Woodcock gained his PhD from the University of Liverpool. Until 2001 he was Professor of Software Engineering at the Oxford University Computing Laboratory, where he was also a Fellow of Kellogg College. He then joined the University of Kent and is now based at the University of York, where, since October 2012, he has been head of the Department of Computer Science.
His research interests include: strong software engineering, Grand Challenge in dependable systems evolution, unifying theories of programming, formal specification, refinement, concurrency, state-rich systems, mobile and reconfigurable processes, nanotechnology, Grand Challenge in the railway domain. He has a background in formal methods, especially the Z notation and CSP.
Woodcock worked on applying the Z notation to the IBM CICS project, helping to gain a Queen's Award for Technological Achievement, and Mondex, helping to gain the highest ITSEC classification level.
- Jim Woodcock and Jim Davies, Using Z: Specification, Refinement, and Proof. Prentice-Hall International Series in Computer Science, 1996. ISBN 978-0-13-948472-8.
- Jim Woodcock and Martin Loomes, Software Engineering Mathematics: Formal Methods Demystified. Kindle Edition, Taylor & Francis, 2007.
- Jim Woodcock homepage, Oxford University Computing Laboratory.
- Official homepage, University of York, UK.
- Jim Woodcock and Jim Davies, Using Z: Specification, Refinement, and Proof. Prentice-Hall International Series in Computer Science, 1996. ISBN 978-0-13-948472-8
- The Queen's Award for Technological Achievement 1992, Oxford University Computing Laboratory, UK.
- Jim Woodcock, Susan Stepney, David Cooper, John Clark, and Jeremy Jacob, The certification of the Mondex electronic purse to ITSEC Level E6, Formal Aspects of Computing, Volume 20, Number 1, pages 5–19, January 2008.
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