Computing, Mathematics & Digital Technology at Manchester Metropolitan University.
I studied Computer Science in Arab American University, Jenin and graduated in 2004.
In 2000 I left my small town Hwara; to joint AAU motivated to achieve, as a BSc Computer Science student;
with the spirit to be a productive member of a society, progressive leader to prosperity for myself and my family. I was conscious of the hardships and limited opportunities within our regional area. I worked hard through guidance and research for possible breakthrough and celebrated achievements leaving political surroundings aside. I was not short of friends who are willing to work hard the sleepless nights.
“ For me AAU was my first genuine enlightening pillar; which led me to the forefront of the global league to prosper and achieve my aspirations. AAU is a Palestinian University with international ambition; with a unique taught curriculum in English language and an internationally experienced staff and leadership. The achievements to date; despite the regional challenges are great; given their impact on people’s lives through education and beyond. “
In June 2004; I left my home land this time; to pursue a much more challenging aspiration for postgraduate studies i.e. MSc and Ph.D. and progress further. When I landed in Manchester, UK; I found that MSc taught degree in Computer Science was too easy; given my excellent undergraduate at AAU and my experience working at AAU too. Therefore I found professors waiting for me for a fast track MSc in Computer Science by Research, with Distinction. Most of all an early entry to the Ph.D stage in December 2005; in the area of Database Interfaces through Conversational Informatics and Data Mining. The usual question from my English colleagues and friends in the UK at that time; from where you gained your “English language fluency”; and the un-expected answer for them to hear was “Palestine and Arab American University in Jenin”. It did sound like a light in the desert in which I have then kept talking about the friendliness of staff, diversity, open door policy, technicality, friendships, excellence and hope.
Between 2005 and 2006 building on the experience, robustness in web development while working at the AAU Computer Centre; I have joint a number of teams in Manchester, UK as a web application developer; while doing the MSc and at the beginning of the Ph.D. stage.
Late in 2007 I joint Manchester Technology Fund, University of Manchester; as a computer scientist developer algorithms and software based on Artificial Intelligence Neural Networks for the purpose of image processing and deception detection; patented research ideas till August 2009. At the same time I was teaching assistant and Ph.D. researcher at Manchester Metropolitan.
In August 2009, I got appointed as a lecturer in Computer Science at Manchester Metropolitan. Then I have finished my Ph.D. by the end of 2011. In addition; between 2009 and 2011 I have finished a Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGC AP); through University studentship for early career academics.
In August 2014; I have been promoted to Associate Professor in Computer Science, at Manchester Metropolitan. Since 2014 I have been involved in a number of teaching, research and scholarships work strands;
I have taught on many computer science areas: Including Foundation, Principles, Advanced and Enterprise Programming, Operating Systems, Digital Forensics Principles and Advances at both undergraduate and MSc levels. I am currently teaching programming and digital forensics.
As for teaching development and quality: at Manchester Met. I have led the development and course leadership of the BSc Computer Forensics and Security and MSc Computer and Network Security; which later rebranded into MSc in Cyber Security. I am also currently working as an external examiner for Computer Networking Programme at Southampton Solent University.
For research and collaborations, I am an active researcher in which I am involved in a number of research projects and I have a modest research team at the moment consisting of 3 Ph.D. students; two of which as a result of research collaborations and one visiting professor from Spain. My current research area seems to fall within the remit of Data Mining with an up-to-date publications and strong track record. In addition, I have made collaborations with a number of European partners in which I was partner with a number of research projects; innovative and mobility projects funding for both UK funding bodies and European funding bodies. I am also continually maintaining my research esteem activities such as, continually applying for research studentships funds, conference programme committees, workshops organisation, reviewing, research talk’s organisation, growing research networks and research informed teaching.
In terms of funding for research and teaching successes; including building research and teaching labs for forensics and security of £85K in 2010 and in 2016 Ph.D. research studentship funding awarded and in 2016 Spanish research visitor funded award in collaboration with Spanish partners.
I have been nominated for a numerous of academic excellence awards in teaching and innovation at Manchester Met.; including the; “Best Teacher Award, Academic Year 2012/2013”, “BSc (Hons) Computer Forensics and Security, Course Leading Award, Academic Year 2012/2013”, “Nominated for Staff Outstanding Innovation in Teaching Award, Academic Year 2013/2014”and “Nominated for Staff Outstanding Innovation in Teaching and Exceptional Contribution to the Student Experience Awards, Academic Year 2015/2016”. In addition; I am usually on the top 5 highest student’s satisfaction survey of the School Computing, Mathematics and Digital Technology.
Although with academically focused and busy working through the days and nights; I do find time to participate improving my son primary school through highlighting good practice and suggesting few ideas. I am also involved of building the first Palestinian Academics Forum in the North West of England.