Director GCHQ honours Turing


Iain Lobban, Director GCHQ and Leeds graduate, has paid tribute to cryptanalyst and mathematician Alan Turing in a public lecture at the University.

The lecture entitled GCHQ and Turing’s Legacy was delivered in the Great Hall at the University on 4 October, forming part of a programme of events to mark the centenary of Alan Turing’s birth.

The speech celebrated the achievements of GCHQ’s forerunner the Government Code and Cypher School, encompassing Alan Turing’s contribution to the wartime code-breaking effort at Bletchley Park, including the cracking of Enigma.

Iain Lobban, who graduated in 1983 with a BA in French, also spoke of Turing's legacy to today's GCHQ, including the values and ethos which attracted and nurtured talent in the past and which continue to be relevant today in the cyber age.

"It is a tremendous honour to welcome back Iain, one of our most successful alumni. It is fitting too that he has chosen to return to Leeds to give this lecture - the university has an outstanding reputation in mathematics and computer sciences, and Alan Turing's contribution to these subjects remains unsurpassed," said Vice-Chancellor Professor Michael Arthur.

Download the full text of the speech (PDF)

Further information:

Contact: University of Leeds Communications & Press Office: Tel +44 (0)113 343 4031, email

Contact GCHQ Press Office: Tel: 01242 221491 ext 33847, email

Notes to Editors:

About GCHQ

GCHQ is one of the three UK Intelligence Agencies. More information can be found at

About Alan Turing

Alan Mathison Turing was a cryptanalyst and computer scientist who is widely considered to be the father of computer science and artificial intelligence. During the Second World War he worked for the Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS) at Bletchley Park and designed techniques for breaking German ciphers, including those encrypted using the Enigma machine. This year marks the centenary of Alan Turing’s birth which will be celebrated by numerous events across the country.

For more information on Turing 2012 please visit