Keeping IT Clean

Energy and the networked computing environment

For those creating content on public web pages (blogs, wikis etc) please use the conference tag: #lcict09, and let others know about the event, perhaps by writing a Twitter update.

Thanks to Josie Fraser for taking a few pictures and all the people who've commented on Twitter:

Friday 22nd May 2009 at the Saïd Business School, Oxford University.

In March 2008, the University of Oxford hosted the 'Towards Low Carbon ICT' conference to stimulate discussion on the practical measures that can be taken to build ICT services that both reduce carbon dioxide emissions, and mitigate the effects that higher energy prices will have on our institutions.

Much happened over the months that followed: electricity prices sky-rocketed, plans for carbon pricing under the Carbon Reduction Commitment were finalized, and there is now the recession. The incentive to minimize costs has never been greater.

The JISC funded low-carbon ICT project at the University of Oxford has developed tools and techniques to reduce energy consumption and costs in networked desktop computing environments. At the time of last year's conference, it was policy throughout most of the University departments to leave desktop computers switched on, all day, every day of the year. This need no longer be the case: the tools developed through the project allow desktop computers to be switched off when not in use with, importantly, no inconvenience to the user nor their IT support teams.

You are invited to join us to learn more about our work as well as the work of others in this important field.

The conference is being organised by the Low Carbon ICT project and supported by the JISC institutional exemplars programme.


Time Speaker Description Slides Audio
09.50-10.30 Registration Refreshments served in main lobby
10.30-10.40 Professor Paul Jeffreys, Director of IT, University of Oxford Welcome. download
10.40-11.00 Howard Noble, PI for low-carbon ICT project, Oxford University. Overview of the Oxford approach. download download
11.00-11.20 Kang Tang, Lead developer, low-carbon ICT project, Oxford University Technical design of the Oxford approach download download
11.20-12.40 Geoff Calvert, IT Manager, Oxford University Centre for the Environment Implementation from the IT manager's perspective download download
11.40-12.00 Philip Pike, Energy Lead, Oxford University Estates Department Energy and cost savings download download
12.00-12.20 Panel discussion Chaired by Howard Noble
12.20-13.30 Lunch
13.30-14.00 Daniel Waller, Researcher, AEA Energy and Environment Implications of the Carbon Reduction Commitment download download
14.00-14.30 John Pollitt, Head of IT Services, City College Norwich Green computing, not just for tree huggers. download download
14.30-15.00 Break Refreshments
15.00-15.30 Lisa Nelson, Principal programmer and analyst, University of Liverpool Using the PowerDown technique at University of Liverpool download download
15.30-16.00 Professor Peter James, Senior Researcher, SUSTEIT Low Carbon ICT in Higher Education / SUSTEIT download download
16.00-16.20 Closing remarks and panel discussion. Chaired by Daniel Curtis


The conference will be held on Friday 22nd May, 2009 at the Saïd Business School, University of Oxford.

All places for this event are now taken, please use the online booking form if you would like to be added to the waiting list (we will contact you as soon as possible to confirm your place).

Getting to the conference

The conferences will be held at the Saïd Business School, Park End Street, Oxford, OX1 1HP. The venue is 300m from the Oxford train station and a two minute walk from the City Centre and the central bus station. Delegates are advised to use public transport whenever possible, which is excellent for both getting to Oxford and within the city. Oxford is extremely well connected via rail and bus companies. For train times please visit the National Rail Enquiries web site, and for buses, Oxford Bus Company and Stagecoach, have online timetables. Information about visiting Oxford is available from

We cannot help with parking spaces which are extremely limited close to and within the city centre, but there are several park-and-ride centres serving Oxford.

There are many hotels and Bed and Breakfasts in Oxford. The following sites list hotel rooms, apartments and BB accommodation in and around Oxford: OxLink, A1 Tourism, DataBrowse, and Stilwell's.


Geoff Calvert

Geoff Calvert is the IT Manager at the Oxford University Centre for the Environment, managing over 200 desktop PCs and 20 servers. He and his team have been working to develop the operations within the OUCE to reduce electricity consumption, whilst balancing this against the needs of accessibility for end users and maintenance of security and other updates.

He has an MA in Engineering Science from Oxford University and served in the armed forces (1981-1983) before developing software for microprocessor controllers and managing CAE systems in the Aerospace industry (1983-1988). He then spent a considerable period of time in bespoke software development (1988-2002) and joined Oxford University in 2003.

Daniel Curtis

Daniel Curtis is the Evaluation Lead on the Low Carbon ICT project. He has a background in engineering, which he has applied to sustainable energy use in the fields of efficiency, off-grid systems, and renewable energy technologies.

Daniel is based at the Oxford Environmental Change Institute, where he draws on his expertise on integrating energy efficiency and renewables for reducing the carbon footprint of non-domestic buildings. He focuses on lights, ICT and appliances.

Immediately prior to coming to Oxford, Daniel worked for three years as Energy Project Manager at a hotel in the Canary Islands. Being independent of all mains services, the hotel offered special challenges. He designed and implemented an energy strategy that more than halved consumption of carbon-based fuels whilst also significantly increasing the availability of electrical power and water heating. This was achieved: (1) through more efficient generation, distribution, storage and use of electricity (produced by a combination of diesel and photovoltaics); (2) through building on an existing system of solar thermal water heating and through furthering fuel-switching.

Daniel has worked on a wide range of other projects including the Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales, and the International Energy Agency in Paris. Daniel has an MSc Environmental Technology (Energy Policy), Imperial College, London. (1994-95) and a BEng(hons) Mining Engineering, University of Leeds. (1991-94)

Professor Peter James

Peter James is Professor of Environmental Management at the University of Bradford, and associate director of SustainIT, an independent research centre on sustainable communications ( He is Co-Director of the Higher Education Environmental Performance Improvement (HEEPI) project ( Through this, he recently co-authored, for JISC, a review of the sustainable use of ICT within UK further and higher education ( Other recent work includes a review of innovation in environmental services for BERR and DIUS; co-ordinating the EU Sustel (Sustainable Teleworking) project; and sitting on the EU's Expert Groups on Environmental Technology, and ICT and Energy Efficiency. His publications include Driving Eco-Innovation, The Green Bottom Line, and Sustainable Measures.

Professor Paul Jeffreys

Professor Paul Jeffreys was appointed Director of IT for the University of Oxford in 2007. Previously Paul was Director for Oxford University Computing Services. He is now Director of IT and OUCS Head of Department.

Paul is a professor of computing at Oxford University and a fellow of the Oxford e-Research Centre. He is also Co-Director of the e-Horizons Project (an institute within the James Martin 21st Century School, and Professorial Fellow of Keble College. Paul holds a BSc in Physics, and a PhD in Particle Physics. His previous positions include Director of Oxford University's Computer Services Director of the Oxford e-Science Centre and founding Director of the Oxford e-Research Centre a new research unit within the Maths and Physical Sciences and Life Sciences Division of Oxford University.

Before joining Oxford University Paul was Director of the Central Laboratories Research Council's e-Science Centre and Head of the Particle Physics Department's Computing and Resource Management Division at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. Earlier, he was an experimental particle physicist working at the European accelerator centre, CERN, in Switzerland. Previously his research interests were in the broad field of particle physics, but they are now focused in e-Research and the strategic direction of information technology. He established the e-Research activity within the University, and helped create the new Oxford e-Research Centre.

Lisa Nelson

Lisa Nelson has worked in the IT industry since 1993, and began working at the University of Liverpool in 2004. In late 2005, after noticing that student walk-up computers were left on all the time, even in buildings that were closed and locked outside business hours, she began working on finding a way to reduce the power waste. This work eventually resulted in the University of Liverpool's PowerDown, a simple, free method for powering off idle computers when nobody is logged on. PowerDown was introduced on all University PCs by mid-2006, and has saved the University more than 1,000,000 hours of idle time every month. PowerDown has been made freely available for anybody to use; several FE and HE institutions within the UK are using it, as well as others around the world. Because of its inclusion in a JISC report in November 2008, PowerDown has recently received a lot of publicity.

Howard Noble

Howard Noble leads requirements gathering initiatives for the computing services department at the University of Oxford. This involves using a variety of techniques (interviews, surveys, prototyping etc) to find out how to better support research, teaching and learning. The low-carbon ICT project followed on from discussions with academics at the Oxford University Centre for the Environment (OUCE).

Howard is also working on the project to develop the Behaviour Composer, a web-based tool designed to support teachers, learners and researchers (including non-programmers), in schools and universities, build skills in computer modelling and programming. The Behaviour Composer can be used to construct, run, visualise, analyse, and share agent-based computer models. Tutors at the University of Oxford are using the Behaviour Composer to help students learn about economics, epidemics and animal behaviour. The project has also created 'toy models' to help people understand how computers can be managed more efficiently.

Before joining Oxford University Howard worked at the Royal Holloway University (2002-03), a CRM consultancy (2000-01) and IBM Global Services (1997-2000). Howard has a Master's degree in Human Centred Computing Systems from Sussex University (2001-02), and a Bachelor's degree in Genetics and Molecular Biology from Manchester University (1994-1997).

John Pollitt

John Pollitt has worked in the IT industry since graduating with joint honours in Computing and Law from Oxford Brookes (then Polytechnic) in 1988.

Chair of the JISC RSC Eastern Region Technical Manager's Forum; John has 20 years of experience in supporting and managing high availability enterprise level IT systems.

In 1999 John was appointed Head of IT Services in a large FE/HE College in Norwich, East Anglia. He manages a large and proactive IT department supporting 3000 workstations and 16,000 users across two main campuses. Responsibilities include support for staff and students including AV and classroom delivery systems and communications as well as core infrastructure.

Always a keen advocate of sustainable IT, John has recently focused on initiatives to significantly reduce power consumption and heat output, and to consolidate both in the data centre and the working environment. He has current practical experience of where sustainable IT can be successfully implemented and where difficulties exist and what can be done to mitigate those issues.

Philip Pike

Philip Pike has been the Energy Conservation Engineer at the University of Oxford for 7 years. He is a member of CIBSE and the Energy Institute, a Low Carbon Consultant and an accredited DEC assessor. He is responsible for reducing energy and water consumption and costs within the University Estate of over 200 buildings. Philip has been involved in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme since its inception in 2006 and he is now preparing for the Carbon Reduction Commitment. Previous work experience includes research into building management systems at BSRIA and conducting building energy surveys.

Kang Tang

Kang Tang works as System Developer in Oxford e-Research Centre and is specialised in distributed system, web services and network security. He has been working as one of main developers in ShibGrid project led by OeRC, though which he has acquired substantial experience of web services development, grid security and various web portal frameworks.

In another collaborative project between Microsoft, Oxford University and UCSD, Kang has been actively involved in the development and setup of a supper high resolution visualization wall in OeRC. Kang has a good understanding of software engineering, computing grid architecture and security framework. He also had three years software development experience from industry and expertise in various programing languages. Kang has a Master's Degree in Distributed Computing from UCL.

Daniel Waller

Daniel Waller is an energy policy expert, experienced in assessing policies and their impact on energy market conditions and behaviour. He has an M.Sc. in Energy Policy from Imperial College and has worked in the energy and environment sector for the last 10 years.

His recent work focus has been on helping public and private sector clients influence and adapt to a changing energy and environment legislative agenda; this has included:

Other policy analysis work includes the use of the UKCIP projections and their application to businesses in both the private and public sector. This has helped clients understand how their assets and liabilities may change under varying degrees of climate change. Further work on policy analysis has been carried out for the European Environment Agency, identifying and promoting success criteria for a number of energy efficiency policies and strategies for their implementation.

Solution providers attending

The following businesses are attending the conference and provide products and services that can help organisations reduce IT-related energy costs associated with desktop computers (in alphabetical order):

1E NightWatchman - The market leader in PC Power Management

UK based software and services consultancy 1E has over 1,000 customers, in 42 countries representing 12 million users including Dell and Peterborough City Council. NightWatchman 5.5 was developed eight years ago and addresses the challenge of powering down PCs in a network where users require different settings for working and out-of-office hours. NightWatchman uses extremely reliable and proven technology to enable the centralized, scheduled power down of PCs. It allows organisations to enforce corporate energy saving schemes at a low cost per PC/license, NightWatchman saves a proven average of £26 per PC per annum, with a typical ROI of 3-6 months. 1E is also the sole awardee of a contract to sell PC power management to the UK government. Some key product highlights include:

To watch a short overview video or to download a free evaluation copy of 1E NightWatchman please visit

Data Synergy PowerMAN PC Power Management Software

Data Synergy supply the innovative PowerMAN PC Power Manager software. Our product gives you unparalleled control over your enterprise PC energy consumption saving up to 70% of running costs and up to £60 per PC / Year.

PowerMAN is the only tool you need to measure and control your PC energy spend:

We have created a demonstration, based upon real site data, to show the PowerMAN reporting platform in action. Please click here to view an organisation divided into unmanaged and actively managed areas.

Data Synergy is a British company based in Nottingham. We are not a reseller and do all of our development, sales and support in the UK. We work closely with our customers and promise that if you have a good idea for a new PowerMAN feature we can make it happen.

In short, we know our stuff.

Verdiem Surveyor PC Power Management Software

United Access, a Green ICT solution company, has introduced the Surveyor solution to the UK, one of several innovative Green ICT solutions in its portfolio. Surveyor is a built for purpose, enterprise level solution which manages, measures, reduces, improves and reports the energy consumption of PC networks.

The solution:

In the UK, the Surveyor solution has also been the subject of a comprehensive OGC competitive procurement process by the resource procurement hub. The conclusion of that process is that the Surveyor solution has "... been awarded preferred supplier status for the provision of Energy Saving Software to resource procurement hub, its member NHS Trust's, other NHS procurement hubs and their member Trust's and any public sector body in the UK"