Welcome to the Personal Webpage of Dr. David Ellis

(Last updated 13:07, 24th Nov 2011)

Students: I have moved any relevant module information to the 'Blackboard' system. This page now contains only non-course-related mad ramblings, links and contact information.


Hello! I don't often have time to update this web page significantly so I do hope you'll not be too disappointed that I haven't produced anything particularly spectacular. I've also used the standard headers provided by the JMU web page wizard so their relevance may seem a bit inappropriate from time to time.  

Email : As I get lots of e-mail each day, some of which is spam, I've removed my e-mail address from this page to prevent web-bots from harvesting it. If you want to send e-mail about my work, you can do so using  D <dot> L <dot> Ellis <at> Ljmu <dot> ac <dot> uk   or e-mail about other stuff can go to David <dot> Ellis106 <at> Gmail <dot> com

Professional Details

Role & Responsibilities
After about 3 years as Principal Lecturer and Programme Co-ordinator in charge of all under-graduate programmes in electrical/electronic engineering and allied subject areas (about 13 degrees at one point), parts of my body decided that they'd had enough of >100-hour 7-day weeks for months on end and decided to stop co-operating with the rest of me so, after a period off work, I handed over that role and am now the Academic Recruitment Co-ordinator for the School of Engineering, working part-time for LJMU. I continue to provide teaching and support to the broadcast engineering group, specialising in studio standards, operations and PSC techniques.

As well as having created the Mersey & District Electro-Magnetic Compatibility club (MAD EMC club (!), which later grew into the MAD Club Europčen) and acting as the DTI's regional helpline representative during the height of the EMC implementation in the UK, I have also been involved in commercial and income-generating activities within the school and have been involved with around 260 companies in an assisting or consultative role.

With colleagues from the School of Engineering, I presented our case for a Media Education Partnership to ITV-Granada, which resulted in the Broadcast Engineering Group being awarded partnership status (believed to be the only engineering group ever to have been awarded this position) and this enabled us to advertise the Broadcast Technology course as 'in partnership with Granada TV', as well as providing mutually beneficial interaction with the people 'from the North'.

I was also heavily involved in the provision of the technical aspects of the successful bid for us to become a Skillset Media Academy - the first in the North-west.

Teaching Interests
Practical sound and vision, broadcast technology, project management, audio technology, studio design, baseband systems,
lighting control and live performance technology etc.

Research Interests
Broadcast studio standards and digital video & audio. Serial bus systems (e.g. CAN-bus) and the relationship between their reliability and error-handling techniques under interference conditions. The Ambisonic Soundfield recording technique is quite interesting too. 

Currently 'pinging' a colleague about my observations of hideous temporal aliasing resulting from camera operators not understanding the problem of using fast 'shutter speeds' on video cameras and also about noticeable motion judder caused by material being shot in 24p then transcoded through 2:3 pulldown to get 60i (for the US market) before finally being transcoded yet again to 50i so that we can see it in the UK. (These problems are likely to increase as more and more material is being shot in HD for the US market, as that's where all the dollars are. We're going to get a  raw deal in the UK if someone doesn't sort this out soon!) These discussions might (or might not) result in something interesting emerging.

Unfortunately, you either fall into the lecturing and admin camp or the research camp. There doesn't seem to be much opportunity for doing both as there aren't enough hours in the day. I'd like to have more time to develop some of these interests but....

Personal Details

About me

I'm about 6'4" (would be 6'6" if I could still stand up straight but bumping into light fittings and low doorways does that to you!).

I usually drive one of my fleet of 'old wrecks' (which is the most economical and ecological method of car ownership, despite what the SMMT says - do the maths, guys!) and would love to think that public transport could once again be the viable option which it used to be before Nicholas Ridley's hopeless Transport Act, 1985. (Strange how the Europeans managed *not* to cock up their public transport systems in the same way - but then they don't mind paying for the good service which results from the application of logic to the problem!) Unfortunately, successive governments seems as 'enlightened' as the original lot about this!

In the 1960s, my parents bought an Edwardian house which was the family home when I was a child and, I recently discovered, was originally built by (and for) the family of Herbert J. Rowse, the famous Liverpool architect who later went on to design the Martin's Bank headquarters, The Philharmonic Hall, India Buildings and the original Mersey Tunnel. My parents lived there (in the house, not the tunnel), blissfully unaware of this snippet, until their deaths in the 1990s since which time I have occupied it myself. It is rather too large for one person but is FULL of "stuff". ("Stuff" - a technical term for huge quantities of what other people call "junk" of indeterminate origin and destiny, randomly distributed about the house on the basis that "It might come in useful one day" and there's nowhere else to put it!)   Occasionally, I lapse into the notion that I might actually have enough time to clear the place sufficiently to be able to get a cleaner in to keep it that way. (Dream on!)

I have one brother who lives in Shropshire with his wife and two children. I really should get round to visiting them more often but we always seem to be 180 degrees out of phase as we're all tearing round like lunatics just getting on with our lives!

Interests & Hobbies

Photography (which I haven't had time to pursue properly for years, though there are a few shots via the photo index but I need to do much more work in the darkroom and get some monochrome prints done); the BBC (thank goodness for Radio 4); transport (N.B. I am NOT a train spotter); Engineering (in the true sense of the word (i.e. the applications of those who are ingenious)); comedies from the Ealing studios of the 40s and 50s; music of various kinds; the creation of electronic music, occasional clubbing (curtailed since the knees went) and the odd festival when time permits (rarely!); digital audio and video (not that I have time to get to this either but...); comedy & revue humour (esp. BBC comedy from about WW2 to date)...er....(that's enough - ed!)

Favourite Sites, Links and Articles

David's Photo Index

Not too much in there at the moment but there are some nice (but badly scanned) shots of the Big Chill Festivals from 1999 & 2001 and a huge heap of photos from the 2004 event.

My argument against the old car scrappage scheme.

Additional Information

If you're into photography (or even if you're not), try driving along the Northern coast of Scotland. The scenery and the light are spectacular.

You sit down all day but you sit up all night. (Why?)

The voice of 'Petunia' in the legendary 'Joe & Petunia' UK public information films of the 1970s was provided by Wendy Craig, while that of Charlie Cat in the 'Charlie Says' series was provided by Kenny Everett.

On a badly-matched date, one could be stood up but after a formal occasion, one could be stood down. (Why?)

Contrary to popular belief, permanent Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) can occur almost instantly if the sound pressure level (SPL) is high enough. Although not at the sort of extreme levels to cause instant deafness, clubs frequently exceed the safe maximum SPL of 85dB(A) and permanent impairment can occur in a matter of minutes. Earplugs should always be worn. (They make life much more comfortable and even enable you to hear better what people are trying to say to you! You can get foam earplugs from Boots for only a couple of quid.) NIHL is cumulative so even if you think you have already damaged your ears, it is still extremely important that you protect them from any further damage. Remember - You have to live with your ears for the rest of your life!

If you go to a football match, you sit in the stands. (Why?)

Various characters created include Sir Reginald ffortesque Dithering-Pratt, Mr. Roland Butter (better luck next time), Timothy Appleton-Wiske, Blakey Topping and Brigadeer Hugo Ainderby-Quernhow (with apologies to those from North Yorkshire! You can look at some of them on a map!)

I am not particularly interested in mean annual rainfall and have no interest at all in Spear and Jackson shovels.

(Interesting facts (?) numbers 347, 577, 1058, 2433, 3266, 4523, 5175 and 6189 from a collection of 16772 and rising!)