Two of the world’s top software engineers will share their expertise with researchers at Lero, the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Software, as part of the David Lorge Parnas Fellowship scheme.

Professor Daniela Damian, Professor of Software Engineering and the ECS-CAPI Chair in Inclusive Science, Technology and Engineering at the University of Victoria, Canada, and Prof. Hongyu Zhang of the School of Big Data and Software Engineering, Chongqing University, China, are the latest recipients of the prestigious David Lorge Parnas Fellowship.

Lero Director Prof. Lionel Briand said Lero research teams are delighted that Prof. Zhang and Prof. Damian will pay extended visits to Lero, enabling collaboration and knowledge sharing while acknowledging Lero’s global standing as a software research centre.

“These fellowships, established to honour Professor David Parnas, have brought world-class software researchers and developers here to interact with our research teams all over Ireland. Daniela and Hongyu will each deliver much anticipated distinguished lectures while at Lero. The fellowship programme has enabled Lero to attract some of the best software researchers in the world to Ireland to share their experience and expertise with Lero researchers at our 12 partner higher education institutions nationwide,” commented Prof. Briand.

Fellowship recipient Prof. Zhang has also worked at University of Newcastle, Microsoft Research Asia, and Tsinghua University. He received his PhD degree from the National University of Singapore in 2003. His research is in software engineering, in particular, intelligent software engineering, software analytics, and software maintenance.

“Ireland’s reputation as a global technology hub and Lero’s world-class software research makes this a really attractive fellowship. I am honoured to receive it and am really looking forward to sharing knowledge with my fellow researchers,” said Prof. Zhang.

The central theme of Prof. Zhang’s research is to improve software quality and developer productivity by mining software data. He has published more than 250 research papers in reputable international journals and conferences and received eight ACM Distinguished Paper and Best Paper awards. Prof. Zhang is a general co-chair of APSEC 2024 and ICSME 2020 and an associate editor of ACM Computing Surveys, Journal of Systems and Software, and Automated Software Engineering. He is a Distinguished Member of ACM, a Distinguished Member of CCF, and a Fellow of Engineers Australia (FIEAust).

Parnas fellowship recipient Prof. Daniela Damian researches human and collaborative aspects of software engineering, global software engineering, requirements engineering, diversity and inclusion in software teams, and software education.

In 2022 Prof. Damian founded INSPIRE:STEM for Social Impact, a program supported by a consortium of industry and community partners, which engages students from the University of Victoria as well as Asia in community-driven, sustainability-focused experiential projects to develop skills, connections, and a supporting network for the underrepresented talent in Science, Technology and Engineering. Prof. Damian received the 2019 Royal Society New Zealand Catalyst: International Leader Award and the 2020 Provost’s REACH Award for Excellence in Experiential Teaching at the University of Victoria. She served as program chair at several ACM/IEEE conferences, including the International Conference on Software Engineering (2022), and as a member of the editorial and advisory boards of the top-ranked journals in software engineering.

“I’m delighted to receive this honour. Lero’s research is world renowned and the centre’s record of education and public engagement as well as its work in the area of diversity, equity and inclusion is really outstanding. I look forward to building strong connections with Lero researchers as part of the Parnas Fellowship programme,” she said.