Ian Utting

Emeritus Fellow,
 Ian Utting


I arrived at Kent as a Researcher in 1982 and was appointed an Emeritus Fellow on my retirement in 2020. Over time, I’ve researched in Distributed Systems in the small and the large, and (for the last 20 years) Computing Education, especially the problems of learning to program.

I’ve also been focussed on helping students in their journeys from admission, through teaching and learning, to work before and after graduation, both as a teacher and as a manager of education at all levels in the University. 

Research interests

I worked on an Oracle funded project researching and developing IDEs for the teaching and learning of OO programming in Java, which produces BlueJ and Greenfoot. I'm particularly interested in the role of small devices in learning to code (hence BlueJ's Raspberry Pi support).

I'm also part of the Blackbox project, which gathers web-scale, fine-grained, data on BlueJ use to investigate novice programmers' behaviour and problems.


I have taught on undergraduate and postgraduate courses involving software development, web and mobile/IoT technologies. I was one of the founders of the innovative Year in Computing programme for non-specialist students.

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