Name Zoë Stephenson
Most recent position Research Associate, University of York, UK


With over 10 years experience in industrially-focused software engineering research and over 20 years experience of programming, Zoë Stephenson is well-placed for systems or software projects in a software/systems development role or in a process engineering/management role. While her focus has largely been in the embedded and safety-critical sectors, she is also a good match for high-performance, enterprise and communications industries. She is always willing to learn new programming systems, analysis methods, software tools and natural languages to meet new challenges, but is just as comfortable applying her existing experience in new fields.

Employment History

2009-present Research Associate, Systems and Software Engineering Initiative, Department of Computer Science, University of York, UK
This role involves more focused research on the effects of safety standards on software development and delivery. One outcome from this is the need for explicit traceability between standards via evidence, for which a metamodelling approach is appropriate.
2001-2009 Research Associate, Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre, Department of Computer Science, University of York, UK
The UTC role encompassed product-line system development, system safety, metamodelling, model-checking, architectural style, floating-point errors and test-generation methods. The central issues of the research were unnecessary duplication of effort and poor understanding of the behaviour of a software product in its deployment context. In seeking to address this through process change, we found a tension between breadth of techniques to apply and the ability to support claims with credible evidence.
1997 Technical Assistant, Department of Computer Science, University of York, UK
This position included computer system decommissioning, building contents removals, building of computer systems from components, refurbishment of existing computer systems, PAT testing, physical computer system security and media destruction. The skills acquired have been valuable in more generally understanding computer systems both as an assembly of components and as elements in a larger sociotechnical setting.
1995 Technical Assistant, Crompton's Leisure Machines Limited, Ramsgate, UK
This job involved essential statistical analysis for amusement machinery. While physically demanding at times, there were opportunities for field trips and hardware fault-finding. The job served as a basic introduction to the workplace and the practical applications of many mathematical and engineering skills.

Education and Training

1997-2001 Research Student, Rolls-Royce UTC, Department of Computer Science, University of York, UK
My PhD topic was change management in safety-critical embedded systems. The emphasis was on the link between product-line modelling, decision application and cost of change. My thesis was nominated for the 2003 BCS Distinguished Dissertation award. I demonstrated on courses in Theory of Computing (problem classes) and Software Specification (lab classes).
1994-1997 BSc Student, Department of Computer Science, University of York, UK
During my undergraduate degree, I ran a coffee club serving tea and coffee to local elderly guests, for which I attended a training course on working with the elderly. As a member of the college Junior Common Room Committee I was involved with student event coordination and staffing. For my Level 1 Japanese language course I earned a distinction. I was a senior resident (pastoral care duties) in my final-year hall of residence. My final-year project was on fault-tolerant computer architecture simulation.
1992-1994 A Levels, Dane Court Grammar School, Broadstairs, Kent, UK: Maths - A, German - A, Physics - A, Computer Science - A
As a Deputy Head in the Sixth Form I was often involved in organising and staffing school events. For my Computer Science project I built a stock/order management sytem in DataEase and for my German oral exam I presented an analysis of Bavarian environmental politics.
1990-1992 GCSEs, Dane Court Grammar School, Broadstairs, Kent, UK: Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, French, German, Computing - A; English Literature, English Language - B; Statistics - RSA distinction
I was a member of the school's environment club (World Watch) for two years, where I implemented a pass-based attendance system; I also attended local Friends of the Earth meetings to find out more about local environmental issues. My Computing project was a membership application for the local Friends of the Earth group.


TeachingSystems Architecture (4 years) (one session/year), Software Implementation (2 years) (6 sessions/year)
Examinations and assessmentsAlgorithms and Data Structures (2001, 2002); Software Implementation (2007, 2008)
Student supervisionMSc students, 2005-2009
Project reportingMOSAIC project 2008
Technical project managementMOSAIC project technical meetings (York, Derby, Birmingham, Gaydon, Sheffield)
Conference managementETAPS 2009 information displays, general technical assistance
Research group technical managementUTC - templates, deliverable logging, annual report preparation, final CD preparation
Seminar coordinationHISE group, 2009-2010
Programmingmore than 20 years experience including a variety of conventional imperative programming languages (C, Ada, Pascal, VBA), OO languages (C++, Java, Smalltalk, Javascript), declarative languages (Haskell, Prolog), script/script-like languages (sh, zsh, bash, perl) and domain-specific languages (emfatic, LaTeX, BiBTeX style files, Postscript, matlab) plus parser systems (lex/yacc, antlr, tinyap, dparse) and open-source contributions (deco-diskimage)
I was a judge in the 2008 Self-Documenting Code Contest.

Hobbies and Skills