Bryan Johnston

EDIT: please refer to my Linkedin link for latest updates


Bryan Johnston

Principal Technician for Academic Research in School of Maths, Stats, and Computer Science, UKZN

Durban Area, South Africa

Information Technology and Services




Bryan Johnston is a motivated individual with a passion for innovation, service and leadership in the Information Technology field and the community. Bryan obtained his BSc (Computer Science and Economics) from Natal University and completed his Honours degree (Computer Science) the following year (2000). He formed his own computer and technology business ("BTE") in 2000 and while performing business services for SOHO clients, developed a sound understanding of network infrastructures and hardware troubleshooting and broad-based solutions provisioning.

   In 2005 Bryan entered a full-time position at the Head Office of a multinational company as the Senior Systems Administrator. He later moved to UKZN as a Senior Network Technician for the Specialised Scientific Computing Unit which enhanced his experience with systems administration, network maintenance, server support, solutions provisioning, consulting and hands-on involvement with cutting-edge and breakthrough technologies.

   In mid-2012 Bryan moved back to industry as Senior Systems Engineer for an I.T. consulting company where he adopted more responsibilities as a technical manager over other I.T. engineers within the organisation. Currently, Bryan is employed as Principal Technician for Academic and Research support at UKZN within the School of Maths, Stats and Computer Science. Given Bryan’s ambition to become a pioneer leader in I.T. as a specialist in cutting-edge system solutions with a wide-ranging impact on technical operations, he has focused towards growing his experience in High Performance Computing.

Personal Details

Full name: Bryan John Johnston.

Marital Status: Married

Languages: English (home), Afrikaans (intermediate), Italian (intermediate), Portuguese (Basic), Zulu (very basic), German (attended intermediate classes until end of 2010), French (very basic), Spanish (very basic)

E-Mail address:


Work Experience (Overview)

Principal Technician

University of KwaZulu-Natal

Educational Institution; 1001-5000 employees; Higher Education industry

May 2013 – Present (1 year 6 months)

Principal Technician responsible for academic research support in School of Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science in the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science.

Particular focus on supporting Astrophysics and Cosmology Research Unit and High Performance Computing.

Technical Operations Supervisor

University of KwaZulu-Natal

Educational Institution; 1001-5000 employees; Higher Education industry

August 2013 – Present (1 year 3 months)

In addition to the role of Principal Technician (Academic & Research), now also supervising two Senior Systems Technicians, a Desktop Technician, and a Technical / Helpdesk Administrator for Westville campus.

Content Contributor


September 2009 – July 2014 (4 years 11 months)

Providing up-to-date commentary and insight on the latest gaming hardware and software available, with special emphasis on game reviews, previews and opinion pieces.

I.T. Manager (Acting)

PFK Electronics (Pty) Ltd

Privately Held; 201-500 employees; Electrical/Electronic Manufacturing industry

August 2012 – April 2013 (9 months) Durban Area, South Africa

Seconded to PFK Electronics 4.5 days per week on behalf of Cais (Pty) Ltd;

Fulfilling roles of I.T. Manager at PFK HQ in Umbilo Road.

Senior Network Engineer

Cais (Pty) Ltd

Privately Held; 1001-5000 employees; Information Technology and Services industry

May 2012 – April 2013 (1 year) Durban Area, South Africa

Senior Engineer for Isegen South Africa (Pty) Ltd. (onsite 0.5 days / week)

Acting I.T. Manager at PFK Electronics (Pty) Ltd. (onsite 4.5 days / week)

Senior Technician

University of KwaZulu-Natal

Educational Institution; 1001-5000 employees; Higher Education industry

January 2012 – April 2012 (4 months)

Senior Technician for School of Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science in the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science.

Senior Network Technician

University of KwaZulu-Natal

Educational Institution; 1001-5000 employees; Higher Education industry

June 2006 – December 2011 (5 years 7 months) Durban Area, South Africa

Senior Technician for Specialised Scientific Computing Unit in the Faculty of Science & Agriculture

Senior Systems Administrator

SouthAfrican Coaters (Pty) LTD

June 2005 – April 2006 (11 months) Durban Area, South Africa

Management and administration of complete IT infrastructure

Volunteer Experience & Causes


Westville Baptist Church, South Africa

Civil Rights and Social Action

Courses & Certifications

Principal Technician

University of KwaZulu-Natal

Apple Certified Support Professional


UKZN HPC System (Hippo)

 June 2014 to Present

Team Members: Robin Humble, Bryan Johnston, Jon Sievers, Leonard Els

Mentorship from lead engineer for configuration, rollout and administration of UKZN's Hippo HPC.

Once HPC is commissioned, I will be one of the administrators of the system.

Hippo is a 1000 core (2.5 GHz 64 GB RAM) HPC running HP SL230s Gen8 and HP SL250s Gen8 compute nodes. Running CentOS, using OneSIS for deployment.

Astrophysics and Cosmology Number Cruncher

 May 2013 to Present

32 core 500 GB RAM super computer running RedHat Enterprise Linux used to accelerate academic research computing that is pioneering the stuff of legend.

Ranger HPC Test System

Deployment, configuration, rollout and administration of Ranger HPC chassis (192 core 2.3 GHz 1.5 TB RAM) as a simplified and experimental / training HPC.

Ranger chassis running CentOS, using Cobbler, Torque, Puppet.

(presently awaiting arrival of Ranger HPC from CHPC)

External Examiner: School of Engineering (UKZN)

 October 2014

Served as External Examiner / Moderator for Computer Engineering Design 2 (ENEL3CB H2), which is a design (project) course for 3rd year Computer Engineering undergraduates.

Skills & Expertise

  1. High Performance Computing
  2.  SQL
  3.  Programming
  4.  Visual Basic
  5.  MySQL
  6.  XML
  7.  Linux
  8.  Software Development
  9.  System Administration
  10.  Windows Server
  11.  Databases
  12.  Networking
  13.  Network Administration
  14.  Servers
  15.  Operating Systems
  16.  VMware
  17.  Microsoft Exchange
  18.  TCP/IP
  19.  Integration
  20.  Windows
  21.  Troubleshooting
  22.  HTML
  23.  Visual Studio
  24.  Web Development
  25.  Systems Analysis
  26.  Virtualization
  27.  Software Documentation
  28.  C++
  29.  Java
  30.  Lisp
  31.  VBA
  32.  Turbo Pascal
  33.  Prolog
  34.  Novell Netware
  35.  Assembler
  36.  First Aid
  37.  Public Speaking
  38.  Drama
  39.  Acting
  40.  Apple OS
  41.  Database Design
  42.  OpenMP

Computers, Administration



Other Applications and Hardware


Leadership Experience

Acting Technical Operations Supervisor UKZN: 2014 to date

Acting IT Manager IT Dept. (PFK Global HQ): 2012 to 2013

SSCU Student Helpdesk Supervisor: 2009 to 2012

Home Group Leader: 2004 to 2015

Chairman of Romax Court (commercial/residential Sectional Title complex): 2008 to 2011

BTE Founder / Owner and manager: 2000 to date

Young Adults Committee: 2004 to 2009

Various selection panels / call committees

Hobbies & Interests


Drama and performing arts


Touch Rugby




University of Natal

Master of Medical Science (MMedSc), Medical Informatics and Telemedicine

2004 – 2013

Pending mini-dissertation; failing which it's a Post-Graduate Diploma in Medical Informatics.

Bachelor of Science Honours (BSc Hons), Computer Science

2000 – 2000

Computer Science Honours project: Computer-Aided Knowledge (C.A.K)

Bachelor of Science (BSc), Computer Science & Economics

1997 – 1999

Activities and Societies: Science Student Council, Armourer, Fencing, Touch Rugby, Orientation Committee, Gym

Westville Boys High School

Matric Exemption

1992 – 1996

49 Matric points, 8 subjects.

Maths, English, Science, Afrikaans, Accounting, Geography, Adv. Maths, Computer Science

Activities and Societies: Debating, Library, Computer, History, Drama, Rugby, Chess, Editor of School Newspaper, Class Clown

Work Experience (Detail)

UKZN, Westville

May 2013 to date
Principal Technician: Academic & Research Support

3 projects

3 courses

CAIS, Durban
May 2012 to April 2013
Senior Systems Engineer

August 2012 to April 2013
Acting IT Manager

UKZN SSCU, Westville Campus

January 2012 to April 2012

Senior Technician for School of Maths, Stats, and Computer Science (MSCS)

June 2006 to 2011

Senior Network Technician for Specialised Scientific Computing Unit (SSCU)

El33tonline (

September 2009 to June 2014

Content Contributor

SouthAfrican(sic) Coaters, Westmead

June 2005 to April 2006

Senior Systems Administrator

BTE, Sole Proprietorship

2000 to date

Founder / Owner


Revd. Richard Erasmus (Executive Pastor: Westville Baptist Church)

Mr. Andrew Kruger (Partner in a private consulting practice)

Mr. Jonathan Graham (Financial Manager: Reutech Communications, a Division of Reutech Limited)

Mr. Leonard Els (Manager of Technical Operations: School of Maths, Stats & Computer Science)

Contact numbers and additional references available upon request

Comprehensive academic record

Available upon request