Collage of images from the Hastings Game Jam.


Dr Jon Nicholson
Based in Hastings, UK

Current position:
Chief Technology Officer
ZiNET Data Solutions Limited

Previous position:
Senior Lecturer
University of Brighton

Fellow of the HEA

Press / Business Contact:


Research Gate
Google Scholar



I am Chief Technology Officer at ZiNET Data Solutions Limited, having started the role in August 2016. I lead a team developing new products in the education sector, such as:

  • Enabling schools, local authorities, multi academy trusts and application vendors to use data securely and effectively by integrating multiple systems. With granular data permissions and digitally signed data sharing agreements means institutions are in full control of the data they share. DataExchange is built with SIF Open Standards at its core.
  • Consolidates and simplifies access to open data in the education sector of the UK. Information from open sources such as Edubase and are processed and shared using an open, publicly accessible, API. OpenData is built with SIF Open Standards at its core, is a 5-star linked data resource, and has Gold-level Open Data Institute certification.
  • More to come…

I sit on the Global Infrastructure Group, working to improve the SIF infrastructure definition, and the Open Source Developers Network, working to facilitate and support open source projects using SIF, within A4L (Access 4 Learning) Community.

Previous roles include Senior Lecturer at the University of Brighton (See my research/teaching experience below), and Consultant Developer for SchoolsICT where I worked on their ZiLink Platform.


My PhD (University of Essex, 2011) was on the formal specification and verification of object-oriented design statements. I studied under Professor Raymond Turner and Dr Amnon H. Eden and was funded by an EPSRC Doctoral Training Award.

I was included as an early career researcher in the University of Brighton’s Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 submission to Computer Science and Informatics.

I am involved in a Knowledge Transfer Partnership developing novel visual approaches to the management of marketing life cycles.


I began teaching in 2006 as graduate teaching assistant, and became a lecturer in 2011 at the University of Brighton. In 2013 I received a postgraduate certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education from the University of Brighton, through which I became a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy later that year.

Since January 2016 I have been the Computing Strand Leader for the Joint Honours courses at the Hastings campus, and was Course Leader for BSc (hons) Digital Games Production for the 2013-2014 academic year. I have taught a variety of code and design based subjects, mainly focussed around web and mobile technologies.

Research Interests

I am interested in the fields of software engineering and knowledge representation. Of particular interest is developing novel visual languages with practical application that are more accessible than symbolic or textual notations.

Academic Esteem

I have acted as reviewer for international journals, including:

  • Innovations in Systems and Software Engineering
  • Formal Aspects of Computing
  • International Journal on Semantic Web and Information Systems (special issue on Visualisation of and Interaction with Semantic Web Data)
  • Journal of Visual Languages and Computing

I have acted as reviewer for several international conferences, including:

  • 21st International Conference on Conceptual Structures (ICCS 2014)
  • 21st IEEE International Conference on Web Services (ICWS 2014)
  • 2nd IEEE International Conference on Mobile Services (MS 2013)
  • IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing (VL/HCC 2012)

Awards & Recognition

  • Reading List of the Week – Talis Aspire, 29 April 2016
  • Excellence in Facilitating and Empowering Learning (nominated) – University of Brighton, April 2016
  • Excellence in Facilitating and Empowering Learning (nominated) – University of Brighton, April 2014
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy – November 2013
  • Best final year project prize. – University of Essex, July 2005


  • PGCert Learning and teaching in higher education, Pass with Merit, University of Brighton, UK, 2013.
  • PhD, Computer Science, University of Essex, Colchester, UK, 2011.
  • MSc Computer Science (Distributed Information Management Systems), Pass with Distinction, University of Essex, UK, 2006.
  • BSc (Hons) Computer Science, First Class, University of Essex, UK, 2005.


If you have specific image requests please contact me!