From 1st January 2021, Professor Butler will follow on from Professor Philip Nelson who has been serving as Interim Dean of the Faculty since the departure of Professor Bashir Al-Hashimi earlier this year. Professor Butler first joined the University of Southampton in 1995 as a lecturer, before becoming a Professor in 2000. Most recently, he served as Associate Dean for Academic Infrastructure in the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences.
Professor Butler has commented on his appointment, saying ‘It is an honour to be entrusted with the role of Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences. My work as Associate Dean has given me a great appreciation of the strength and breadth of the education, research and enterprise across our Faculty.’
Professor Butler is well-known for his leadership skills and research accomplishments. Most notably, he is an expert in using mathematical methods in designing and verifying safe and secure software-based systems. This has allowed him to make key contributions to the expansion of the Event-B formal method to accommodate large complex systems.
He has also undertaken much collaborative work outside the University in projects involving rail systems (Thales), autonomous systems (Hitachi), and even aerospace software (Aerospace Technology Institute). On top of this, he is on the Editorial Board of multiple journals including Formal Aspects of Computing, International Journal of Critical Computer-Based Systems and Software Tools for Technology Transfer, as well as being a Fellow of the British Computer Society.
Professor Butler expressed pride for the University’s work during the pandemic: ‘I have seen how we responded to COVID-19 with impressive agility and creativity, highlighting our ability to work together to address the challenges we face as a community and a society. I look forward to working more closely with colleagues across the Faculty and University to ensure we continue to thrive.’