My research interests are centred on the processes whereby software intensive systems are designed, implemented and managed. I am particularly interested in researching methods, techniques, tools and standards for supporting the work of software project managers and software developers in relation to software process improvement, software project planning and management of software development projects. My research to date has centred around six distinct areas within the overall theme of software project and process management:

Potential Future Research Projects

Potential research topics in the area of software engineering include (but are not limited to) supporting the work of software project managers and software developers by the provision of methodologies and support systems such as process and project management tools and techniques. I am interested in supervising postgraduate students in researching methods and techniques for supporting the work of software project managers and software developers in relation to software process improvement, software project planning and management of software development projects.  

For information on Lero, the Irish Software Engineering Research Centre research opportunities (PhD and Post-doc) please click here and for Lero Graduate School in Software Engineering (LGSSE) click here.

The Hall of Fame

Those who have successfully completed there studies and graduated include:

Graduated Ph.D. students
  • Dr. Murat Yilmaz - A Software Process Engineering Approach to Understanding Software Productivity and Team Personality Characteristics: An Empirical Investigation, PhD, March 2013.
  • Dr. Paul Clarke - Investigating the Relationship between Software Process Improvement, Situational Change, and Business Success in Software SMEs, PhD, November 2012.
  • Dr. Shuib Bin Basri - Software Process Improvement in Very Small Entities: An investigation of Software Development Knowledge Management and Team issues in maintaining and evolving software process and process improvement, PhD, 2010.
  • Dr. Gerry Coleman - Investigating Software Process in Practice: A Grounded Theory Perspective, PhD, 2006
  • Dr. Sharon Ryan - An Investigation of the Acquisition and Sharing of Tacit Knowledge in Software Development Teams, PhD, 2005
Graduated M.Sc. students
  • Ann O'Hagan - An Investigation into Game Software Development Processes: An Exploratory Case, 2015 (Co-Supervisr Dr. Fergal McCaffery, DkIT)
  • Aarthy Krishnamurthy (M.Eng.) - Open Source Software Development Process for the Development of Open Source E-Learning Systems, 2013
  • Natalia Duchonova - Value of using an agile coach, 2011
  • Andrew Brown - IT Software User Adoption Frameworks, 2010
  • Robert Dee - Analytic Process Hierarchy, 2008
  • Catherine Sweeney - Telecoms IT infrastructure, 2008
  • Catherine O'Brien - COTS Selection by SMEs, MSc, 2006
  • Bairbre Baxter - How does the web development process influence usability? - an analysis of SMEs providing MIS applications for the web, MSc, 2006
  • Billie-Jean Byrne - An Implementation Framework For Extensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) In The Financial Services Industry, M.Sc. 2005
  • Bridget McCarthy - Investigating Project Management Team Dynamics, M.Sc. 2004
    Judith Lanigan - Exploring CRM software in the Public Sector, M.Sc. 2004
  • Andrew Goulding - Merging Agile Development Methodologies - The Case for DSDM and XP, M.Sc. 2004
  • Ciara Brangan - Mathematical Software and Children with Special Educational Needs, M.Sc. 2004
  • Helen Watchorn - Analysing the Reusability of SCORM Learning Objects in a Localisation Context, M.Sc. 2003
  • Elaine Connolly - Issues of Developmental Appropriateness in Web site Design for Young Children, MSc, 2001.
  • Davnet Neary, Integration of Computers into the Career Guidance Classroom, MSc, 2000.
  • Mairead Bates, A Comparison of teaching Guitar Lessons for Beginners using a Multimedia Approach with a Conventional Approach, MSc, 2000.
  • Aideen O'Shaughnessy, Use Of Classnet As An Educational Tool To Enhance Learning, MSc, 2000.
  • Ita Howe, Assessing the use of GUI application builders as an introduction to Programming, MSc, 2000.
  • Eamonn Gaffney, The development of an agent based critquing system architecture for a project management tool: Prompter, MSc, 1999 (with Prof. T. Moynihan).
  • Roy Atkinson, The Application of Multiple Choice Questions in a Computer Environments as a Method of Learning rather than of Assessment, MSc, 1999.
  • Tom Casey, Collaborative Learning and Computing in the Irish Secondary Education System (An Investigation into the WISDEN Collaborative Learning Environment), MSc, 1998.

My Research Team

I am currently supervising PhD and M.Sc. research students working in the area of Software process and related areas. My current students are:

  • Mehvish Rashid - Exploring Knowledge Loss in Free Open Source Software Projects (with Dr. Paul Clarke)
  • Sergio Galvan - Agile project management with ISO/IEC29110 (Co-supervisor Prof Manuel Mora, Autonomous University of Aguascalientes)

What to join us?

Are you interested in PhD research? Before you contact me, please take the time to think seriously about what you wish to, how you expected to be funded and most importantly why you want to do research. If you are serious about PhD research, then please contact me and tell me your ideas.

Previous EU Projects

It's a long time ago now, but I was previously involved in 2 major EU funded projects:

  • IPSSI, Improving Professional Software Skills in Industry, EU 4th Framework, 1998 - 2000
  • P3 (Prompter), Project and Process Prompter, EU 4th Framework, 1996 - 1999

My PhD and MSc Thesis

Ph.D. Research I completed a Ph.D. in City University (London) in 2000. This research was an investigation into the role of intelligent support techniques in software project management support systems, specifically the use of Intelligent Agents as the basis for implementing Expert Systems and Expert Critiquing Systems and how these be incorporated into software project planning systems. My PhD Thesis is available here.

In 1995 I completed an M.Sc. in the area of Software Process Modelling. My thesis addressed the technical issues involved in specifying and mechanically supporting software development processes and is related to the view of processes as "software", i.e. as a specifiable and executable entity