Brian Randell is Emeritus Professor and Senior Research Investigator at Newcastle University in
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom.
Professor Randell's earliest work was on compilers, during the period 1957-1964 while he was working at English Electric. This led to the book: Algol 60 Implementation. (Co-author L. J. Russell). Academic Press, London, 1964.
Professor Randell then joined IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, N.Y. where, with an intervening year during 1965-66 in California, he worked on high performance computer architectures (the ACS project), then on operating systems and system design methodology. During this time, and shortly after he returned to the U.K. to became Professor of Computing Science at Newcastle, he was co-editor of the reports on the two NATO Software Engineering Conferences.
In 1971 Professor Randell set up the project that initiated research into the possibility of software fault tolerance, and introduced the "recovery block" concept. Subsequent major developments included the Newcastle Connection, and the prototype distributed Secure System. Professor Randell has been Principal Investigator on a succession of research projects on system dependability funded by the U.K. Science Research Council (now Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council), the U.K. Ministry of Defence, the European Strategic Programme of Research in Information Technology (ESPRIT), and the European Information Society Technologies (IST) Programme. Most recently he has performed the role of Project Director for CaberNet (the IST Network of Excellence on Distributed Computing Systems Architectures) and for two IST Research Projects, MAFTIA (Malicious- and Accidental-Fault Tolerance for Internet Applications) and DSoS (Dependable Systems of Systems). His current computing science research continues to be focussed on Dependability (for example on failure analysis) and, to a lesser extent, on the History of Computing.
Professor Randell was a founder-member of IFIP WG2.3 (Programming Methodology) and was a founder-member of IFIP WG10.4 (Dependability and Fault Tolerance). In 1979 he helped found MARI (Microelectronics Applications Institute), and in 1993 he was involved in setting up the Northern Informatics Applications Agency, both of which flourished and did some excellent work for a number of years.