Visiting Speaker: John McDermid

ACCS Seminar Series

Place: Room 621, GP South (Building 78)
Time: Thursday 1st Dec, 10:30 morning Tea. 11:00am seminar

Title:  "Model-Based Software Development for Safety-Critical Systems"
Presenter: John McDermid

At present, the majority of safety critical software developments produce source code "by hand". In other arenas there is a growing use of model-based development with, reportedly, significant increase in productivity. There are difficulties in extending the model-based approach to safety-critical systems due to the nature of the application, e.g. the need to be highly fault-tolerant, timing and certification requirements. The talk will discuss the drivers and challenges in using model-based approaches for safety-critical software and outline some current research activities looking at aspects of this problem

John McDermid is Professor of Software Engineering and leader of the High Integrity Systems Engineering Group (HISE) within the Department of Computer Science at the University of York. The HISE group undertakes research into many aspects of high integrity computer based systems, with an emphasis on
safety and security critical systems. The group's areas of interest include systems engineering, software engineering, system and software safety, safety cases and computer security. Within these areas, the group aims to provide theoretically sound but practical methods and tools for the development and assessment of systems, especially those containing a substantial software element. 

He has been the Technical Director of the BAE SYSTEMS Dependable Computing Systems Centre (DCSC) since 1991, and has also been Director of the Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre in Systems and Software Engineering(UTC) since 1993. The UTC has a similar scope to the DCSC, but focuses on methods for the development and assessment of aircraft engine controllers. The DCSC and UTC have made significant contributions to the engineering of high integrity aerospace systems and, increasingly, are influencing the design of major products such as Eurofighter and the Airbus 380 and Rolls-Royce civil aeroplane engines.

Building on the success of these two centres, the work in York was recognised as the basis of a Foresight Defence and Aerospace Partnership (DARP) in High Integrity Real-Time Systems (HIRTS) at the end of 1998. This centre focuses on work which needs input from, and acceptance by, the research community as a whole, e.g. standards. It has published reports on the results of this work, e.g. flight clearance of integrated modular avionics (IMA) It also brings QinetiQ (formerly the Defence Evaluaton and Research Agency) into the partnership. The links are particularly with the Software and Systems Group. It is planned to expand the DARP to other Universities, to key companies in the aerospace supply chain and to
certification agencies.  Professor McDermid contributes to the Department's post-graduate teaching,
especially on the MSc in Safety Critical Systems Engineering (SCSE). The group also runs an extensive range of industrial courses on system and software safety. 

John is a founder member of the United Kingdom Computing Research Committee (UKCRC) which seeks to provide leaderships to the computing research community in the UK. He is also active in the BCS, IEE and Royal Academy of Engineering, seeking to improve standards in software and systems engineering.
John undertakes a range of consultancy activities for the Government and  Industrial clients both in the UK and overseas. He is one of the founder directors of Origin set up to provide consultancy services based upon the work of the HISE group. He is now a non-executive Director of High Integrity Solutions (HIS) a start-up company specialising in the production of high integrity software, using advances methods and tools.

World-class basic and applied inter-disciplinary research on questions fundamental to understanding, designing and managing complex systems
2009 The ARC Centre for Complex Systems, Australia