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Dr David Bowers

Profile summary

Professional biography

After my first lecturing post at UEA, Norwich, where I specialised in teaching database management and programming, I moved to the University of Surrey.  At Surrey, I led the introduction of the undergraduate degree programme in Computing & IT, and served as Course Director for that programme for ten years.

In 2001, I moved to the Open University, and was soon appointed as Programme Director for undergraduate computing, a post I held for over thirteen years until July 2016.  My responsibilities included oversight of the introduction of the first OU named degree in Computing in 2004, and its subsequent merger with the degrees in IT & Computing and Information and Communication Technologies to form the current undergradute degree in Computing & IT. 

After standing down from the role of Programme Director, I then served as Deputy Head of the School of Computing and Communications until October 2018.

Having finally escaped from a succession of leadership and management roles, I am now trying to rekindle my research activities, alongside leading the accreditation standard workstream for the Insitute of Coding.

Research interests

Over the years, my research interests have focussed on database and semantic modelling, and, more recently, exploring some of the challenges of object-relational database design.

A growing interest, which is now my main focus, is the presentation of navigational information for maritime navigation.  In particular, I am exploring a number of issues related to supporting navigators as they seek to recognise landmarks to aid visual navigation, and how landmarks are used to improve the safety of navigation.

Teaching interests

In addition to contributing to database teaching throughout my career, I have more recently started to teach IT service management, an important but often overlooked aspect of software development and management.

External collaborations

I am a Fellow of BCS: the Chartered Institute for IT, a Chartered Membership Assessor and an assessor for academic accreditation. Until 2007, I was also responsible for the University Professional Development Scheme for placement students.

I am a professional member of the ACM.

I represent the Open Univesity on the SFIA Council, and I am an accredited SFIA consultant.  I am currently leading a project to map certifications and curricula - including degrees - to the SFIA framework.

I'm an Ocean Yachtmaster and Cruising Instructor through the Royal Yachting Association, a member of the Royal Institute of Navigation, and - when I get time - I sail my Westerly Oceanlord, O.D.1, which I also use for some of my navigation experiments.

Research groups

NameTypeParent Unit
CRC: Software Engineering and DesignGroupFaculty of Mathematics, Computing and Technology


Understanding object-relational mapping: A framework based approach (2009)
Ireland, Christopher; Bowers, David; Newton, Mike and Waugh, Kevin
International Journal on Advances in Software, 2(2/3) (pp. 202-216)

Detecting redundancy in conceptual models (2003)
Bowers, David S.
In: Advanced Conceptual Modeling Techniques: ER 2002 Workshops, ECDM, MobIMod, IWCMQ, and eCOMO, Tampere, Finland, October 7-11, 2002, Revised Papers. Lecture Notes in Computer Science (2784) (pp. 275-287)
ISBN : 3540202552 | Publisher : Springer | Published : Berlin/Heidelberg, Germany

Gamification of Team Interaction in a distance learning environment (2020-01)
Bowers, David S. and Nelson, Matthew
In : 4th Conference on Computing Education Practice 2020 (9 Jan 2020, Durham, United Kingdom)

Augmented Reality Smartphone Compasses: Opportunity or Oxymoron? (2019-09)
Bowers, David
In : Adjunct Proceedings of the 2019 ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing and the 2019 International Symposium on Wearable Computers (UbiComp/ISWC '19 Adjunct) (9-13 Sep 2019, London)

Software design as multiple contrasting dialogues (2019-08-29)
Petre, Marian; van der Hoek, André and Bowers, David S.
In : Psychology of Programming Interest Group 30th Annual Conference (28-30 Aug 2019, Newcastle University)

Designing a better accreditation standard to promote graduates' employability (2019)
Bowers, David S
In : Advance HE STEM Conference 2019 (30-31 Jan 2019, Birmingham UK)

Workshop: The IoC Accrediation Standard (2019)
Bowers, David
In : Institute of Coding Conference 2019 (10-13 Mar 2019, Manchester)

Aligning Competence Hierarchies with Bloom's Taxonomies: Changing the focus for computing education (2019)
Bowers, David; Petre, Marian and Howson, Oli
In : Koli Calling '19 Proceedings of the 19th Koli Calling International Conference on Computing Education Research (21-24 Nov 2019, Koli, Finland)

Including IT service management in the Computing curriculum: a caricature approach. (2018-01-11)
Bowers, David and Morse, David
In : Computing Education Practice (11-12 Jan 2018, University of Durham)

"It's only a computing project – so there can’t be any ethical issues…" (2018-01-11)
Bowers, David
In : Computing Education Practice (11-12 Jan 2018, University of Durham)

Exposing the myth: object-relational impedance mismatch is a wicked problem (2015-05-24)
Ireland, Christopher and Bowers, David
In : DBKDA 2015, The Seventh International Conference on Advances in Databases, Knowledge, and Data Applications (24-29 May 2015, Rome, Italy) (pp. 21-26)

Intentacles: wearable interactive antennae to sense and express emotion (2013-04-27)
Petre, Marian; Bowers, David; Baker, Thomas; Copcutt, Ed; Lawson, Adam; Martindale, Adam; Moses, Ben and Yan, Yige
In : ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (2013 Apr 27 - May 02, Paris, France) (pp. 2861-2862)

Exploring the essence of an Object-Relational Impedance Mismatch: a novel technique based on equivalence in the context of a framework (2011-01-23)
Ireland, Christopher; Bowers, David; Newton, Michael and Waugh, Kevin
In : DBKDA 2011, The Third International Conference on Advances in Databases, Knowledge, and Data Applications (23-28 Jan 2011, St. Maarten, The Netherlands Antilles) (pp. 65-70)

Exploring the Use of Mixed Abstractions in SQL:1999 - A Framework-based Approach (2010-04)
Ireland, Christopher; Bowers, David; Newton, Mike and Waugh, Kevin
In : The Second International Conference on Advances in Databases, Knowledge, and Data Applications (11-16 Apr 2010, Menuires, France)

A classification of object-relational impedance mismatch (2009-03)
Ireland, Christopher; Bowers, David; Newton, Mike and Waugh, Kevin
In : First International Conference on Advances in Databases, Knowledge, and Data Applications (DBKDA) (1-6 Mar 2009, Cancun, Mexico)

Nurturing the acorn: helping a small software company onto the CMM ladder (2001)
Bowers, D.S.
In : Proceedings UKAIS (UK Academy for Information Systems) 2001 (18-20 Apr 2001, Portsmouth, UK)

Mobile AR: Promising innovation or misplaced trust?
Bowers, David
In : International Navigation Conference 2019 (19-21 Nov 2019, Edinburgh)

Analysis of accreditation approaches in the Computing sector (2019-07-15)
Bowers, David S. and Howson, Oliver
The Open University, Milton Keynes.