Personal profile


Norman Paton has been a Professor of Computer Science at Manchester University since 2000; he has also worked as a lecturer at Heriot-Watt University and a Research Assistant at Aberdeen University. In Computer Science at Manchester he has held a variety of roles, including Head of School, Director of Teaching Strategy and Director of the Research School. At present, he is Director of Postgraduate Taught Programmes in Computer Science. 

In relation to community service, he is a member of the Editorial Boards of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A and  Distributed and Parallel Databases.  He has held PC and Track Chair roles at several international conferences, including CIKM, EDBT, ICDE and VLDB, and has been President of the Extending Database Technology Association (EDBT).

If you are local to Manchester and wondering what to do at the weekend, I have a Day Trips From Manchester blog that may give you some ideas.


Postgraduate Opportunities

To date, Norman Paton has supervised 30 PhD students and 2 MPhil students to completion. Norman would welcome enquiries from students wishing to study for a higher research degree, and advertises example topics along with other: Postgraduate opportunities.


BSc Honours (1) Computing Science, University of Aberdeen, 1986

PhD Computing Science, University of Aberdeen, 1989

Research interests

My research focuses on distributed information management for challenging environments and applications, much of which is carried out within the Information Management Group in the Department of Computer Science.

The development of effective techniques for improving computer support for data intensive applications is one of the major areas of activity in computer science research. Current areas of interest in computer science include:

  • Autonomic systems: enabling distributed systems to adapt their behaviour automatically to reflect changes in their execution environment.
  • Data integration: reducing the cost of developing and maintaining applications that combine data from multiple databases or analysis environments.

Recent projects include an EPSRC Programme Grant on Adding Value to Data (VADA) and a Knowledge Transfer Partnership with

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Digital Futures


Dive into the research topics where Norman Paton is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or