Software Engineering

The Faculty of Engineering at The University of Western Ontario (UWO) has committed to develop a world-class Software Engineering (SE) research and education program. As a part of this endeavour, the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) is experiencing tremendous growth in the area of Software Engineering as a result of the strengthening of this program. During the past few years, the group has recruited a number of highly qualified faculty members.

The Bell Centre for Information Engineering (BCIE) has been established with support from Bell Canada, to coordinate and enhance the Department's research activities in the information engineering area. The mission of the BCIE is to create an environment that will encourage collaborative research between academia and industry and capitalize on human resources, infrastructure and knowledge of the founding members. The Centre is dedicated to fostering innovative basic and applied research in information engineering, working with industry, and government organizations to develop new IE technologies, and train the next generation of researchers and practitioners.


Software Engineering

There are several projects currently underway that deal with improving maintainability of software systems, software evolution, component-based software engineering, large-scale project management, software product lines, software life cycle models and human factors in software engineering.

Cooperative Intelligent Systems

This research is investigating the theoretical foundations and practical applications of computational intelligence with a specific focus on agenthood, coordination and cooperation in distributed "systems" environments. A key focus is on promoting the evolution of cooperative distributed engineering from an ad hoc, labour-intensive activity to a discipline that is managed and supported by technology.




Currently, the ECE Department has excellent research labs and computing facilities. Since 1999, equipment and software purchases amounting to over $1.71 million have been made for the laboratory and computing facilities in the three programs offered by the Department. In 2002, a generous donation from Cisco of the networking equipment (worth approximately $750,000) has enabled us to expand both the SE and CE programs to offer state-of-the-art courses in networking.

In December 2003 the Software Engineering laboratories moved into a much larger space in the new Thompson Engineering Building. Additional computing facilities including 30 new PCs and 20 SUN workstations have been acquired for these laboratories. With a wide range of equipment and software, our researchers have access to the world of Microsoft, UNIX, SUN, Cisco, Oracle, Rational, and IBM PC-like.

All members of the SE group have NSERC research grants. Several members have been successful in securing funding from other sources to establish state-of-the-art research facilities.


Software Engineering group members carry out intensive industry collaborations. Many of our faculty have well-established research collaboration with industry and projects supported by external funding. For example:

  • The development agent-based technology and software architectures for various application domains, such as e-business for mutual fund and intelligent dynamic scheduling for flexible manufacturing systems. The project has succeeded in attracting several graduate students and in securing funding from industrial partners, such as Mackenzie Financial Corporation and CFI, and has established collaboration with NRC-IMTI, University of Waterloo, and University of Guelph.
  • The image analysis project is actively involved with local industry partners as well as the Robarts Research Institute on developing flexible frameworks for image analysis by integrating multiple knowledge sources and forming hypothesis. Applications of such architectures include image understanding and computer aided diagnosis. This project has also funding from CITO, NSERC and IRIS-PRECARN.
  • There is a regular research engagement with industry (such as Motorola/Toronto and Liberate/London), which gives our graduate students exposure to software engineering issues of relevance to industry and often the students are able to transfer this perspective to their research.
  • Members also have collaborative research activities that deal with SE issues in such areas of Electrical Engineering as design of information systems for power system automation, software engineering issues in power system simulation, monitoring and control.
  • There is collaboration with CAS (Centre for Advanced Studies) Faculty Fellow Program from IBM Toronto Laboratories. This gives opportunities to the faculty and graduate students to carry out research and establish relationships with development groups within IBM Canada. A current CAS fellowship is directly supporting a graduate student doing research on Autonomous Database Administration and Maintenance.