James Penn-Dunnett is a computer scientist and mathematician, who has spent more than 25 years in information systems
engineering trying to keep pace with a rapidly changing industry.
He has a BA Hons (2.1) in Mathematics and Computer Science and an MSc in Applied Computing
from the Open University. At postgraduate level he studied the modelling of complex
systems using discrete mathematics, knowledge engineering, artificial intelligence and researched the practical use of
Z formal notation in the development of M Technology (MUMPS) based clinical laboratory information management systems.
He is a Chartered Mathematician and corporate member of both the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications and
The British Computer Society. His professional interests are automated web agents, risk analysis, safety critical
systems, medical informatics, discrete mathematics and Z notation.
In 2001 he founded Dynnocht Computer Services, an information systems engineering company that
focuses on cost-effective and extensible business solutions using Free/OpenSource software. After a number
of years developing Linux based software architecture he is currently working on stealth webbots that
mimic human search behaviour.
In 1989 after further academic studies and freelance computer programming he
joined the Clinical Pathology Computing Service of NHS Scotland as a clinical analyst and systems designer in Radiology and
Laboratory Medicine Computing covering acute hospitals in Glasgow and the West of Scotland. After five years of
successfully developing EDI interfaces for on-line clinical laboratory analysers in a number
of major NHS hospitals he moved to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford as a Senior
Analyst Programmer in the Clinical Laboratory Service with responsibility for
software support and development on a large in-house MUMPS based system. During his 3 years in pathology computing at the
John Radcliffe he was a member of the national award winning team for the Deloitte
Touch Best Information Management Project of 1998. Later that year he returned to
the Scottish NHS as a senior manager in charge of IT Operations for Lothian Health Board.
From 1969 to 1982 James was a director of Dunnett Electrical Company, a family
owned business of electrical engineers and contractors where he had responsibility
for specialist electrical installation work in the commercial and public sectors.
He was a licensed NICEIC electrical inspector and an active member of the Electrical
Contractors Association of Scotland (Now called SELECT) and a member of the SJIB.
Other Things: In the 1970 General Election he was the Election Agent for Robert Oliver Campbell,
Scottish National Party candidate in West Dunbartonshire and in the 1970 District
Council elections James stood for the SNP in West Dunbartonshire. In the late seventies he was
a member of East Dunbartonshire SNP Constituency Association and was a Sub-election Agent for the
late Margaret Ewing(Bain) MP (SNP). During the 1970's he was also a delegate to the SNP National
Council and member of the SNP National Assembly.
James was taught to play the great highland bagpipe by Archie Alexander and was honorary piper to
653 Sqn Army Air Corps. He learned on a Henderson practice chanter handed down from his great uncle,
Pipe Major James MacKay, 2nd Bn Seaforth Highlanders (1919-1923).
He has carried out voluntary work for the British Computer Society as a Licensed BCS Membership
Assessor from 2000 to 2006 and since 2002 as a member of the committee of BCS Glasgow Branch. He was
Branch Secretary from 2008 to 2011 and now acts as press officer and web administrator.
In February 2011 he became a member of the committee of Caithness Family History Society and has
been their Web Adminstrator since 2011.
Publications: He is co-author of 'The 1851 Census Index for the Parish of Ardersier, Invernessshire'
published by Highland Family History Society (2006).
When not working he can be found digging up the odd ancestor or two in