Richard Hopkins FREng Fiet CEng  Richard Hopkins FREng Fiet CEng photo         

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Academy of Technology LogoIBM Distinguished Engineer, IBM Cloud
Yarm, UK


Professional Associations

Professional Associations:  Royal Academy of Engineering  |  The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)

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More information:  Robot building


Richard Hopkins is an IBM Distinguished Engineer and Fellow of the UK's Royal Academy of Engineering.  He was also the nineteenth President of IBM's Academy of Technology.

Richard became President after 25 years of field experience as an IT Architect.  In that role he providing technical leadership and engineering insight for some of IBM's most complex system deliveries for clients.  Major systems for which Richard was Chief Architect include:

  • A credit card account services system for a major UK retail bank that was one of the largest and most resilient designs of its day and provided key design patterns for future high volume systems
  • The unique identity matching capability for an identity card system for Peru that was built on technology that Richard guided from primary research through to delivery.
  • Major welfare systems for the UK Government including the first system to streamline the highly complex process of claiming Working Age benefits

Each of these systems were significant novel engineering challenges, requiring innovations for scale, performance, resilience, accuracy and ease of use.  To meet these challenges Richard created new methods and tools for dealing with complex IT landscapes, resulting in three patents and co-authoring the book Eating the IT Elephant - Moving from Greenfield to Brownfield Development.

Richard ultimately became CTO for IBM's European Public Sector services business.  In that role he provided technical oversight for the major programs being bid and delivered (over 5,000 individuals in delivery roles).  Over this period he changed how solutions were designed and optimised, resulting in an unprecedented period of growth and a reduction in troubled projects.  His skills for project diagnosis and recovery were such that he was appointed to the UK's National Audit Office Digital Advisory Panel (the UK Government's own audit capability).

Richard is dedicated to bringing on the next generation of technical talent.  He is a STEM Ambassador and is regularly presents to the UK's National Cyber Security Centre's CyberFirst program on topics such as Artificial Intelligence, Quantum Computing and the future of technology.  In his spare time, he directly inspires kids and keeps up to date with technology by building a sophisticated open source robot dog from commodity hardware.