Centre for Software Reliability

Staff Profile

Emeritus Professor Tom Anderson

Emeritus Professor



Tom Anderson obtained his PhD in 1972 for work at Newcastle University on syntactic analysis, and joined the University's Computing Laboratory as a Research Associate investigating software fault tolerance. He spent 1978-79 at NASA's Langley Research Center (Virginia), and then became Lecturer, and then Professor of Computing Science at Newcastle in 1987.

From 1980 onwards he acted as PI for a series of major research projects, including a large-scale experimental evaluation of software fault tolerance techniques and a 17 year industrially funded project on dependable systems.

From 1992-97 he was Head of Computing Science; 1998-2002 Dean of Science; 2008-2012 SAgE Dean of Business Development; 2012-2016 School of Computing Science (part-time).

Retired from Newcastle University from August 2016, but maintaining engagement in outreach via CSR Events.


Research Interests

System dependability and resilience, system and interface structuring, safety critical systems, system requirements, software fault tolerance and fault tolerant systems.

Other Expertise

Measurement and assessment of system reliability, security and integrity of computer systems, real-time and control systems. Syntactic analysis, optimised LR parsing.

Esteem Indicators

General Chairman for the International Conference on Dependable Systems and Networks, 2007
Past Chairman of the IEEE Technical Committee on Fault Tolerance
Invited Keynote at SafeComp, Poznan, Poland
Invited lectures presented in Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, USA and the UK
External PhD examiner in France and the UK
Founder member of IFIP Working Group 10.4 on Dependable Computing and Fault Tolerance
Fellow of the British Computer Society
Member of the BCS Engineering and Science Board
Member (twice) of the Danish Agency for Trade and Industry's Review Board for Danish Electronics Light and Acoustics
Quite a lot of Programme Committee memberships


(award value to Newcastle quoted in £K; total = £9M)

1981-83 Fault Tolerant Software for Command & Control Systems 148
1984-85 Software Fault Tolerance in Real-Time Systems 13
1985-89 Reliability and Integrity of Distributed Systems 413
     Joint PI with Professor Randell
1988-91 Software Reliability Modelling 67
     Collaborative Alvey project
1992-96 Safety Critical and High Integrity Systems 330
     Jointly awarded with York University
1993-96 Understanding Changing Requirements 347
     Joint PI with Mr Dobson
1996-99 Software Architectures for Adaptive Systems 264
1996-99 Diversity in Safety Critical Software 129
1997-99 SafeGames (ROPA award) 93
2000-04 Diversity with Off-the-Shelf Components 194
2002-03 DERIDASC (ROPA award) 79
2002-05 FT Middleware for Next Generation Distributed Aerospace Apps 39
     Case award with MBDA

Other awards
1981-83 (MoD-DRA) Specification and Verification for Secure Systems 62
1981-84 (MoD-ASWE) Fault Tolerant Software for C2 Systems 56
1984-88 (DTI-Alvey) Support to Software Engineering Director 100
     Research programme planning and monitoring
1988-2003 (DTI) Software Reliability & Metrics Club 127
     Research dissemination project
1989-92 (DTI-IED) Methodology for Analysing Human and Computer Related Issues in Dependable Systems 141
     Joint PI with Mr Dobson
1991-2008 (BAE) Dependable Computing Systems Centre 3,186
     Jointly awarded with York University
1991-2012 (DTI industry) Safety-Critical Systems Club 2,191
     Research dissemination project
1993-94 (HSE/NCC) Software Dependability and Software Metrics 32
1993-96 (CEC-ESSI) ConForm 22
     Joint PI with Dr Fitzgerald
1994-97 (CEC-ESSI) European Network of Clubs on Reliable and Safe Software 210
     Research dissemination project
1994-96 (Scottish Nuclear) Designs Amenable to Safety Case Demonstration 94
     Joint PI with Mr Barrett
1995-97 (CEC-Copernicus) ISAT 65
     Joint PI with Dr Saeed
1998-99 (CEC-ESSI) ISA-Eunet 33
     Research dissemination project
2002-03 (CEC-FP5) Accompanying Measure on System Dependability 62
     Research dissemination project
2006-08 (CEC-FP6) Resilience for Survivability in IST 448
     Network of Excellence
2008 (BAE Systems) WIST (Plug & Play) 10


All over now, but down the years I taught courses on: formal models of computation (automata and formal grammars), introductory programming, fault tolerance and system dependability, and on algorithms. Plus, but to a lesser degree, material on numerical methods, IT and society. And – of course – supervision of PhD students and of MSc projects.