Professor Hilary Kahn (1943-2007)

Hilary was involved in Computer Aided Design and Software Engineering for a very long time. Her first experience in CAD consisted of the development of test software for memory systems. This was followed by the development of the logic simulator used in the design of the Manchester MU5 computer system, investigation of layout (placement and tracking) algorithms and the development of techniques for the integration of CAD tools. Hilary started the CAD group in the Department of Computer Science and with the group have become very heavily involved in EDA standards, integration issues in CAD and most recently the application of information modelling to the understanding of the information requirements of large engineering systems. Recently, the name of the research group changed to relax our ties with CAD alone and so reflect the wider research interests were shared.

Information Modelling was a significant influence on Hilary's research projects. In the ECCE project she was involved in creating a formal model of the Printed Circuit Fabrication and Assembly industry's requirements for design data for manufacture. This was being used as the basis for extensions to EDIF Version 4 0 0. The Archive project developed models of the information requirements for the archiving of full design data. The STEPWISE project was involved not in developing models but in using them as the basis for format and software generation. It extended ideas that started (in part) in the STEED project where a way of classifying design information based on an information model was developed and then providing tools for browsing through design data repositories for test data matching user-defined specifications. Later projects include RRAB which is concerned with improving the testing and repair of PCA's and KLICON which will allow the development of information models of aspects of the construction industry.

Hilary's Earlier interests in information modelling led to the adoption of the technique by the EDIF organization in 1990. As a result, the EDIF standard includes an EXPRESS information model which defines the formal semantics of the format. Interest in information modelling remains very high - and has led to work done in the group on the modelling of VHDL, various other standards and involvement with projects such as PAP-E which used modelling as a core technology. The ESIP project which provided support to the group in terms both of our work in EDIF and the establishment of the EDIF Technical Centre and of our group's research into information modelling.

Hilary worked very closely with the EDIF organization, she chaired the EDIF Technical Experts Group and was a member of the EDIF Steering Committee. The most recent version of EDIF that Hilary worked on was called EDIF Version 4 0 0. It is an ANSI/EIA standard and is going went through the IEC standardization process. Hilary also chaired IEC TC93 Working Group 3 (design data Interchange) and serve on the BSI GEL/93 committee

During the year leading up to June 1998, Hilary was involved (more or less full time) in the organization of the celebrations for the 50th Anniversary of the World's First Stored Program Computer - a machine which was invented in Manchester and worked for the first time on June 21st 1948.