Andrew Martin appointed Bletchley Park Trustee

1 February 2017

Andrew Martin, photo by Paul Tait
Andrew Martin, photo by Paul Tait

Kellogg Fellow, Professor Andrew Martin, has been appointed as a Bletchley Park Trustee. Bletchley was where Alan Turing and 10,000 others worked to break the Enigma (and Lorenz) ciphers during World War Two, as depicted in the recent film, The Imitation Game.

This marks a welcome strengthening of the links between Kellogg and Bletchley. Andrew Martin is Professor of Systems Security and Director of the Oxford Centre for Doctoral Training in Cyber Security. He was instrumental in setting up the University’s Cyber Security Network and helps to lead it, heading Oxford’s EPSRC/GCHQ-recognised Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research. His recent research focus has been on the technologies of Trusted Computing, exploring how they can be applied in large-scale distributed systems, particularly cloud computing, mobile devices, and the internet of things. He has published extensively in this area, hosting several related international events in Oxford and speaking on the subject all over the world.

“The story of Bletchley Park is crucial to the development of our academic discipline, as well as to the national life,” said Martin. “It is a great privilege to be involved in this way, and through the connection with Kellogg College, I hope we can bring that story to an even wider audience.”

The Mansion at Bletchley Park © Bletchley Park Trust
The Mansion at Bletchley Park © Bletchley Park Trust

This is only one of numerous links between the two institutions. A long-standing Bletchley Trustee, and author of several books on Bletchley and Turing, Michael Smith, has been made Kellogg’s ‘Bletchley Park Visiting Fellow’. Kellogg’s first woman Honorary Fellow, Dr Joan Thirsk CBE, worked at Bletchley Park during the War. In 2016, the College’s short-term accommodation at 12 Bradmore Road was named Donald Michie House in honour of the Bletchley Park codebreaker who during World War Two invented a technique for using the Colossus computer to automatically decode German messages, and who went on to become an Oxford alumnus and leading figure in artificial intelligence and machine learning (and father of the College’s current President). Donald Michie House contains the Bletchley Park Common Room, which features a display of World War Two materials, including photos of Alan Turing, Joan Thirsk and Donald Michie. A number of Kellogg College students have visited Bletchley Park as part of their studies, and this number is expected to grow significantly in the coming year.

Joan Thirsk in wartime uniform. Photo courtesy of Bletchley Park Trust.
Joan Thirsk in wartime uniform. Photo courtesy of Bletchley Park Trust.

The Trust’s goal is to preserve and enhance Bletchley Park, to raise awareness of its achievements and relevance, and to attract, engage and educate visitors from all over the world through the continuing restoration and development of the estate and exhibitions. It works to enhance the understanding of the role of cryptography, technological innovation, secret intelligence and Allied collaboration in World War Two and to explain how this matters today in a society undergoing profound technological change.

Sir John Scarlett, Chairman of the Bletchley Park Trust, said: “We are delighted to welcome Andrew as a Trustee and to strengthen the ongoing collaboration between Kellogg College and Bletchley Park. His appointment to the board is a natural progression of our relationship and will help enhance our understanding of how the vital work carried out here in the Second World War remains directly relevant to society today.”

The Bletchley-Turing-Kellogg connections have been further strengthened by the UK Government’s establishment of The Alan Turing Institute, one of the inaugural Fellows of which is Kellogg’s Dr Frank Wood.

The College looks forward to developing these relationships with a week-long programme of events from 5 to 10 June 2017. There will be something for everyone, including talks and demonstrations, including with one of the Enigma machines from Bletchley; access to the ‘roll of honour’ where the database can be searched for those who worked there; a poster competition to describe relevant research, the winners of which will get to display their posters at Bletchley and explain the research to the many thousands of visitors; the first of what we intend to be an annual Kellogg coach trip to Bletchley, with guided tours; and a Bletchley and Turing themed Guest Night Dinner on 9 June, preceded by a panel of speakers. That is only the start so please watch the website for further details.

Enigma machine, photo by Bureau for Visual Affairs, © Bletchley Park TrustEnigma machine, photo by Bureau for Visual Affairs, © Bletchley Park Trust