Published: 03 June 2020

Computer science student lends IT support to NHS

Adil Khan has been making an important contribution to the NHS during Covid-19, using his IT skills to help staff work from home.

Adil Khan outside SABP headquarters
Adil Khan at SABP's headquarters

Adil, who is studying for an MSc in Information Security within Surrey’s Department of Computer Science, is volunteering for Surrey and Borders Partnership (SABP) NHS Foundation Trust. Working for SABP Digital at the Trust’s Leatherhead headquarters, he is helping to get thousands of devices ready to enable NHS workers to effectively carry out their roles from home.

He explained: “SABP Digital has faced the very sudden and difficult challenge of developing an infrastructure that allows NHS workers to work safely and effectively from home, as quickly as possible.”

Adil’s role involves installing custom builds on around 10 to 15 devices a day, ensuring that all necessary software is installed and functional, with the correct security measures in place.

He said: “Despite the risks of this global pandemic, the heroes at the NHS continue to fight tirelessly on the frontlines to ensure as many lives are saved as possibly. This inspired me to try and do my best to help out.

“While I have no medical skills, I do possess a large variety of technical skills that could be vital to the NHS in this time of need. When the opportunity arose to help an NHS trust in their digital team, I signed up without hesitation.”

“Being able to support the team through this difficult time has taught me a lot about technical infrastructures, their limitations and how to implement innovative ways to work around the limitations. More importantly, it has taught me the importance of maintaining a positive mindset despite the odds being against you.”

Adil is currently juggling his voluntary work with his masters studies.

“The University responded quickly to Covid-19 which has enabled me to study effectively from home and still have access to all the necessary computing hardware remotely. This allows me to study any time and helps me to manage my time between studying and volunteering.”

Adil decided to study for Surrey’s Information Security MSc having completed a BSc in Computer Science at the University.

He explained: “I picked Surrey for my MSc because of the Surrey Centre for Cyber Security which is recognised as an Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research by the National Cyber Security Centre. The research that is carried out by academics is leading innovation in fields such as Blockchain, cryptography and secure communications so we students are exposed to exciting areas which are at the forefront of technical development.

“Once I’ve completed my masters, my initial aim is to jump straight into the cyber/information security space and work my way up to a director-level position. I’m taking inspiration from SABP Digital, where brilliant minds work together and make a real difference to make life better for all. I want to work up to a leadership position where I can influence and bring about positive change.”


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