Safety critical software

York University is to play a role in a new partnership to provide research and guidance in the development of High Integrity and Safety Critical Software.


York University is to play a leading role in a new partnership to provide research and guidance in the development of High Integrity and Safety Critical Software (HI&SCS).


The partners in the government-backed consortium, which was launched today, are drawn from industry and the academic sector.


BAE Systems’ Military Air Solutions business has been selected by the Ministry of Defence to lead the new Software Systems Engineering Initiative (SSEI) programme.


The MoD has identified HI&SCS as ‘the critical enabling technology’ for modern defence platforms, network enabled capability and complex infrastructure.


The SSEI will be a ‘virtual team’ but the initial research work will have a strong presence in the Department of Computer Science at York. It will also involve the university spin-off company, YorkMetrics.


Management and research work is expected to take place across the UK in a range of organisations, including York University, IBM, MBDA, Qinetiq, Aerosystems International, YorkMetrics, the Systems Engineering Innovation Centre, Newcastle University, EDS, Selex Galileo, Oxford University and the DSTL.


Prof John McDermid, head of the Department of Computer Science at York University, will be SSEI’s technical director. He played an important role in persuading the government to establish a UK counterpart to the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) set up 20 years ago by the US Department of Defense.


‘The SEI in the US has been very influential in the practice of software engineering globally – and not just in the defence sector. We expect to collaborate with the SEI, but to deliver unique capability in the UK,’ Prof McDermid said.