Desmond Atkinson

Personal details

Contact details:






University of Exeter

As from October 2013 I have been studying part-time for a PhD, working on late medieval English history. My supervisor is Prof. James Clark. My thesis is based around the life and work of Dr John Morton (c. 1420 to 1500) who rose from relatively modest beginnings to become Chancellor of England under King Henry VII, as well as Archbishop of Canterbury, Cardinal, Chancellor of Oxford and Cambridge Universities etc. Not a bad CV! We plan that my thesis will examine various themes surrounding Morton's life such as prelacy and humanism, the changing state of monarchy, education and the evolving nature of government service. These themes will be examined with reference to developments in other European states such as France and Spain. The hope is to open up further areas of research within a period that is too often overshadowed by developments in the sixteenth century.


University of Cambridge

MPhil in Medieval History. The subject of my dissertation was 'The history of the Augustinian religious house at Canonsleigh, Devon'. My supervisor was Dr. Chris Briggs. A key theme of the dissertation was to weigh up the history of Canonsleigh against the classic views of Eileen Power on the one hand and revisionist historians such as Marilyn Oliva and Roberta Gilchrist on the other. My conclusions favoured the latter.


University of Birmingham

BA (first-class honours) in Geography. Winner of the W.A. Cadbury prize but sadly no chocolate was involved.


Professional/research experience

September 1 1978 - August 30 2012:

Various IT industry posts

After graduation in 1978 I went in to the IT industry, working on software, systems support and computer capacity planning and management. At first I worked in public sector organisations such as British Gas, but in 1991 I joined Metron Technology Ltd (, a small software and consultancy business based in Taunton, Somerset. After working there as a consultant I became technical director until 2012 when I left to return to academic study. My key specialism in IT was the performance management and capacity planning of mid-range computer systems such as UNIX, MS Windows and Oracle.

I have been a presenter at many professional conferences such as The Computer Measurement in the USA, the UK Oracle User Group, HP World, and the UK Computer Measurement Group.

I have worked with many clients in the UK, USA and Japan. As technical director I was responsible for software development and testing, technical support (both internal and to clients) and consultancy services.