date and time icon Mon, 23 Oct 2023

Edinburgh Napier Informatics head lands role with the Scottish Informatics Computer Science Alliance

Edinburgh Napier’s Head of Applied Informatics is taking on a role with a Scotland-wide informatics research body – as the University prepares to host some leading names from the field.

Dr Debbie Meharg (pictured) has been announced as the New Deputy Director of Education for the Scottish Informatics Computer Science Alliance (SICSA).

Alongside her position at ENU’s School of Computing, Engineering & the Build Environment, the new role will see Debbie contribute to the strategic direction of SICSA and work closely with its network – dubbed its Education Champions – to develop how the science of collecting and processing information is taught.

With emerging technology continually changing the landscape for informatics education, it is hoped this will offer more opportunities for students in this sector.

Debbie said: “I'm looking forward to working with the education champions from institutions across Scotland and seeing how we can continue to develop the network to enhance Computing Science and Informatics education.

“Developing digital skills is vital and it's exciting to be part of this." 

SICSA’s Director of Education, Dr Matthew Barr, said: “I’m excited to have Debbie join the team. She brings so much experience to the role, and I’ve already had the pleasure of working with her via the Education Champions network. I know she’ll be fantastic!”

Expert summit

The news comes as leading names from the informatics sector prepare to arrive in the UK for a key event in its global calendar – with some also heading to Edinburgh Napier University to discuss potential collaboration.

The Association for Information Science and Technology’s 2023 annual meeting is taking place in London, from 27 – 31 October, and Edinburgh Napier University will have a strong presence.

Social Informatics Research Group Leader Professor Diane McAdie will be speaking on a panel considering the relationship between the digital humanities and information science, and one on working towards evidence-based cataloguing ethics, and how to bridge the gap between research and practice.

Peter Cruikshank, Head of Computer Science for the School of Computing, Engineering & the Built Environment, will be participating in a panel around how to teach the ethics of Artificial Intelligence. The panel will consider how to prepare students for the channels they will face amidst the emergence of this new technology.

Maria Cecil will be discussing her research on ‘Gendered information landscapes and their impact on routes into and through apprenticeships’. Her contribution focuses on self-perpetuating gender imbalances in crucial sectors such as technology, engineering, healthcare, and education, and related apprenticeship and work-based learning programmes.

Researchers from North America and Europe are also among those who have been invited for a summit to meet the team in ENU’s Social Informatics Research Group while they are in the UK.

The invited academics are:

  • Prof David Allen – Leeds University, England
  • Prof Brian Detlor – McMaster University, Canada, and Visiting Professor of Social Informatics at Edinburgh Napier University
  • Prof Isto Huvila – Uppsala University, Sweden
  • Prof Diane McAdie - Edinburgh Napier University
  • Prof Abebe Rorissa – University of Tennessee, USA
  • Prof Steve Sawyer – Syracuse University, USA


Find out more about the summit by visiting