Home // SnT // News & E... // SnT researcher receives highest honor in software engineering

SnT researcher receives highest honor in software engineering

twitter linkedin facebook email this page
Published on Monday, 11 June 2012

Prof. Dr. Lionel Briand, researcher at SnT, has been named this year's recipient of the IEEE Computer Society Harlan D. Mills Award – one of the most prestigious awards in the field of software engineering. The award recognizes researchers and practitioners who have demonstrated long-standing contributions to information science theory and practice, with a focus on the application of sound theory to software engineering practice. The award was given to Briand in recognition of his practical and fundamental contributions to model-based software testing and validation.

The award ceremony took place on June 8, 2012, at the International Conference of Software Engineering (ICSE) in Zurich, Switzerland - the flagship software engineering conference. "We are thrilled that Lionel Briand has being honoured with this very prestigious award," says SnT's Director, Prof. Dr. Björn Ottersten. "In many ways it's a testament to Lionel Briand's outstanding scientific and practical contributions - and to our ability to attract one of the world’s leading software engineering scientists to SnT and Luxembourg!"

Our modern-day world and the range of industry sectors - from the automotive industry to medical devices - depend to an increasingly greater extent on the existence of complex software systems. This includes software-controlled manufacturing, vehicles, devices, logistics centres, telephone and internet nodes - even over major financial hubs like Luxembourg, London, and New York. Such systems need to be highly dependable, reliable, robust, safe, and secure. “Software-intensive systems have become so complex that software engineers often have great difficulty ensuring their systems’ dependability,” says Lionel Briand. “To deliver predictably dependable software-intensive systems that are at the same time reasonably cost-effective, we need proven software verification and testing technologies that are highly automated.”

Briand, who has been working on such challenges for many years, found the perfect fit for his research when, in January 2012, he was named Scientific Director of SnT's new Software Verification and Validation Laboratory. The new laboratory is supported by a Program Excellence Award for Research in Luxembourg (PEARL) grant from the Fonds National de la Recherche (FNR). Until the end of 2011, Briand headed the Certus Software Verification and Validation Centre at Simula Research Laboratory in Oslo, Norway, where he led and conducted research in close collaboration with partners from industry.

Prior to this, Briand served in the Systems and Computer Engineering Department at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada, where he was Professor and Canada Research Chair (Tier I) in software engineering. He was the first Head of Software Quality Engineering at Germany's Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software Engineering and has also worked as a research scientist for the Software Engineering Laboratory, a consortium of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (CSC) and the University of Maryland, USA. Briand's research interests include model-driven development, testing, and verification, as well as, search-based and empirical software engineering. He has been repeatedly ranked one of the top five software systems engineering researchers in the world by the Journal of Systems and Software (published by Elsevier).

Harlan D. Mills Award

The Harlan D. Mills Award is part of the IEEE award program, the world’s largest professional association dedicated to the advancement of technological innovation and excellence for the benefit of humanity. The acronym IEEE stands for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

The late mathematician Harlan D. Mills won international acclaim through his contributions to the field of systems and software development, where he was instrumental in introducing more mathematical rigor. Dr. Mills served on the faculties of Iowa State University, Princeton, New York and Johns Hopkins Universities, the Universities of Maryland and Florida, as well as, the Florida Institute of Technology. He was also an IBM research fellow. Since 1999, the Harlan D. Mills Award is bestowed annually upon researchers and practitioners who have demonstrated long-standing, sustained, and significant contributions to the field of information sciences, with a focus on software engineering. The award, which is co-sponsored by IEEE's Computer Society Technical Council on Software Engineering, includes a $3,000 honorarium, a museum-quality memento, and a potential invited talk at ICSE.