Photographer, Technologist, Musician, Artist, Computer Scientist, Actor, Ecologist, Writer, Gadget-Lover, Engineer, Whisky Connoisseur, Skoda Driver, Problem Solver, Film-maker, Data Collector, Rohan Wearer, Aspiring Chef, Bumblebee researcher, Dad-to-be, and more...
If I was to sum myself up in one word, it would be insanely creative. Which is two. You've got to know when to break the rules, right? The other word would be "Imagineer" (though I never worked at Disney).
For me, a picture speaks a thousand words, and conveniently it's also 999 fewer things to remember. So, I love art and design and visualisation.
I've come to the conclusion that it's near impossible to write a one-page bio that encapsulates (ahem) 40-plus years of world experience and draws a neat box round an ever-evolving being. I am, indeed, an ever-evolving being and I don't fit in a neat box.
Instead, here are some of the things I've enjoyed doing, achieving or being a part of...
- 2013: (baby pending)
- 2012: Created World's 1st tweeting (twitter-enabled) bumblebees;
Winner 2012 Environmental Internet of Things award;
Published in Wired Magazine. Appeared in BBC Britain in a Day (Ridley Scott).
Various Photography awards and features.
- 2011: Bumblebee Research project. New Scientist award for use of AR Drone.
Contributor to Arkive Project.
- 2010: Tiffen's first Featured Imagemaker. Six Sigma Yellow Belt
- 2008: Began writing book (80,000 words, to be finished!)
- 2007: Elected as Governor of Cambridgeshire NHS Foundation Trust.
- 2005: Billed to appear on BBC Breakfast as home-working expert.
- 2004: Become "home-working" case study
- 2003: Advanced Driving test
- Early 2000's - numerous submissions to Eurovision Song contest. Downselected to UK final 20 in 2003.
- 1999: Co-developed "drag and drop" web-based, hosted, speech application rapid development platform
- 1998: Launched web-based "Anagram Engine" - now served over 1.3 Billion solutions
- 1997: BT Marketing Award Runner Up
- 1996/7: Wrote a few musicals for local theatre company
- Mid-late 90's: Various "UK first" Speech Applications - including secure local government voting by phone and sleep triallist monitoring with Professor David Nutt.
- 1995: National BT Quality award for developing QA tool
- 1993: BT CallMinder (my first project) - UK's first network-embedded voicemail - goes live to millions of users.
- 1991: Graduated Durham University with BSc Hons. Started career in BT Speech Applications Division.
- 1990: Became Chairman of the college student union
- 1988: Durham University; BT Software Engineering Award
- 1987: Wrote my first musical (for 90 kids); performed Medieval Music at Holyrood Palace
- Mid-80's: 3 times winner of Scottish National Mathematical Challenge as a teenager; and my logo design for them was made into a cup - that was a big deal back then! :)
- 1986: "Young Environmentalist of the Year" (this seemed like a blip, who knew what the future held...)
- 1983: Played with a Yahama DX7 & four-track recorder - got hooked on producing music
- 1981: Received a ZX81 for Christmas - got hooked on computers
- 1977: Won a camera in a competition - got hooked on photography
- 1975 (Age 4): saw the "nearest thing I'll ever see to the Loch Ness Monster" (full story)
Square Pegs, Round Holes
If you really force me to sit a Keirsey/Myers-Briggs personality test, then depending on the weather I'll come out as: ESFP (Entertainer), ISFP (Artist), ENTP (Originator), INTP (Engineer), INTJ (Strategist), ENFJ (Mentor) or INFP (Dreamer). Actually, I hate these tests, because they are designed for people who fit neat boxes.
I don't like cheese. When I order a pizza without cheese, people say "You don't know what you're missing". Exactly.
I'm not scared of flying per se - I'm scared of falling from a great height. And it's not that I don't trust the plane or the physics - they seem pretty reliable. No, I worry about the distracted mechanic who gets home and can't find his spanner.
- Perform some kind of comedy/standup or readings at Edinburgh Fringe Festival
- Finish and get my book published
- Discover something new and get some bumblebee research published
- Create an iPhone app
- Photography trip to Iceland
Academic and Professional history
I studied at Durham University and thence slipped serendipitously into Telecommunications - where, ever since, I have been developing my passions for User interfaces and interactions, Customer Service excellence, Telco 2.0 concepts, Networked Applications, Social Media, and all things technologically ‘disruptive’.
I seem to have accumulated sites, domains and various bits of web-debris all over the place throughout the years, so I'm using niksargent.com as a means to pull it together. My content doesn't (and won't) all exist in one place - but at least you should be able to get to it all from here.