Curriculum Vitae - Leon Heller

Personal Details

Name: Leon Francis Heller

Date of birth: 11 May 1942

Place of birth: London

Nationality: British

Address: Flat 5, 36 Chapel Park Road Road, St. Leonards-on-Sea, E. Sussex, TN37 6HU

Tel: 01424 423947



1953 - 1960

St Clement Danes Grammar School, Ducane Road, Hammersmith, London.

O-Level Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, English Language, English Literature, Geography, French and Biology

A-Level Pure and Applied Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry.

S-Level Pure and Applied Mathematics, and Physics. State Scholarship awarded.

1960 - 1961

University of Nottingham.

1969 - 1973

Birkbeck College, University of London.

B.Sc. Psychology, with subsidiary Mathematics. IIii. First three years were part-time, whilst employed by Rank-Xerox (UK) Ltd. Final year was full-time. Final year project: An Investigation of the Similarity of Random Shapes.

Employment History

June 2001 – present

Self-employed: Development of low-cost Altera FLEX design kit. Direct digital synthesis system using the Analog Devices AD9850. MSP4530 module. Prototype unattended ground sensor system using geophones. Currently working on a low-cost audio processing system for low-power broadcasting using the Alesis DSP chip set.

June 1999 – June 2001

Senior Engineer, IRISYS Ltd., Towcester Mill, Towcester, Northants. NN12 6AD.

Responsible to the Development Manager for the design of embedded systems used in the company’s range of infrared detection systems. Hardware/software design using Analog Devices ADSP-2187 DSP. Developed high-performance assembly language floating-point and fixed-point routines for the ADSP-2187. Hardware/software design using Atmel AVR and Microchip PIC controllers. Developed PIC-based GSM modem system for radio remote people-counter.

January 1999 - May 1999

Embedded Systems Development Manager, Integrated Technologies and Systems Ltd., Technology House, 73-77 Lowlands Road, Harrow-on-the-Hill, Middx. HA1 3AW. IT&S went into voluntary liquidation on May 25, 1999.

Responsible to the CEO for the development of our own range of EPOS equipment. Staff working directly under my control were a senior engineer and two trainee engineers. The main Subscriber Access Module was to be based on the IDT 3041, and the back-office system would have consisted of 32 four-processor modules, each module to be connected to an EIDE hard disk, with an ARM host processor handling I/O. The modules were to be based on the Analog Devices ADSP-2181, with a Lattice GDX digital switch chip handling inter-processor communications and disk I/O.

July 1997 - January 18, 1999

Self-employed: Human factors consultancy. Win95 and WinCE development experience using Visual C++ with the Windows API and MFC. Development of unstable tracking task (Jex-type) software using C. Development of a low-cost DSP training system based on the ADSP-2104, a direct digital synthesiser system using the AD9850, and a phasing direct-conversion receiver using DDS and DSP techniques. In doing this I have acquired a good knowledge of DSP techniques including filtering, modulation and demodulation. I have also worked on a re-configurable computing module using the Xilinx XC6216 FPGA.

1993 - July 1997

Principal Engineer, Racal Communication Systems Ltd., Western Road, Bracknell, Berks. RG12 1RG.

Human factors of military communication systems, mainly on the MoD Bowman project. Bowman training for senior MoD personnel. Successful completion of all the human factors verification tests for which I had responsibility, as well as ComSec and Voice Communications Facilities engineering verification tests. Responsible for MANPRINT on another large project. Database techniques using Access were developed for task analysis, human factors requirements tracking and training needs analysis. Rapid prototyping of user interfaces using C++ Builder. Provision of human factors and MANPRINT consultancy and advice on many projects. Participated in the development of a frequency planning tool written in C. Customer Information Systems design for a Racal Research contract.

1990 - 1993

Leading Engineer, Advanced Cockpit Research Group, Military Aircraft Division, British Aerospace Ltd., Brough, N. Humberside.

Human factors of advanced military aircraft cockpits: virtual reality, helmet-mounted display (HMD) systems, HMD symbology, workload measurement. Market research conducted into virtual reality theme parks. Supervision of student projects: neural net for gesture recognition, statistical software and a tracking task.

1987 - 1990

Proprietor, Concurrent Techniques.

Development and marketing of transputer-based systems. Customers included Plessey Roke Manor, BAe, RSRE, RARDE and Oxford University Programming Research Group.

1978 - 1987

Freelance human factors, software and hardware consultancy.

Image quality investigations for Burroughs Corp./Midland Bank. Development of software for 3-D movement monitoring system. Database development for the DHSS. Patient records database developed for a large company. Porting of PICASO graphics package (FORTRAN) to a microcomputer system. Design of a low-cost 8088 development system. Freelance journalism. Microcomputer training courses developed and conducted for the DHSS, a local authority, and the WEA. Development of a complex CBT package for ICL.

1976 - 1978

Research Associate, HUSAT Research Group, University of Loughborough.

Ergonomics of visual display units used in the newspaper industry. Human factors of advanced office systems.

1974 - 1976

Consultant to Industrial Design/Human Factors Department, Xerox Research (UK) Ltd.

Human factors of office equipment: subjective copy quality investigations using psycho-physical scaling techniques, machine graphics, user stereotypes, usability studies. Developed prototype systems for eye-movement monitoring using electro-oculography, and for heart-rate monitoring using bio-telemetry techniques.


Various temporary assignments.

1969 - 1973

Final year of psychology degree (full-time).

1966 - 1972

Planning Engineer, National Workshops, Rank-Xerox (UK) Ltd.

Responsible for photo-copier refurbishing procedures, tooling, plant layout and industrial equipment, in the main national workshops and branch workshops.

1964 - 1966

Contract Estimator, English Electric-Leo-Marconi Computers Ltd.

1961 - 1964

Student Apprentice, English Electric-Leo-Marconi Computers Ltd.

Software experience

Assembly languages: Z80, Z8, 80x86, 68xxx, ADSP-21xx, SHARC, PIC, MSP430, Alesis DSP and AVR RISC. High level languages: C/C++, Occam, Pascal, FORTRAN, SNOBOL and LISP. Applications: Excel, Word Perfect, MS Word, FrameMaker, Access, Borland C++ Builder, ALSCAL, Synario/ABEL, CATIA, and Statistica. Web page design. Neural nets.

Hardware experience

Z80, Z8, 80x86, Inmos transputer, PIC, AVR RISC, Lattice CPLD design, Xilinx, Altera, ADSP-21xx, MSP430, Alesis DSP.

Human factors experience

Usability studies (including video analysis). Experimental design.. Parametric and non-parametric statistical analysis. Multi-dimensional scaling. Psycho-physics. Physiological monitoring. Workload measurement. Manning requirements. Workplace layout. Environmental requirements. Questionnaire design. Rapid prototyping using Borland C++ Builder. Dialogue design and specification. MANPRINT. Use of StateChart formalism for interface design. Safety and hazard analysis.

Additional information

Member of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society. Formerly fluent in French and German (I can still understand spoken French and written German). My book, Understanding the 68000, was published by Century Hutchinson, and got excellent reviews. MoD security clearance. Clean driving licence.


Amateur radio and motor-cycling.


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