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Joanna Hartley

Jo Hartley

Deputy Head of Department

Computer Science

Staff Group(s)
Computer Science


Dr Joanna Hartley is currently Deputy Head of the Department of Computer Science.

She is a specialist in Higher Education.  In particular, her strengths and interests include the student experience, student engagement and support for all students.

Dr Hartley is currently leading one of the School's Success for All themes - Transitions.  The group's aim is to develop projects that will increase progression and attainment of groups of undergraduate students who underperform.

She has had a number of School roles, including TILT BTEC Champions Working Group and TILT CERT Mentor School Lead. Dr Hartley has also been involved in a number of course approval events across the university campuses and internationally. She also works closely with the Nottingham Trent International College.

Dr Hartley has been involved in a number of “student experience” initiatives over the years, including the introduction of assessed CPD work throughout level 4 in the Dept of Computer Science, the Computing & Technology (C&T) Student Ambassador scheme (a pre-cursor to the university's Student Mentor scheme) and the introduction of a number of departmental student-centred events, such as the well-established C&T Showcase Event and C&T Degree Show and more recently the C&T Final Year Celebration event. Her ambition is to encourage students from all backgrounds to achieve their own personal goals through academic leadership and personalised support.

Dr Hartley has many years of experience as Admissions Tutor for the undergraduate courses in Computer Science. Other department roles include membership of a number of school committees, including the Success for All working group and the Course Tutorial working group.

Dr Hartley has over twenty years of teaching experience. Recently, she has taught the following: Level 5 Applied Maths and Graphics; Level 5 Practical Project Management and Professional Development; Level 4 Computer Technology and Maths; Level 4 Professional Development; Level 4 Numeracy.

Dr Hartley also supervises project work of PhD students, MSc students and Level 6 BSc students.

Career overview

Dr Hartley was awarded a BSc (Hons) Mathematics from University of Durham in 1991.

She joined Nottingham Trent University in 1992 as a research assistant in the area of mathematical modelling of real-time systems and transputers. This led to her being awarded a PhD in 1996. Her thesis title was “Parallel Algorithms for Fuzzy Data Processing with Application to Water Systems”.

In 1995, she became a lecturer in the Department of Computing and Technology at Nottingham Trent University, and has remained at the institution. During this time, she has held a number of different posts, including Principal lecturer (2013 - 2021) and Acting Head of Department in 2017/18.  She is currently Deputy Head of the Department of Computer Science ( since 2021).

Research areas

Dr Hartley's research interests are in the area of simulation and mathematical modelling of real-world systems, in particular traffic and travel networks (Alhoula and Hartley, 2014; Hartley, 2007). This includes the development of efficient stochastic time-dependent shortest-path algorithms for private transport (Polenta and Hartley, 2003) and scheduled public transport (Wu et al., 2005a; Wu et al., 2005b). The EU programme Models for Optimising Dynamic Mobility (MODUM) considers commuters using multi-modal transport who are faced with ever-changing conditions (caused by incidents, roadworks and congestion), and the aim is to provide a solution to the individual commuters that will result in global optimisation of the travel network.

User preferences have been considered for public transport travel (Wu and Hartley, 2004a; Wu and Hartley, 2004b). In the future, user preferences and driver behaviour will be incorporated as an integral part of the decision process in generating individual optimal routes for users of private transport. Another necessary feature is the improved prediction of future travel times on urban links (Hartley, 2003a; Hartley, 2003b).

Dr Hartley takes an active interest in peer-to-peer support in higher education, in particular student mentoring and leadership development (Hartley, 2008). A mentoring and student ambassador scheme at Nottingham Trent University has been developed with one of its aims being to improve the retention of first year students (Hartley, 2017; Hartley, 2009). Another initiative that has been developed is a motivational event targeted at first and second year students, involving final year students, alumni, and local companies (Hartley, 2011).

External activity


Journal Papers:

Time-dependent Stochastic Shortest Path(s) Algorithms for a Scheduled Transportation Network. Wu Q., Hartley JK, Al-Dabass D, International Journal of Simulation Systems, Science & Technology, 2005, 6 (7-8), 53-60

Accommodating User Preferences in the Optimization of Public Transport Travel (extended version). Wu Q, Hartley JK, International Journal of Simulation Systems, Science & Technology: Applied Modelling & Simulation, 2004, 5 (3-4), 12-25

Conference Papers (reviewed):

Stochastic and Time Dependent Shortest Path through an Urban Environment. Alhoula W, Hartley JK, Proceedings of the IEEE Technically Co-Sponsored Science and Information Conference, 2014, London UK

Enhancing the student experience: a motivational event for all students. Hartley JK, Proc. of 1st RAISE Conf., Sept 2011

Using student ambassadors to aid retention of first year students. Hartley JK, Proceedings of 3rd Science Learning and Teaching Conference, June 2009, Edinburgh

The Computing and Technology Student Ambassador Scheme at Nottingham Trent University. Hartley JK, Proceedings of 10th Annual Learning and Teaching Conference, April 2008, Nottingham

Using K-Shortest Paths Algorithms to Accommodate User Preferences in the Optimization of Public Transport Travel(translated version). Wu Q, Hartley J, Proceedings of 8th Applications of Advanced Technologies in Transportation Engineering Conference, May 2004, 113-117

Review of Shortest Path(s) Algorithms in a Time-Dependent Stochastic Scheduled Transportation Network. Wu Q, Hartley J, Al-Dabass D, Proceedings of 8th International Conference on Computer Modeling & Simulation, 2005

See all of Joanna Hartley's publications...