Ali is responsible, along with Robert Jackson, for DJCAD's digital making space, DJCADMake.
The space opened in academic year 2014-2015, and gives students access to - and support in - digital fabrication techniques such as 3D print, laser cutting and etching, vinyl cutting and 3D digital modelling.
Ali also provides support in microcontroller programming, electronics, interactive development and web technologies, using applications such as Arduino, Processing, Quartz Composer and Adobe CC, and hardware platforms such as Arduino (and its variants), Raspberry Pi and Electric Imp.
He has special interests in internet-connected objects and digital timepieces.
Ali has provided technical support on several research projects including:
Oxfam Curiosity Shop (with Prof. Jon Rogers et al., 2011)
AESOP (with Prof. Nigel Johnson, 2013)
Ali initially trained as a linguist. He then pursued a career in network management before arriving at DJCAD in 2002 to help set up the Interactive Media Design (now Digital Interaction Design) undergraduate program.
Ali is also a musician, and has played on and produced several albums. He remains active on the local and Scottish music scene.