Dr Neville Grech writes about his research career in automating software
Today we rely on computers. Computers are present inside car engines, mobile phones, and even medical implants. Programming languages are the way humans can dictate how these machines behave. Programming a machine is difficult, involving a lot of trial and error until the machine starts behaving as the human programmer wants. Programmers spend their time testing programs; however, despite all their efforts, most programs that are used in production systems are still error laden.
Following my Ph.D. in Southampton, I moved to the University of Bristol to pursue post-doctoral research on compilers, which are programs that turn human readable programs into machine-readable code. Computer energy consumption is a major industry challenge, and the software is a large drain on battery life. I collaborated with semiconductor companies and other top research institutions to develop software tools that estimate energy consumption when running different programs. I also developed techniques to automate the process of writing energy efficient software. Software that is more dependable, maintainable, and more efficient than the best systems currently available.