Jim Woodcock

Jim Woodcock, FREng


Former affiliations

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Semantics of hybrid systems. Semantics of probabilistic systems. Isabelle theories of heterogeneous semantics. Verification of robot software.

Personal profile

Research interests

Software engineering. Formal methods for software and system development. Formal semantics. Unifying Theories of Programming. Hybrid systems. Theorem proving. Model checking.


Jim Woodcock attended the University of Liverpool, where he was awarded a BSc (hons) in Computational Science (1977), an MSc in Operational Mathematics (1978), and a PhD in Computation (1980). He worked at the GEC Hirst Research Centre from 1980 to 1984, where he rose from Research Scientist to Principal Research Scientist and GEC Research Fellow. In 1984, he joined the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the University of Surrey as a Lecturer in Information Technology. In 1985, he moved to the Programming Research Group at the University of Oxford as a research assistant to work with Tony Hoare and Ib Holm Sørensen on a collaborative project with IBM Hursley formalising the CICS transaction priocessing system. This won the Queen's Award for Technological Achievement in 1996. During this time, he was a Junior Research Fellow at Wolfson College (1985-87) and an Atlas Fellow at Pembroke College and at the Rutherford-Appleton Laboratory (1987-91). He was appointed as a Lecturer in Computation in 1994, promoted to a Readership in Software Engineering in 1997, and appointed to a personal chair in 2000. He has been a Fellow of Kellogg College in Oxford since 1994. In 2001, he moved to the University of Kent and in 2004 he moved to the University of York, in both cases as Professor of Software Engineering. He has been head of the Department of Computer Science at York since 2012. He was appointed to a Fellowship of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2011.

Employment History

from 2012: Head of Department of Computer Science, University of York

from 2004: Professor of Software Engineering, University of York

from 2007: Editor in Chief, Springer Formal Aspects of Computing journal

2001-04: Professor of Software Engineering, University of Kent

2000-01: Professor of Software Engineering, University of Oxford

1997-2000: Reader in Software Engineering, University of Oxford

1994-97: Lecturer in Computation, University of Oxford

1992-93: Lecturer in Mathematical Sciences, University of Oxford

1987-91: Atlas Research Fellow, Pembroke College Oxford

1985-87: IBM-Wolfson Junior Research Fellow, University of Oxford

1984-85: Lecturer in Information Technology, University of Surrey

1980-84: Researcher, GEC Hirst Research Centre


  • QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
  • Formal semantics
  • Theorem proving
  • Model checking
  • QA76 Computer software
  • Software engineering
  • Program development

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