Computer Science


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Software-Based Systems

Our core members are all staff members of the Department of Computer Science but the interdisciplinary nature of our work means that we have shared interests and connections with other research groups across Loughborough University.


Core members are Ray Dawson, Russell Lock, Stephen Probets, Ian Murray and Firat Batmaz.

Several of our members are part of the University’s Centre for Information Management (indeed 3 of us were returned under UoA36 for the 2014 REF) and have a long track record of collaborative work with other members of the Centre.

The Software-Based Systems Research Group also consists of academic visitors, PhD students, and when appropriate, post-doctoral researchers working on funded projects. There are also associate academics both within and external to the Department of Computer Science who share an interest in the Group’s activities.

What are Software-Based Systems?

From the perspective of the Software-Based Systems Research Group, these are systems that consist of a combination of:

  • Information Technology (mostly software, but can include hardware)
  • The people who are part of or interact with the system (users and other stakeholders)
  • The influence and constraints of the environment (eg. culture, finance, politics, organisations)
  • The processes and practices and human behaviour regarding their use

Areas of Research

  • The requirements, specification and design of Software-Based Systems (SBS)
  • Modelling of SBS
  • The planning and management of the introduction and evolution of SBS.
  • Drivers and barriers influencing the adoption of SBS in government, business and society
  • The testing and evaluation of SBS for effectiveness, value, security, etc.
  • The security, vulnerability and possible misuse of SBS
  • The legal and regulatory frameworks applicable to SBS

Particular Areas of Interest to the SBS Research Group

  • E-business, e-government and e-voting
  • The adoption and use of open source software in SBS
  • The use of social networking by organisations and communities
  • Computer crime, social engineering
  • Requirements and the processes of elicitation, modelling and communication of requirements
  • The alignment of IT requirements to business goals
  • How Socio Technical Systems are introduced, adopted and evolved and the risks involved
  • Knowledge management


  • The Group prefers working with organisations to carry out case studies and action research.
  • The Group also attracts and supervises international PhD students who are employees or sponsored by international governments or organisations to give an international dimension to the Group’s activities and experience.
  • The Group has links with other, multidisciplinary groups at Loughborough such as the Crime Science Networking Group and the Knowledge Management Research Group.
  • The preferred method of PhD supervision is joint supervision to enhance the sharing of ideas within the group and with close associates.


  • The Group holds monthly meetings to discuss ongoing and potential future activities to which, when appropriate, other parties will also be invited.
  • The Group collaborate on grant applications targeting a variety of research councils and on attracting funding from industry for applied research projects.
  • The Group encourages BSc and MSc student projects in the SBS research area with a particular emphasis on real world industry interactions.
  • The Group works with contacts in industry and other academic organisations to develop international links, particularly for collaborative projects funded by international organisations such as the EU or UKEIRI.

Examples of existing and recent collaborative links between the members of the Group

  • Russell Lock and Ray Dawson with Louise Cooke were involved in a successful joint proposal to the EPSRC ''bridging the gaps" call in 2012.
  • Firat Batmaz and Russell Lock with Louise Cooke are currently looking into collaboration with the Crime Science Networking Group.
  • Ian Murray and Stephen Probets with Gill Ragsdell were involved in a successful bid for funding from the Energy Technologies Institute for an Investigation into Knowledge Management at ETI.
  • Ian Murray and Stephen Probets obtained funding for a half studentship from SE Controls to investigate “Change Management in SME: Leveraging IT”.
  • Stephen Probets and Ray Dawson recently worked with the LSC Group on the modelling of the uptake of data standards and with BAE Systems on the modelling of standards documents.