Professor (Mike) Wells             prime source John Cook (1947)
 Distinguished for his national role in establishing Janet as well as being a professor at Leeds University
Mike Wells was my Patrol Leader in the 6th Wellingborough Scouts and I worked with him for a time before we realised who we were.  He retired before I, rather foolishly, engineered that the University Telephone Service of which I was manager, was taken over by Computing Services, otherwise he would have been my boss for the second time. Last seen at my retirement seven years ago but I have lost contact since.
I guess Mike was c1945. His dad worked on the railway and was posted around the country and Mike left WGS before A levels to continue his education elsewhere. Stoke-on-Trent rings a bell. His elder brother was called Sid.   John Cook


Professor (Mike) Wells completed his term as Director of Networking at the end of March. Mike's five-year term has seen many changes including the introduction of the JANET network and the development of an OSI Transition Strategy for the UK Academic Community. There has been a rapid growth in the use of the network infrastructure by all sectors of the Community and the UK's pioneering initiative in the use of open networking has attracted favourable comments from both within the UK and from other countries. I am sure all readers of Network News will join me in thanking Mike for his efforts as Director and wishing him well for the future. Mike will still be involved in the networking programme as a member of the Network Advisory Committee. The Network Advisory Committee has recommended that the posts of Director of Networking and Head of the JNT and NE should be merged under the title of Director of Networking. As a result of this decision Dr. R (Bob) Cooper has been appointed as the new Director as from April.    Chairman/Reporter - Mike Wells (University of Leeds   
Source: Published on: 7/26/1988  Last Visited: 6/19/2006

50 Years of Computing at Leeds University Dinner.

Tech Lunch     Grab a sandwich and pull up a chair

Rosemary Abdo, Colin Coghill, Tony Denson, Robert Dewar, Jon Duke, Rae Earnshaw, Philip Hobley, Adrian Hock, Tony McCann, Mike Wells

A modelling assignment in Birmingham     Director of Microsoft Research, Cambridge, gets his revenge »

Mike Wells and the JANET April Fool

I was up in Leeds on Friday, helping to celebrate 50 years of computing at my old university.  The keynote speech was delivered by Dr. Andrew Herbert, a Leeds alumnus (1975), and now Director of Microsoft Research in Cambridge (UK).  He mentioned one of his lecturers, Mike Wells, and his views on networks.  Back in the early 1970s Mike was adamant that stand-alone computers would not be stand-alone for much longer. Apparently, during one of his lectures, Dr Wells had revealed: “there’s this thing called ARPANET in the United States which could be interesting”. ARPANET was, of course, the forerunner of the Internet.

In another of Friday’s talks, Dave Holdsworth, an ex-member of staff, gave a talk on the history of computing at the university.  He mentioned that by the mid seventies a diverse and pretty incoherent collection of networks had sprung up between self-selecting groups of universities and research agencies.  In 1975, Professor Wells was instrumental in producing what has become known as the Well’s Report which led to the creation of the JANET (Joint Academic NETwork).  This backbone network successfully linked the growing jumble of university inter-networks into one powerful national system.  This was pioneering work in those days, and, as I have already outlined in an earlier blog entry about Tom Loosemore, provided a skeleton for the vision of the later development of the public Internet in the UK.

Professor Mike Wells was therefore not only a lecturer with an early grip on the importance of linking computers together, but was also a leading figure both in the university computing service and on the national networking scene. As the JANET was formally launched 23 years ago, on 1st April 1984, it also seems fair to say that he probably also had a rather wry sense of humour.

This entry was posted on Sunday, April 1st, 2007 at 11:42 am    Source: