James Woodcock

Visiting Fellow

BSc MSc PhD Liverpool, MA Oxford, FREng, FBCS, CITP


Jim Woodcock is Professor of Software Engineering at the University of York, where he was head of department from 2012–2016. His research is in tools and techniques for the development of novel algorithms for autonomous robotic control.

He started his career in 1980 at GEC’s Hirst Research Centre in Wembley, North West London, where he worked on a novel distributed telephone exchange and on software for the System X digital exchanges. In 1984, he moved to the University of Surrey as a lecturer in Information Technology. In 1985, he joined the Programming Research Group in Oxford, led by Sir Tony Hoare FRENg, FRS, where he was a Junior Research Fellow at Wolfson College and then the Atlas Fellow at Pembroke College. During this time, he worked on a project funded by IBM on modelling the CICS transaction processing system, under the supervision of Ib Holm Sorensen.

In 1994, he was appointed to a Lecturership in Computation with a Fellowship at Kellogg College. Around this time, he founded the Software Engineering Programme in Oxford. In 1997, he was appointed Reader in Software Engineering and in 2000, Professor. In 2001, he moved to the University of Kent and in 2004 to the University of York. He is joint leader of the High-Integrity Systems Engineering Research Group, the largest research group of its kind in the world.

He is a Chartered Engineer and a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and of the British Computer Society; he is also a member of the London Mathematical Society. He was part of the team in Oxford that won the 1992 Queen’s Award for Technological Achievement for work on software engineering with IBM. He is a visiting professor at the Federal University of Pernambuco in Brazil and at Trinity College Dublin.