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Prof. Richard O. Sinnott's Home Page

Contact Details

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At Glasgow I have lectured on Grid Computing and on Modelling Reactive Systems. The Grid computing module was one of the first full modules offered in the UK and explores latest Grid technologies such as Globus toolkit version 4, OGSA-DAI, Condor, PERMIS, Shibboleth and GridSphere. In the Modelling Reactive Systems course I provided an introduction to Specification and Desciption Language (SDL), Message Sequence Charts (MSC) and Testing and Test Control Notation (TTCN-3) and the issues in their usage for real-time systems development. These days I no longer have direct teaching commitments but instead spend my time juggling the numerous projects I am involved in (see below) and writing further grants.

I currently supervise several PhD students in the areas of:

I have also supervised numerous advanced MSc and other student dissertations (MSc, UG etc).


I am involved in several on-going e-Science projects fulfilling a variety of roles at Glasgow including:


Some of my publications are available in the departmental bibliography database. Please send me an email if you would like a copy of any of these. Alternatively you may find many papers in the Glasgow ENLIGHTEN repository.

External Affiliations

I am involved in numerous conferences and fulfil several roles externally to the university. The more recent of these include:

  • Journals and Conference Programme Committees
  • International Committees/Panels - I have on occasion been asked to sit on review boards for various international e-Science efforts including:
  • Research Council Proposal Reviewer - I have on occasion reviewed proposals for a variety of research councils including: I am acting chair of the Global Grid Forum OGSA-DAI User Group and am involved in the UK e-Science Security Task Force; the Engineering Task Force; the EPSRC User Group; the Open Middleware Infrastructure Institute (OMII) User Group. I am on the UK e-Science Directors board and also on the GridNet2 review panel. I am on the local steering committee for the Digital Curation Centre at the University of Glasgow.

    Background Information

    I am a Professorial Research Fellow and the Technical Director of the National e-Science Centre (NeSC) at the University of Glasgow and Deputy Director (Technical) of the Bioinformatics Research Centre at Glasgow. I am responsible for establishing an environment for e-Science at Glasgow University. This includes provision of the necessary computational infrastructure and the training and education of future e-Scientists.

    I have a BSc in Theoretical Physics from the University of East Anglia where I spent a long time running Fortran 77 based Monte-Carlo simulations of linear polymers (e-Science before we called it e-Science). I spent a couple of years travelling around the US and Central America, before returning to the UK to undertake an MSc in Software Engineering at the University of Stirling where I did my dissertation specifing and validating families of electronic components (from basic flip-flops to binary bucket brigades). I ended up doing my PhD in Stirling on applying formal languages (LOTOS and Z) for the architectural driven specification of distributed systems. I was editor of a couple of international standards during this period (Architectural Semantics of Open Distributed Processing (Part2: Foundations and Part 3: Architecture). I'm not sure if anyone ever used these much mind...! ;o(

    After working for a couple of years in Germany at GMD Fokus, I set up and ran my own consultancy company specialising in the area of formal technologies and their application to real time systems development, especially in the telecommunications domain. I still maintain an interest in formal methods and their application to real time, distributed systems development.

    These days, my work is focused around Grid computing using technologies such as the Globus Toolkit and its application to a broad spectrum of scientific areas - life sciences being one exemplar. I am especially interested in security aspects associated with Grid technology. Many of the projects I am involved in are especially concerned about security issues since they deal with patient data sets for example. At NeSC in Glasgow we have focused on advanced authorisation infrastructures such as PERMIS and are currently exploring the Shibboleth technologies.

    I have published extensively in a wide variety of areas from theoretical computing science, telecommunications, real time systems and more recently on Grid technologies, security and their application to the life science domain.

    I am (or used to be when I had more time) interested in sports. I have been known to play squash and golf at a reasonable level, and have done a couple of marathons in my time. I try - when my children allow!!! - to play guitar. I also still follow my home team.

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    Last updated 16th December 2009.