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£10 million Computer Science Building Opened

Originally Published 16 January 2001

Nicholas M. Donofrio, a senior Executive from IBM - the world's biggest IT company, formally opened the University of Warwick's new £10 million Computer Science building on Thursday 18th January.

The total cost of the construction of the building and outfitting it with the latest computer technology is £10 million pounds. IBM have kindly met a significant element of that cost by supplying the University with hardware and software including one of their very latest S/390 computers. The Commercial value of the system and software, being provided by IBM for joint Linux and software application research, is around £2million.

Nicholas M. Donofrio, IBM's Senior Vice-President, Technology and Manufacturing, said that IBM chose to make this commitment to the University of Warwick's Department of Computer Science because

"As the world's largest IT company we are proud to be associated with one of the UK's premier University Computer Science departments. This investment will provide an environment where many universities and our customers across Europe can develop the skills so desperately required by business. Through this remote resource they will be able to access learning resources and to develop research projects without incurring the cost of skills and support structure. The new IBM S/390 system will run LINUX giving the capability for hundreds of Linux images for student and academic use. The provision of Linux for S/390 is one of the most significant developments in the fast-growing use of the Linux operating system".

Warwick's Department of Computer Science has received the highest rankings possible for both its research and teaching provision (a 5* ranking for research and the top score of "excellent" for teaching"). Nicholas M. Donofrio, will as part of the opening events, deliver a lecture entitled "Technology Innovation and the New Economy".

The three leading edge priority research projects that the University will use the S/390 with are:

  • The provision of a Hub for the European Academic community. It will be one of an IBM network of 'Hubs' providing central resources to address the markteplace skills shortage, and open up Linux projects and shared research development throughout Europe.
  • The development of the world wide computer 'Grid'. The University of Warwick will be one of the sites used by IBM in the development of the world wide computer "Grid" the next step for computers beyond the web which will not just network information as the web does now but will allow Grid users to share the computing power of their machines as well.
  • The development of an on-line Post Graduate course in e-business - The IBM S/390 will be used as part of an advanced masters in Distributed Information Systems Technology for e-Business to demonstrate and create real e-Business solutions.

Professor Graham Nudd, Chairman of Warwick's Department of Computer Science, said that:

"IBM's S/390 and the $1 million dollars in funding we have won for "Grid" research from NASA, DARPA and the US Navy will put us at the forefront of the development of what will be the next generation of global computer networking to follow the World Wide Web."

Notes for Editors:

The IBM S/390 uses the LINUX operating system which is currently growing faster than its rivals. The concentration on Linux is part of a concerted effort by IBM and a number of universities to make mainframe skills more attractive to students.

About IBM

The International Business Machine Corporation is the largest IT services organisation, both in the U.K. and the World. IBM strives to lead in the creation, development and manufacture of the industry's most advanced information technologies, including computer systems, software, networking systems, storage devices and microelectronics. It translates these advanced technologies into value for its customers through its professional solutions and services businesses worldwide. IBM is widely associated with the growth of information technology in the past seventy years. From the original mainframes which gave birth to business computing to the mid-range and personal systems computers of the 1980s, IBM has been a world leader in the development of computing, networking, and communications products and services. IBM UK has been trading in the United Kingdom since 1952 and has grown over the years to become one of the largest exporters of computing equipment in the nation. IBM United Kingdom Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of the IBM Corporation, which was founded in 1911. For more information about IBM's products and services, visit the IBM Web site at

For further information from IBM contact:

Lorna Campbell, Media Relations Manager,
IBM Global Services & IBM Enterprise Server (zSeries/ S/390)
Tel: 44 (0)1844 -338145 (Fax 338 153) Mobile: 44 (0)7836 625999
e-mail: or

Further information about the above press release and all other media services at the University of Warwick can be obtained from:

Peter Dunn, Press Officer
University of Warwick
Coventry, CV4 7AL
West Midlands
Tel: 024 76 523708