Nicholas Robert Kew, MA (CANTAB)
Curriculum Vitae


Personal Details

Date of Birth:  2nd June 1961
Place of Birth:  Bromley, Kent, England
Nationality:  British
Status:  Single
Leisure Interests: Walking, Cycling, Mountains & Wilderness
Music & Theatre

Contact Information

Nick Kew
Tel. (+44) 7703 347797
Personal Pages: Original Homepage · Manifesto for the Net · Homepage at Apache · My Blog

Educational Background

Priory School, Lewes, Sussex, England, 1973-79

Girton College, Cambridge University, 1979-83

My education also included a year (1971-2) in which I lived and went to school in Anderstorp, Sweden.

Employment History

Scicon Ltd Berners Street, London W1, UK, 1983-5

Modelling & simulation, Operational Research.

Science Systems Ltd Clothier Road, Brislington, Bristol 4, UK, 1985-7

Software Engineering for mathematical, scientific and engineering applications. "Body Shop" environment, with much of my time spent at Client sites in Germany and the UK.

Datatrak Ltd Hargreaves Rd, Groundwell Ind. Est, Swindon, UK, 1988-9.

R&D work in a new-venture environment, developing a radio tracking/positioning and monitoring system, with real-time geographic display. I was employed primarily as mathematician.

Westland Systems Assessment Ltd Goldcroft, Yeovil, UK, 1989.

I was used primarily as systems expert, particularly in the company's move from VAX/VMS to a UNIX & PC network.

Department of Computer Science, University of Sheffield Sheffield, UK, 1990-92

Research work in computer speech recognition. The project explored combining statistical classification methods (such as Neural Nets) with a probabilistic AI (inferential reasoning) approach permitting prior knowledge of the vocal tract and articulation of speech to be explicitly captured. My most significant contribution to the subject was in the development of information-theoretic techniques and measures in analysis and assessment (for which conventional methodologies were not adequate).

Serco Space Ltd c/o ESRIN (European Space Agency), Via Galileo Galilei, Frascati, Roma, Italy 1992-7

Software & Systems Development for Remote Sensing. I was contracted by the Engineering and Consultancy division of Serco at the ESRIN client site. Most of my work has been UNIX systems and software development, including image data processing and management, and Internet/Intranet development.

WebThing Limited, PO Box 4, Callington, Cornwall, UK, 1997-2008

WebThing was incorporated in 1997, to promote use of the Internet for multi-user interaction and collaborative work, including distance education and telecommuting. The name was first used in 1995, for a suite of programs integrating threaded discussions and a collaborative, searchable database on a webserver: Thing is named after the old English/Norse Þing (Forum or Parliament).

Since 1997, my work has been in two parts: my own projects (see exhibits above), and contract work. The majority of the contract work is in systems development using Apache. Other consultancy work includes a major project in Web-based education for high schools throughout Europe (Sea and Space, 1998), and various Web standards and accessibility consultancy.

Sun Microsystems/Oracle Corp

I joined Sun Microsystems in February 2008 to work on the web stack (open source web technologies based principally around Solaris/Apache/MySQL/PHP). With the Oracle takeover of Sun in 2010 web stack development was discontinued. I remained with Oracle until November 2010 when we parted company.

IT Expertise

Deep knowledge of standards and protocols in general; I have been involved in the development of various Web standards, including CGI in the mid-90s and more recently EARL.


A wealth of experience ranging from low-level routeing and firewalls to higher-level services such as web and mail servers, proxies, etc.

"Distance is no object" - I routinely work with people and machines I never see. I led my first "pure virtual" project (later republished by the World Meteorological Organisation and others) in 1994/5 with an entire team I never met.

Unix and Linux

Long years of experience as user, programmer and system administrator; I was first "the company expert" in a move to Unix as long ago as 1989. My experience as developer and user ranges from mobile platforms and ARM through, desktop and server Linux and FreeBSD, to commercial Unix, most recently Solaris.


Reluctant user since the mid-1980s. Though not expert, I have sufficient general knowledge to install and run Windows, to develop software, or to talk a Client through simple operations such as networking and routing - even over a phone whilst myself several miles from any computer!


Wide-ranging experience over 25 years, from embedded systems through server applications to the desktop. Languages in demand today include C, C++, Perl, Python, JAVA and SQL. I have worked extensively with both traditional software engineering methodologies and opensource methods, and strongly prefer the latter. See the exhibits cited above!


Expert knowledge of HTML, XML, SGML and RDF. I am developer of several leading tools for working with markup, and (not least) for cleaning up the mess produced by defective tools from frontpage or dreamweaver to vignette. It was through this work that I was asked to participate in W3C's QA and Accessibility activities.

Social Disciplines

I am a long-time advocate (since 1987) of the Internet as a solution to social and economic problems; in particular it can and should reduce over-reliance on travel, and above all the daily commute for office workers. I am very interested in developing the infrastructure for teleworking and distance education.

Science & Engineering Disciplines

Most of my professional work has been in scientific and engineering fields, many of which I find interesting in themselves. Amongst the disciplines in which I have significant interest and professional experience are Remote Sensing & Image Processing, Geographic Modelling and Analysis, Speech recognition, Language processing, and Evaluation and Assessment methodologies.