I received my Ph.D. in computer science from Churchill College, University of Cambridge in 1975. I was appointed a Professor of Computing Science at Newcastle University in 1986. After retirement in September 2011, I became an Emeritus Professor.
My research interests are in the areas of computer networking, middleware and fault tolerant distributed computing. The emphasis of my work has been on the development of concepts, tools and techniques for constructing distributed fault-tolerant systems that make use of standard, commodity hardware and software components.
My best known research work is the Arjuna distributed object transaction system (more than twelve years research effort, 85-98), funded by a succession of 5 EPSRC plus 4 EU, and 4 industry grants. This system eventually became an integral part of the JBoss application sever middleware from Red Hat. You can find out more about it by visiting the pages of Arjuna Technologies (www.arjuna.com/history). Other work includes OpenFlow transactional workflow management system, NewTop group communication system for atomic broadcasts and Voltan replicated processing system capable of tolerating Byzantine failures.
Current focus of my work is on middleware for supporting inter-organization services where issues of trust, security, fault tolerance and ensuring compliance to service contracts are of great importance as are the problems posed by scalability, service composition, orchestration and performance evaluation in highly dynamic settings.
in 2005 I received a platform grant from EPSRC for my research group to work on networked computing in inter-organisation settings.
I have successfully supervised 28 PhD students (15 of whom are from abroad); many of these students are now in senior positions in industries and academia.
Before retirement I used to sit on programme committees of many international conferences/symposia; I am a member of IFIP WG6.11 on Communication Aspects of the E-World. I sit on the advisory board of Arjuna technologies Ltd.