The University of Aberdeen
Computing Science

Bruce Scharlau

Dr. Bruce Scharlau

Senior Lecturer (Scholarship)

Meston Building, Room 225,
University of Aberdeen,
Aberdeen AB24 3UE
Phone: +44 1224 272193

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I'm a Senior Lecturer on the 'Scholarship' track in Computing Science at the University of Aberdeen.  I mainly teach programming, enterprise computing topics, service design approaches, and entrepreneurship ideas to students. Wherever appropriate I do this in the context of software project development concepts using agile and lean approaches. I also find ways to bring live clients to my student projects so that they gain more experience there too.

Before joining the department in 2001 I was a self-employed developer building Java driven websites. I obtained my MSc in Applied Computing at Dundee University in 2000. I obtained my Ph.D in International Relations from St. Andrews University in 1992. I received my B.A in International Relations and German at the Minneapolis campus of the University of Minnesota, USA in 1986.

I'm interested in helping people build better software and look for collaborative opportunities via honours projects and with the Aberdeen Software Factory. I also explore how to bring students from both universities in Aberdeen together to develop projects with Aberdeen City Council as part of the Aberdeen CityLab project. I am also working with Aberdeen City Council to help develop the Aberdeen Data Observatory with Hataichanok Saevanee.

All of this activity is also underpinned by the teaching done on software project management using agile, lean and service design approaches, and which underpin our MSc Information Technlogy degree.

Let's work together

I'm always looking for opportunities to use my skills coaching software development and facilitating events with organisations. I have led a variety of sessions of different lengths for different groups in a variety of powerful approaches to deliver useful results. Please get in touch if you think I might be able to help you or your organisation.

I look to engineer collisions between real world businesses and computing science students at the University of Aberdeen because experience plus theory trumps theory on its own, especially if this can be done in an entrepreneurial manner.

StrategicPlay Lego Serious Play Facilitator

I was trained by StrategicPlay in February 2012 to facilitate Lego Serious Play workshops, and have been doing this regulurly now since then for a variety of organisations ranging from the University of Aberdeen as part of my teaching practice, the University of Edinburgh Student Association, the HEA, Aberdeen City Council and others.

CoCreACT Facilitator

I was trained by StrategicPlay in May 2015 to facilitate CoCreACT workshops, and this had helped me with the facilitation of CodeTheCity events as well as CityLab and and my teaching in general.

Open Space Facilitator

I was trained by Deborah Preuss in open space facilitation in February 2015, and have regularly used this for the unconference part of the Northern Lights conference, an HEA event and elsewhere such as Play4Agile as noted below.

Certified Scrum Master

I was certified by Growing Agile as a Scrum Master in August 2015.

Level 3 ILM Coach

I was trained by the University of Aberdeen and University of St Andrews as a Level 3 coach as acredited by the ILM. I am now available as a coach for staff as part of the network of coaches at the universities of Aberdeen and St. Andrews.

Senior Fellow HEA

I was accepted as Fellow in the Higher Education Academy in April 2012. I was accepted as a Senior Fellow in the HEA in October 2016.

Speaker and participant at

Agile 2017

Agile2017 in Orlando, Florida. Where I'm running a workshop with Ellen Grove.

Lean Agile Scotland
Lean Agile Scotland in Edinburgh each year. Where I've run workshops (2013) and been a speaker (2015 and 2016).

Scottish Ruby Conference

Scottish Ruby Conference in 2009 and 2010, as well as a lightning talk in 2014.

Agile Lean Europe

Agile Lean Europe (ALE) unconference ALE2011 in Berlin and ALE2012 in Barcelona

HEA logo

Higher Education Academy STEM Annual Learning and Teaching Conference  2013  and 2014 where I've run identity building workshops with StrategicPlay methods using Lego Serious Play, and reported on university student run sofware houses.


Since February 2017 I am responsible for session evaluation at the ITiCSE 2017 conference (Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education) in Bologna, Italy. I will also be helping organise ITiCSE 2018 in Cyprus. This is the start of preparation for the hosting of ITiCSE in Aberdeen in July of 2019.


Play4Agile Unconference in Rueckersbach 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 where I've participated and organised sessions each year, and co- led the open space and event retrospectives.This is the place to learn the use of games in teaching and coaching. Since April 2017 I am a committee member for 2018 organisation team.

Organiser of events

CodeTheCity logo

I am a trustee for CodeTheCity along with with Steven Milne, Ian Watt, and Andrew Sage. Together we run regular civic, co-design hack events across Scotland. CodeTheCity was also the first ODI Node in Scotland.

GSJ ABZ logo

I co-organise the Aberdeen leg of the Global Service Jam with Steven Milne an annual weekend service design event each February/March.

Northern Lights

I co-organise with Ian IstedDonna Connelly and Steven Milne the annual Northern Lightsone-day tech conference in Aberdeen, which provides a one-day enthusiasm booster shot for geeks of all creeds that inspires us to better ourselves and our communities..

Tech Meetup logo

I co-organise with Tom Jones the montly Techmeetup Aberdeen as featured in Wired' Infographic the monthly meetup of tech oriented developers, entrepreneurs, small business folks and academics (both staff and students).