Queen's Birthday Honours: IT architect ‘shocked’ but ‘pleased’ as he is made an MBE for services to MoD agency delivering science and technology

AN IT architect named in the Queen's Birthday Honours List 2021 has been honoured for his work.

Tuesday, 15th June 2021, 12:41 pm

Rowland’s Castle resident Lawrence Wright has been made an MBE for his services to the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl).

Lawrence said: ‘I was really shocked - and obviously very pleased - to receive this honour, and seeing my name on the Honours List upon release was very surreal!

‘I’d never considered that someone in a “supporting role” working for an IT service provider might receive such an accolade, and I hope it sheds some light on the support that all of my colleagues working “behind the scenes” provide to Dstl in support of its vital work.’

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Lawrence Wright MBE

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Lawrence, principal IT solution architect for Sopra Steria, has been honoured for his work repurposing computer systems to support Covid-19 modelling work.

He said: ‘My role with Sopra Steria is in IT architecture, ensuring that we understand what our customer – Dstl - needs from an IT project, coming up with solutions to provide what’s required and then overseeing the delivery of the solution.

‘One of the areas where I have detailed technical involvement is with Dstl's High Performance Computing (HPC) systems, which are effectively large numbers of computers networked together to solve (for example) complex physics problems.’

Sopra Steria offers consulting, digital services and software development to its customers.

Lawrence added: ‘My MBE was awarded both to recognise my involvement in developing Dstl's HPC systems over the last 15 years, and specifically an intense activity to rapidly repurpose these systems to provide large amounts of computing power in support of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine's Covid-19 epidemiological modelling work.

‘This saw me work as part of a small and dynamic Dstl team focussed on providing whatever support we could to our academic partner, ably backed by my Sopra Steria colleagues who worked to deploy additional compute power and automate tasks wherever possible.’

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