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Michael Aldrich Biography
Michael Aldrich (1941-) was educated at the Holy Cross Convent School
in Islington, London, UK (1945-1952) and at grammar school Clapham
College (now St Francis Xavier’s Sixth Form College). In 1959 he went up
to Hull University to read history. In 1960 he became engaged to his future
life partner Sandy Kay Hutchings, a student at Hull Art College, and they
married in 1962 shortly before he graduated.

Career
After graduation he spent his career in the computing and electronic
industries joining the Board of Redifon (later Rediffusion) Computers in
January 1977 after 15 years with the US multinationals Burroughs (now
Unisys) and Honeywell (now Bull). He became CEO of Redifon Computers in January 1980 and held that post until January 2000. From 1980-1984 he was also concurrently CEO of other Rediffusion companies.

In 1984 Aldrich led a management buy-out of then Rediffusion Computers. He was the largest shareholder and he subsequently bought-out the other shareholders. He renamed the company ROCC (Rediffusion’s Old Computer Company). In 1986 he became Chairman and CEO. In January 2000 he retired and became non-executive Chairman.

Innovation
Aldrich was an innovator in a large number of speciality data processing techniques and processes including large scale data capture with keyboards and scanners, real-time minicomputers and networks, handprint data capture and voice response systems.

He invented online shopping in 1979 and designed, manufactured, sold
and installed online shopping systems from 1980 to 1990. He invented the Teleputer (1980) a PC, television and telecom-capable desk-top home/office workstation and manufactured and sold it in various models. He developed and patented Signcheck (1984) the world’s first practical static signature recognition and verification system.

He was the author of the seminal paper and leading protagonist for
interactive broadband Cable systems in the UK and played a significant role in campaigning to change UK law to permit such systems.

Publications
He co-authored the 'Cable Systems' report published by HMSO in March 1982, 'Making a Business of Information' (HMSO 1983) and 'Learning to Live with IT' (HMSO 1986) and published a seminal book on the Information Superhighway, 'Videotex - Key to the Wired City' (Quiller Press 1982). In addition he has published innumerable papers and articles and was a frequent international lecturer on information technology. Profiles and feature articles have appeared in "The Times", "The Guardian", “The Financial Times”, "The Sunday Times", "The Independent on Sunday" and in computer publications. He has also appeared on radio and TV in the UK, continental Europe and the USA.

Profession
He is past president (1984-1985) of the Institute of Information Scientists, a fellow of the British Computer Society {1984} and a companion of the Institute of Management (1986). He was deputy chairman of the Videotex Industry Association in 1985-1986 and became chairman for 1986-88. In May 2004 he was elected a Chartered Fellow of the British Computer Society. He is also an honorary fellow of the Confederation of Library and Information Professionals.

Public Service
Aldrich was a member of the Cabinet Office Information Technology Advisory Panel (1981-86) and was an advisor to the Confederation of British Industry on information technology from January 1982 to December 1983.

He is a member of The Tavistock Association a world renowned organisation specialising in research in the social and psychological sciences and was chairman of the Tavistock Institute Council from 1989-1999

University of Brighton
Aldrich began his association with the then Brighton Polytechnic in 1977. He was sponsoring student employees for electronics engineering and computing degrees.

He became a member of the Governing Body in 1982 and served until 1999- two years as Deputy Chairman and 11 years as Chairman. He is the Founding Chairman (1988-1998) of the University of Brighton.

In 1996 the University of Brighton dedicated the new Moulscomb Library to Michael Aldrich. In 2000 the Aldrich Collection of Contemporary Art at the University of Brighton was put on public exhibition for the first time. In June 2002 the final stage of the Aldrich Gardens at Moulscomb was opened. In July 2002 Michael Aldrich received an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters from the University. In September 2008 he agreed to donate the Michael Aldrich Archive to the Aldrich Library.

He has continued to support the University as Founder Chairman of the
University Foundation (1992-2002) and as a Trustee (1992-). Aldrich has also supported the London Fashion Show, retrospective exhibitions by Grace Robertson and John Vernon Lord and the new Brighton School of Art book.

He has also been a governor of Crawley College of Technology (1984-90), and vice chairman of governors (1986-90), and a member of the Joint Information Systems Committee serving the Higher Education funding councils of England, Scotland and Wales, (1993-1996).

Personal
He is a Freeman of the City of London and a Founder Member and Liveryman of the Company of Information Technologists.

He was invited to give the British Computer Society's Lecture in 1983 in Edinburgh to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Society.

Michael Aldrich is married with four children and eight grandchildren.


 

     

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