Barbara McManus

Associate Head of School

Computing and Technology Building, CM213

+44 (0) 1772 89 3288

Subject Areas: Computing

Barbara McManus is currently Associate Head in the School of Computing Engineering and Physical Sciences. She came to Lancashire Polytechnic in 1985 as a Lecturer in Computing, following a period of teaching in FE and having run a small technology business. Whilst at UCLan she has undertaken secondments in Health Informatics. Barbara worked for a North West Trust on early mobile devices, followed by NPfIT where she worked on usability and accessibility.

Full Profile

With a Computer Science degree, Barbara began work in an FE College and ran a couple of small businesses in the early 1980s. She came to the then named Lancashire Polytechnic in 1985 and taught Computing specialising in Computer Graphics followed by HCI and Multimedia.

In April 2010, Barbara was appointed to the post of Associate Head within the School of Computing, Engineering & Physical Sciences. She currently looks after three areas associated with the school - quality, international, local partnership and is the SET lead for Computing.

Since 1986, she has been heavily involved with the British Computer Society (BCS) on a wide range of committees and boards including: Trustee Board; Council; Qualifications & Standards Board; Knowledge Services Board; Branches Board; Social Responsibility Committee; Charitable Fund Management Committee; HCI Executive.

Barbara was a founding member of the BCS YPG (Young Professionals Group) at its formation in 1986, where she was elected to the role of Activities Secretary organising, chairing and editing the 1st YPG conference. She was further elected to the position of Vice-Chair, where she was again heavily involved in the 2nd YPG Conference.

She has acted as judge at various competitions including the BCS Programming Competition from 1992-1999. More recently she has judged the UK IT Industry Awards from 2008-2012 in the areas of Young IT Practitioner; Digital Inclusion of the Year; IT Project Team of the Year. She also judges the SET Awards 2010-2012 Best IT student of the Year.

Barbara currently acts as External Examiner for Liverpool John Moore's University's under-graduate Computing degree programmes and for Wales in Penang. She has been external examiner for Staffordshire University in Malaysia, MMU both in Manchester and Sri Lanka; Abertay, Dundee; Liverpool Hope. She has been an external advisor for a range of computing courses in: DeMontfort University; London Guildhall University; SHU; University of Ulster; SMU; Newman University College; Huddersfield; Stafford (Hong Kong, Shanghai, India, Stoke)


A selection of Refereed Publications :

D. Yifan Xu, J. Read, G. Sim and B. McManus (2009), Children and ‘Smart’ Technologies: Can Children’s Experiences be Interpreted and Coded? HCI2009, Cambridge, UK (ACM 1-58113-000-0/00/0004)

D. Yifan Xu, J. Read, G. Sim and B. McManus (2009), Experience It, Draw It, Rate It – Capture Children’s Experiences, IDC2009, Como, Italy (ACM 978-1-60558-395-2/10/08)

Light, A., McManus, B., Minocha, S., Rosbottom, J., (2003), HCI Education and Training: Satisfying the Stakeholders, 6th HCI Educators Workshop: Effective Teaching and Training in HCI, Edinburgh, UK

Finlay, J., Dearden, A., Allgar, L., McManus, B., (2003), Perspectives on HCI Patterns: Concepts and Tools, position paper for Pattern Languages workshop at ACM SIGCHI 2003

Read, J. C., Gregory, P., MacFarlane, S., McManus, B., Gray, P., Patel, R.. (2002). An Investigation of Participatory Design with Children - Informant, Balanced and Facilitated Design. Interaction Design and Children, Eindhoven.

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Research areas have been wide ranging:

Time-base problems with: World Wide Web; Mobile devices; Human Error and Health Informatics

Usability Evaluation in: Multimedia design; design of Mobile devices; Web site/page design

Education: HCI in the curriculum; distance learning; teaching and learning


She has worked on several projects both inside and outside the University.

In 1999/2000 she was seconded to the Lancashire Post Graduate School of Medicine and Health where she worked for the NHS in a local Trust. In 2003/2004 she was seconded to NPfIT (CfH) initially to work in the area of usability with Microsoft, but she then focussed on accessibility with the NHS and their Suppliers.

Within the University during 2009/2010 she was involved with JISC projects on Visual History, and Customer Relationship Management.

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Chartered Engineer (CEng)

Fellow, British Computer Society (FBCS)

Chartered IT Professional (CITP)

Fellow, Higher Education Academy (FHEA)

External Activities

BCS examiner; BCS Professional Reviewer; Member BCS Disciplinary Committee; BCS contact for UCLan
Previously Member of various BCS Boards and Committees many of which were via election, including (Social Responsibility Committee; Qualifications & Standards Board; Charitable Fund Management Committee; Working Party on Women in IT; Trustee Board; Council; Policy & Resources Committee; Knowledge Services Board; Finance & Operations Committee; Professional Formation Board; HCI Curriculum Working Group; Education & Training Committee; Preston & District Chair, and for BCS YPG: Hon. Secretary; Vice-Chair; Conference Chair; Conference Organiser; Activities Secretary.

External Examiner (currently LJMU; Wales in Penang); (previously MMU in Sri Lanka; Liverpool Hope; Abertay, Dundee
External Advisor (most recently Ulster); (previously SHU; Swansea; NUC; De Montfort; London Guildhall; Staffordshire; Huddersfield)
BCS Accreditation Panel member (MMU; Dundee; Edinburgh; Leeds; SHU)
SETPoint Ambassador


British HCI, ACM CHI and various educational conferences