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Prof Anthony Finkelstein
2.08 Engineering Front Bldg
UCL Engineering
Gower Street
Prof Anthony Finkelstein profile picture
  • Professor of Software Systems Engineering
  • Dept of Computer Science
  • Faculty of Engineering Science

Twitter: @profserious

Blog: http://prof.so

Anthony Finkelstein a graduate in systems engineering holding a BEng, MSC and PhD. He is Professor of Software Systems Engineering at University College London (UCL), a leading UK research university. He is a Visiting Professor at Imperial College London and at the National Institute for Informatics, Tokyo, Japan. He is currently Dean of the Faculty of Engineering Sciences. He was formerly Head of the Department of Computer Science at UCL. He has published more than 220 scientific papers and secured more than £20m of research funding. He is a Fellow of both the Institution of Engineering & Technology (IET) and the British Computer Society (BCS) and has been active professionally in both, serving on numerous Boards and Committees. In 2011 he gave the Strachey lecture at Oxford University. In 2010 he received a special ‘outstanding contribution’ award from the International Conference on Software Engineering. In 2009 he received the Oliver Lodge Medal of the IET for achievement in Information Technology. He has been recognised for his contributions to the field of requirements engineering and for his professional service by the IEEE. He was a winner of the prestigious International Conference on Software Engineering 'most influential paper' prize for work on 'viewpoints' and a winner of the Requirements Engineering 'most influential paper' prize for work on traceability. He was a member of the winning team of the first Times Higher Education ‘Research Project of the Year’. He has served on numerous editorial boards including that of ACM TOSEM and IEEE TSE, and was founder editor of Automated Software Engineering. He also chaired numerous international meetings and was General Chair of the International Conference on Software Engineering. He was keynote speaker at Automated Software Engineering. He was the founder Chair of IFIP WG 2.9 (Software Requirements Engineering) an international research society and was keynote speaker at the International Conference on Requirements Engineering. He established a leading research group in software systems engineering at UCL and played a key role in the foundation of London Software Systems, a major new research institute. He served on the UK 2008 Research Assessment Exercise panel for Computer Science and Informatics and is serving on the UK 2014 Research Excellence Framework panel. He was a member of the Committee of Visitors for the US National Science Foundation. He has provided consultancy advice to a very large number of high profile companies and government organisations. He has acted as an expert in complex technology disputes and is highly experienced at technology due diligence on start-up companies. He was awarded the UCL ‘Entrepreneurial Spirit’ award, an institutional honour marking his contributions to knowledge transfer. He has established three successful ‘spinout’ companies providing respectively professional services, product software and an innovative software service.

Research Summary

Software Systems Engineering is the branch of systems engineering concerned with the development of large and complex software intensive systems. It focuses on: the real-world goals for, services provided by, and constraints on such systems; the precise specification of system structure and behaviour, and the implementation of these specifications; the activities required in order to develop an assurance that the specifications and real-world goals have been met; the evolution of such systems over time and across system families. It is also concerned with the processes, methods and tools for the development of software intensive systems in an economic and timely manner.

The context of software system development is changing. Systems are rarely developed from scratch; most system development involves extension of preexisting systems and integration with 'legacy' infrastructure. These systems are embedded in complex, highly dynamic, decentralised organisations; they are required to support business and industrial processes which are continually reorganised to meet changing consumer demands. The services that such a system provides must, for the life of the system, satisfy the requirements of a diverse and shifting group of stakeholders. There is a shift towards client and user centred approaches to development and an accompanying shift from a concern with whether a system will work towards how well it will work. Overall, fewer 'bespoke' software systems are being constructed. Instead, generic components are built to be sold into markets. Components are selected and purchased 'off the shelf' with development effort being refocussed on configuration and interoperability. The resulting systems are composed from autonomous, locally managed, heterogeneous components, which are required to cooperate to provide complex services. They are, in general, distributed and have significant non-functional constraints on their operation on their operation.

This context raises a set of tightly intertwined research issues in the areas of requirements engineering, software processes and software architecture which I am concerned to address. My orientation is towards engineering solutions which are lightweight, and are carefully targeted towards "real" industrial problems. Often this entails thorough problem analysis. I am very interested in constructing solutions that exploit emerging standards and work hard to build on the work of others. My research approach is driven by case studies combined with rigorous analysis and validated in practice through collaboration and consultancy with industry. My work can therefore be regarded as both experimental and applied. I am particularly aware of the need for software systems engineering techniques, methods and tools to scale and to be simple enough that they can be adopted in practice.

I believe it is important to do work which tackles important societal issues: health, poverty, security and democracy. I also believe that software systems engineering has a major opportunity to contribute to the physical and life sciences both by assisting in the construction of the large scale software infrastructure that these sciences require and by developing new modelling and model management techniques.

Teaching Summary

Anthony Finkelstein teaches in the area of software systems engineering. He also teaches intelligence gathering and analysis in the Jill Dando Institute for Security and Crime Science. He organised Computer Science 2008, the first research conference for undergraduate students and established internationally the series of software engineering education workshops associated with the International Conference on Software Engineering.

01-SEP-1995 – 01-SEP-1997 Head of Department Computer Science City University, United Kingdom
01-SEP-1994 – 01-SEP-1997 Professor of Computer Science Computer Science City University, United Kingdom
01-SEP-1988 – 01-SEP-2004 Lecturer Computing Imperial College London, United Kingdom
01-SEP-1985 – 01-SEP-1988 Post-doctoral Research Fellow Computing Imperial College, United Kingdom
Academic Background
1985   Doctor of Philosophy Royal College of Art
1982   Master of Science London School of Economics and Political Science
1981   Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) University of Bradford
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