The Institute for Safe Autonomy will bring together expertise from across the University of York to capitalise on our exceptional research strengths.

Interim Director: Professor John McDermid OBE FREng

Research Lead: Assurance, and Society and Ethics

John McDermid became Professor of Software Engineering at the University of York in 1987. His research covers a broad range of issues in systems, software and safety engineering. He became Director of the Lloyd’s Register Foundation funded Assuring Autonomy International Programme in January 2018, focusing on safety of robotics and autonomous systems.

He acts as an advisor to government and industry and is actively involved in standards development, including work on safety and software standards for civilian and defence applications.

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Email: john.mcdermid@york.ac.uk
Phone: +44 (0)1904 325345
Twitter: @McDofYork

Academic leadership

Research Lead for Design and Verification 

Ana Cavalcanti

Ana Cavalcanti is a Professor of Software Verification at the University of York and holds a ten-year Royal Academy of Engineering Chair in Emerging Technologies to work on Software Engineering for Robotics.

Previously, she held a Royal Society-Wolfson Research Merit Award, and a Royal Society Industry Fellowship to work with QinetiQ. Her research interest is the theory and practice of formal methods, with application to industry-strength techniques.

Email: ana.cavalcanti@york.ac.uk
Phone: +44 (0)1904 325478

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Dean of the Faculty of Sciences

Brian Fulton

As Dean of the Faculty of Sciences, Brian works with the University Executive Board to coordinate significant strategic initiatives such as this one. Brian was appointed to a chair at York in 2000. Brian's research area is nuclear physics; he specialises in studying the nuclear reactions which power explosive astrophysical objects like Nova, X-ray Bursters and Supernovae.

Email: brian.fulton@york.ac.uk
Phone: +44 (0)1904 322217

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Research Lead for Communications

David Grace

David Grace is Professor and Head of the Communication Technologies research group in the Department of Electronic Engineering at York and Director of York's Centre for High Altitude Platform Applications.

David's current research interests include high altitude platform based communications; cognitive green radio; 5G system architectures; dynamic spectrum access and interference management.

Email: david.grace@york.ac.uk
Phone: +44 (0)1904 322396

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Professor of Quantum Information Technologies

Tim Spiller, MA PhD CPhys FInstP, is Professor of Quantum Information Technologies at the University of York, founding Director of the York Centre for Quantum Technologies and Director of the Quantum Communications Hub.

Prior to this appointment, he was at the University of Leeds in the roles of Head of the Quantum Information Group and Director of Research for the School of Physics and Astronomy. Prior to 2009, Tim was Director of Quantum Information Processing Research at HP Labs Bristol – an activity that he established in 1995 – and a Hewlett-Packard Distinguished Scientist. He has spent 35 years researching quantum theory, superconducting systems and quantum hardware and technologies. He led HP’s strategy on the commercialisation of QIP research, and is an inventor on 25 patents linked to quantum technologies and applications.

Email: timothy.spiller@york.ac.uk
Phone: +44 (0)1904 32 2254

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Programme Manager

Matt Kirk

Matt is focused upon the implementation and management of a portfolio of University projects that generate significant economic growth and contribute to the research and partnership engagement aspirations of the University. This includes working with University departments, regional stakeholders, businesses and funding bodies from project inception to project completion.

Matt has worked within the field of regeneration and economic growth predominantly in the public sector for 15 years and is a member of the Institute of Economic Development.