The University has been successful in setting up two new collaborative initiatives:
The EPSRC funded a five year research programme in Large Scale Complex IT Systems (LSCITS) as a collaboration between Bristol, Leeds, Oxford, St Andrews and York. The research programme started in October 2007.
York also led a bid for an Engineering Doctorate (EngD) programme, associated with the LSCITS programme; this was approved at an EPSRC panel meeting on 7th February. An EngD is a four year programme which, unlike a PhD, involves a taught component – similar in scope to an MSc. The taught element will deal with issues in the development and assessment of complex systems – but will also cover aspects of business development (entrepreneurship) and management. The research part of the EngD will be carried out in industry, and several major companies, e.g. IBM, and local SMEs such as Salamander, have expressed an interest in hosting students – who are known as Research Engineers (REs).
The LSCITS EngD core modules will be taught at York, with optional modules being delivered at Bristol, Oxford, St Andrews and York. The EngD also involves the York Management School who will be teaching the management aspects of the EngD programme. The first students are expected to start in April 2009.
Software Systems Engineering Initiative
The University is also to play a key role in High Integrity and Safety Critical Software (HI&SCS) as 'the critical enabling technology' for modern defence platforms, network enabled capability and complex infrastructure, and has set up the Software Systems Engineering Initiative (SSEI) to be its major initiative to improve technology and practice in this area.
The SSEI will be a 'virtual team' led by BAE Systems, but the initial research work will have a strong presence in the Department of Computer Science at York. It will also involve University spin-off company YorkMetrics.
Management and research work will also involve; IBM; MBDA; QinetiQ; Aerosystems International; the Systems Engineering Innovation Centre at Loughborough University; Newcastle University; EDS, Selex, Oxford University and Dstl.
The SSEI was formally launched at the Institution of Engineering and Technology in London on February 25th, at a meeting hosted by Lieutenant General Andrew Figgures.
Professor John McDermid, head of the Department of Computer Science at the University of York, will be SSEI's Technical Director, and the SSEI will operate out of premises on the York Science Park.