Bradford BCS Student Chapter
The Bradford BCS Student Chapter was the the first ever British Computer Society (BCS) Student Chapter to be created. BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT is a professional body and a learned society that represents those working in Information Technology both in the United Kingdom and internationally.
Students studying Computer Science courses at Bradford initially created the computing student Pi Society to promote interest in and improve their computing skills, as well as to encourage fellow students to meet and share their passion. The society’s founder, Rob Norvill, created the group when he saw an opportunity to engage with his peers, supported by academics within the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Rob then found activities for the group to do that would help improve their skills in programming, creating games, web development and building mobile apps.
As the group expanded, an executive board was created and the group diversified their activities, working closely with academic staff. The school encouraged and supported their enthusiastic efforts and provided funding. The founding members are Rob Norvill, Corina Matei, George Bell, Connor Aspinall, and Denis Torgunov.
BCS student chapters are a network of individuals and groups which represent the mission and vision of BCS. Through organised meetings and events, student chapters provide a platform to enable and support students to succeed and a pathway to professionalism.
One of their first successes was winning second place at the Leeds Transport Hackathon, going on to then take part in Open Days, and in a Student Enterprise Centre pilot exercise. They are currently working on designing and creating mobile apps for other societies at the University, the idea being to give Pi Society members the chance to experience the full life cycle of creating a piece of software as well as hands on experience liaising with clients. Members have delivered talks and hands on sessions with more planned, including an event at the Bradford Science Festival.
Rob Norvill, MSc Computing student said:
"Bradford's Pi Society is the first ever BCS Student Chapter. We aim to aid willing students improve their industry relevant skills. This means both technical skills and the 'soft' skills today's industry requires. Pi Society’s goal is to help create students that stand out in terms of employment and have a wealth of skills and experiences to give them a head start in the industry.
We aim to achieve this through creating a safe working environment that is as close to industry standards and conventions as possible and through the support of our department and BCS."
Olivia Tan MBCS, Student Engagement Coordinator for BCS said:
"It was great to meet the enthusiastic society executives at the University of Bradford in May. They are very professional team of students who, since becoming a chapter, have already taken part in a West Yorkshire BCS event and were highly praised for providing an excellent standard of technical support. We look forward to working with them to facilitate their progress as a group."
The students are currently advising other universities on how create their own BCS Student Chapters.