Software Engineering for Sustainability

Led by Ian Brooks, research in this chapter is concerned with innovating approaches to support purposeful delivery of sustainability benefits through software engineering.

Software Engineering for Sustainability Chapter

This Chapter is passionate about delivering sustainability benefits for people, planet and profit through software engineering. It has been estimated that, by 2030, 20% of the necessary global carbon emissions reductions will require Information and Communications Technology (ICT) for delivery. Software Engineering has a major role to play in this. We look to support the Software Engineering discipline with approaches to enable this intention.

ICT can also create new burdens through energy and materials consumption, labour impacts and costs. The Software Engineering for Sustainability chapter is also concerned with approaches which will minimise these impacts.

Arguably, the most high profile case of failure to deliver sustainability benefits by software engineering is that of Volkswagen where engine management software enabled excessive Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) emissions which may result in 45000 disability adjusted life years impact in US and EU.

This ‘Dieselgate’ scandal should serve as a call to arms for all professionals engaged with software engineering.

In the UWE Bristol Software Engineering Research Group (SERG), our core research interests in the Software Engineering for Sustainability chapter are:

  • Using knowledge-driven software engineering methods to drive inclusion of sustainability requirements
  • Incorporation of sustainability standards and international agreements such as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in software engineering
  • Strengthening application of ethical principles and behaviours by software engineers

The chapter is developing a Software Engineering for Sustainability Framework called OntoSoS.Sustainability.


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