School of Computing

Staff Profiles

Dr Ken Pierce

Research Associate


Ken received his BSc (Hons) in Computer Science (Software Engineering) from Newcastle University in 2005.


Ken studied for a PhD under the supervision of Prof. Cliff Jones as part of the EPSRC "Splitting (Software) Atoms Safely" project. His thesis, titled "Enhancing the Usability of Rely-Guarantee Conditions for Atomicity Refinement", was published in December 2009. 


Ken is currently working as a research associate on the DESTECS project ( The project is a consortium of research groups and companies working on the challenge of developing fault-tolerant embedded systems. Specifically, the aim is to explore collaborative modelling and simulation in the design of embedded systems. The Newcastle team is principally concerned with methodology and how fault-tolerance can be incorporated into these collaborative, multi-disciplinary models.


My research interests are in the areas of secure and dependable systems, fault tolerance, formal methods, and autonomous systems. An emerging area of interest is in modelling and simulation of cyber-physical systems: these are systems of interacting computing and physica elements, with requirements for distrubted control, human interaction and error detectio and recovery. I also maintain an interest in verificaton techniques for concrrency from my PhD work and I am intersted in automated proof support for the VDM formalism. 


I am involved in organisitg a week-long Summer School in collaborative modelling and simulation as part of the DESTCS project in July '12.