Ian Sommerville (academic)

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For other people named Ian Sommerville, see Ian Sommerville (disambiguation).
Ian Sommerville
Born 1951 (age 63–64)[citation needed]
Glasgow, Scotland
Residence Scotland
Nationality British
Fields Computer science
Systems engineering

University of St Andrews (2006–2014)

Lancaster University, (1986–2006)
University of Strathclyde (1978–1986)
Heriot-Watt University (1975–1978)
Alma mater University of St Andrews;
University of Strathclyde
Known for Software engineering textbook[1]

Ian F. Sommerville, (born 1951) is a British academic. He is the author of a popular student textbook on software engineering, as well as a number of other books and papers. He worked as Professor of Software engineering at the University of St Andrews in Scotland until 2014 and is a prominent researcher in the field of systems engineering, system dependability and social informatics, being an early advocate of an interdisciplinary approach to system dependability.[2][3]

Education and personal life[edit]

Ian Sommerville was born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1951. He studied Physics at Strathclyde University and Computer Science at the University of St Andrews. He is married and has two daughters. As an amateur gourmet, he has written a number of restaurant reviews.

Academic career[edit]

Ian Sommerville was a lecturer in Computer Science at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland from 1975 to 1978 and at Strathclyde University, Glasgow from 1978–86. From 1986 to 2006, he was Professor of Software Engineering in the Computing Department at the University of Lancaster, and in April 2006 he joined the School of Computer Science at St Andrews University, where he taught courses in advanced software engineering and critical systems engineering. He retired in January 2014 and since continues to do software-related things that he finds interesting.[4]

Ian Sommerville's research work, partly funded by the EPSRC[5] has included system requirements engineering and system evolution. A major focus has been system dependability, including the use of social analysis techniques such as ethnography to better understand how people and computers deliver dependability. He was a partner in the DIRC (Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration in Dependability) consortium,[6] which focused on dependable systems design and is now (2006) working on the related INDEED (Interdisciplinary Design and Evaluation of Dependability) project. He has also been a member of the board of advisors to the IEEE SWEBOK project.[7] He has worked on a number of European projects involving collaboration between academia and commercial enterprises, such as the ESPRIT project REAIMS (Requirements Engineering adaptation and improvement for safety and dependability).

Public activities[edit]

In 2006, Ian Sommerville was one of 23 academics in the computer field who wrote open letters calling for an independent audit of the British National Health Service's proposed Programme for IT (NPfIT) and expressing concern about the GBP 12.4 billion programme.[8] [9] [10]


Most widely read of Sommerville's publications is probably his student text book "Software Engineering", currently in its 9th edition[1] along with other textbooks[11][12] Sommerville has also authored or co-authored numerous peer reviewed articles, papers.[2][3]


  1. ^ a b Sommerville, Ian (2011). Software engineering. Boston: Pearson. ISBN 0-13-705346-0. 
  2. ^ a b Ian Sommerville's publications indexed by the DBLP Bibliography Server at the University of Trier
  3. ^ a b List of publications from Microsoft Academic Search
  4. ^ Sommerville, Ian. "About me". iansommerville.com. Ian Sommerville. Retrieved 12 January 2015. 
  5. ^ http://gow.epsrc.ac.uk/NGBOViewPerson.aspx?PersonId=14819 Research grant funding awarded to Ian Sommerville by the EPSRC
  6. ^ Listing as member of DIRC project
  7. ^ IEEE (25 May 2005). "P1074 Workgroup: Ian Sommerville: Board of Advisors". Archived from the original on 14 July 2007. Retrieved 5 November 2006. He is a member of the board of advisors to the IEEE SWEBOK project. 
  8. ^ Collins, Tony (12 April 2006). "NHS Focus: Open Letter: Questions that need to be answered". ComputerWeekly.com (Reed Business Information Limited). Retrieved 1 November 2006. 
  9. ^ Collins, Tony (11 April 2006). "Signatories to health committee letter". ComputerWeekly.com (Reed Business Information Limited). Retrieved 1 November 2006. 
  10. ^ Collins, Tony (10 October 2006). "Experts strike new NHS warning note". ComputerWeekly.com (Reed Business Information Limited). Retrieved 1 November 2006. 
  11. ^ Sommerville, Ian; Pete Sawyer (March 1997). Requirements Engineering: A Good Practice Guide. Chichester: Wiley. ISBN 0-471-97444-7. 
  12. ^ Kotonya, Gerald; Ian Sommerville (April 1998). Requirements Engineering: Processes and Techniques. Chichester; New York: Wiley. ISBN 0-471-97208-8.