Professor Stephen MacDonell puts his role as educator first crediting the satisfaction he receives on a daily basis from working alongside enthusiastic and intelligent postgraduate students who challenge his thinking.
He is Director of the Software Engineering Research Laboratory (SERL) which aims to improve the practice of software professionals in their creation and preservation of software systems. Their research uses various approaches to analyse a range of real life situations from modeling the swing of a tennis racquet using mathematics and physics through to understanding how workers interact in an office environment using cognitive models.
Stephen undertakes research in software metrics and measurement, project planning, estimation and management, software forensics, and the application of empirical analysis methods to software engineering data sets. He also has a interest in the form and nature of software engineering - is it a discipline, a science or a profession? Stephen has authored a book, with Andrew Gray and Dennis Frailey, on software engineering management in the Guide to the Software Engineering Body of Knowledge (SWEBOK).
In the early '90s, the Mataura born-and-bred academic, completed his PhD at Cambridge University, UK, having been awarded a Prince of Wales Scholarship. Prior to this he completed both a Bachelors (Honours) and Masters of Commerce in Information Systems at the University of Otago.
At present Stephen's research centres on two principle topic areas: intelligent software project management and software forensics. He also has an interest in the area of automatic computing research and the implications of this for software engineering.