Martyn Thomas CBE BSc CEng FBCS FIET HonDSc

Chair of the Information Technology Policy Panel

Martyn Thomas

Martyn Thomas is an independent consultant software engineer - Martyn Thomas Associates Ltd. He acts as an expert witness where complex software engineering issues are involved.

Dr Thomas has been a member of the IET Information Technology Policy Panel since its creation in October 2002.

He graduated as a biochemist in 1969 from University College, London, and immediately entered the computer industry. From 1969 to 1983, he worked in universities (in London and the Netherlands), in industry (designing switching software for STC) and at the South West Universities Regional Computer Centre in Bath.

In 1983 (with David Bean), he founded a software engineering company, Praxis, to exploit modern software development methods. In 1986 Praxis became the first independent systems house to achieve BS 5750 (later ISO 9001) certification for all its activities. Praxis became internationally recognised as a leader in the use of rigorous software engineering, including formal methods, and grew to around 200 staff.

In December 1992, Praxis was sold to Deloitte and Touche, an international firm of accountants and management consultants, and Martyn became a Deloitte Consulting international partner whilst remaining Chairman and, later, Managing Director of Praxis. He left Deloitte Consulting in 1997.

He is Visiting Professor in Software Engineering at the University of Oxford, and a Visiting Professor at the University of Bristol and the University of Wales, Aberystwyth.

He has advised the UK Government and the Commission of the European Union on policy in the fields of software engineering and VLSI design. 

He has had close links with the academic research community throughout his career, as a member of two University Funding Council Research Assessments in Computer Science, numerous international conference programme committees, and several UK Government and Research Council panels and boards. 

He has been a member of the IT Foresight Panel of the UK Government Office of Science and Technology, a member of the Advisory Board for the DERA Systems and Software Engineering Centre, and a member of the Research Advisory Council of the UK Civil Aviation Authority. From 2002 to 2005 he was a member of Council of EPSRC, The UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, the British Computer Society and of the Institution of Engineering & Technology. He currently serves on the IT Sector Policy of the IET, on the Engineering Policy Committee of the Royal Academy of Engineering and as a member of the Advisory Council of the Foundation for Information Policy Research.

He believes passionately that software development is an engineering discipline: it just hasn't realised it yet. When it does, it will put aside childish things and learn to love mathematical rigour, as cognate disciplines have done.

Martyn Thomas was awarded the CBE in the 2007 New Years Honours List for services to software engineering