I graduated from the Heriot Watt University in the School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences (MACS) in 2009 with a first class honours degree in Information Systems.  I was awarded the Cooper Walker Engineering prize for outstanding computing work, the Andrew Stewart prize for most deserving student and I was a finalist for the young software engineer of Scotland award in 2010 .In 2010, I gained a scholarship for PhD research.  I graduated in 2013 with a PhD on Rich Picture Interpretation. During my PhD research work I was awarded the ‘problem structuring’ steam prize for outstanding contribution to the Operational Research Conference in 2012. I lectured in Information Systems in Edinburgh Napier University in 2014 and presently teach in Computing Science (CS) as an Associate Professor at Heriot Watt University.  I won the University’s ‘Learning and Teaching Oscar’ for being a ‘guiding hand’ (most helpful and encouraging lecturer) in 2016 and was a finalist for the award in 2017. In September 2019 I took over as Director of Academic Quality for the School of MACS.

I am a Fellow of HEA (Higher Educational Academy) and member of AIS (Association of Information Systems) and BCS (British Computer Society).  I regularly review and write articles for system and educational journals. I have most recently published a co-authored book on my research; Rich Pictures: Encouraging Resilient Communities. I am actively involved in encouraging women into computer science and have coordinated many ‘girls into computing’ events in the Department of Computer Sciences at Heriot Watt.

All publications can be found on google scholar:

I have published in international research journals and some pre-print versions of these papers are available for download on my Research Gate page at

My research video can be seen here:

Other collaboration media clips regarding my research can be viewed here:

Current research interests

  • Problem structuring for information Systems
  • System Design using visual methods of enquiry
  • Online privacy and security for autistic young people
  • Developing  computational material for Girl Guides
  • Collaborative pictures to aid understanding of  international student transition

Research students

I currently supervise UG, Masters and  PhD students . I am happy to consider applications for self-funding or funded/sponsored students wishing to undertake PhD, MPhil or Masters by research projects in my area of research. Potential students interested in undertaking such research should email me in the first instance.


I have undertaken a range of consultancy projects including delivery of rich picture training to industry, and system requirement evaluation.