Principal Duties for

Andrew Craig

The University of Liverpool
School of Electrical Engineering, Electronics and Computer Science

Professional Specialist - Computing Officer

To support the teaching and research functions of the Department.
Computer Science is one of the most active and successful departments in the University and the technical support team reflects this.

Network Administration

I built and maintain our Windows based servers. The Network includes Active Directory Domain Controllers, DNS servers, File Servers, VPN services, Windows Terminal Services, and a central anti-virus management server.

Active Directory

I designed, configured and manage the Active Directory services for the Department.

To assist in this I have written several programs that help to automate some of the tasks. In particular I have written an account management utility by which all new accounts are generated. It allows the bulk creation of user accounts (usually for new students) and the bulk disposal of user accounts of students leaving, i.e. at the begining/end of each academic year.

This involves migrating accounts through the years and assigning appropriate permissions. In addition it can be used to bulk modify security group membership, and OU membership as well as configuring appropriate remote access permissions, home drives, home paths, and resource access.

Network Security and Remote Access

As with many large institutions network security has become a huge problem, Departmental workstations were frequently being attacked from outside of the Department - often from compromoised machines elsewhere in the University.

Departmental Firewall

To counter this I built a non-Windows based perimeter firewall allowing access from outside of the Department to only a limited number of systems and services. Computing Services have now set up a similar service for the rest of the University.

Anti-Virus Services

Another significant problem was the increase in the number of virus attacks against Windows systems. To counter this I built a server that runs a centrally managed Anti-virus program with regular automatic updates of all of our systems.

Remote Access

I have built a VPN service (mainly for staff use). This allows members of the Department to securely access the network from any remote client that has been correctly configured. I have written some scripts and utilities that configure the client machine and ensure that it has a minimum of relevant security precautions enabled.

Network Management

The Department has an entirely switched network with Gigabit backbone, using fibre between key areas and copper or wireless elsewhere. As well as designing the networkI help maintain, configure and install the network infrastructure, including installations, cable runs and terminations.

We have three distinct networks:


I have configured and manage the Windows DNS services for the Domain. I also designed the structure of the IP address allocation for all systems (Windows, Unix, etc).


I provide 2nd and 3rd level support for students via the Computer Science Helpdesk during term time.

This support may include:


I am the Oracle Database Administrator for the Department. I provide support to users involved in creating databases or accessing databases. I do not support the Oracle server hardware.

Computer Equipment Support

I provide server and workstation specification and criteria for the Department's computer systems and networks. I support the costing and purchasing process as well as the actual system builds - which we normally do in-house.

As part of the Technical Support team I build and repair PC computer systems. The Department has over 300 Workstations running Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows Server, and Linux. We also have a linux server farm and a number of Windows Servers. We build and maintain all of these systems ourselves. We also support staff and postgraduates using laptops.

I configure all of the Windows systems with a default set of applications that provide all of the resources required for the teaching of undergraduate courses given by the Department. Our systems are quite distinct from those managed by Computing Services and often have specialised applications configured for student use. These systems are regularly updated and I have written complete installation procedures for all of the software that we install.

Plagiarism Detection

Since 2002 I have been running plagiarism detection software for some of our courses. Unfortunately, there are still a significant but reducing number of students who cheat on their course assignments. We continue to develop systems to further enhance the detection of this cheating.

Contiuing Professional Development (CPD)

I organise and manage CPD activities, training, and exams in; Microsft Office Specialist 2010 and 2013 certification, Micrsoft Technology Associate certification, and some Microsoft Professional qualifications.

We have developed courses for Xcode programming (for mobile devices like iPad and iPhone) and We are also developing other courses related to our research and teaching activities.


The School has recognised that we can further enhance the employablilty of our degree programme students by provding a number of practical based courses. Introducing these in the second year of study from 2012. I have created (and still developing) the COMP283: Applied Database Management module. This represents 7.5 credits and takes place throughout the second semester.

    Microsoft Certified Professional       Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator      
    Microsoft Technology Associate (Networking)       Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist       Microsoft Office Specialist - Access 2010, Word 2010

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