Centre for Research on Evolution, Search and Testing (CREST)


Former members

CREST was founded in July 2006 and formally opened in a newly-refurbished and dedicated laboratory at King's College London in November of that year

The Centre was established by the director, Mark Harman, and then deputy-director Nicolas Gold, with two post-doctoral researchers and three PhD students.  

With the generous support of the EPSRC and EU it soon grew through projects on Search Based Software Engineering and testing.  In 2009, David Clark joined the centre and Jens Krinke was recruited from FernUniversität Hagen, their appointments strengthening the centre's growing activities in software analysis and testing.  

In the same year, CREST was awarded a 5-year platform grant by the EPSRC, confirming its internationally leading role in software analysis, testing and optimization.

The popular CREST Open Workshop (COW) programme of events was launched in November 2009, forming an intellectual hub for the discussion and development of techniques for software analysis, testing and optimisation.

The centre grew to include seven post-doctoral researchers and eleven PhD students, supervised by the four members of faculty Clark, Gold, Harman, and Krinke.  

In 2010, recognising CREST's achievements and the symbiotic fit with its Computer Science department, UCL acquired the entire centre. CREST continues to thrive in its new environment. In 2012 UCL supported the centre's further expansion with two additional lecturing posts (aka assistant professor faculty positions).

These two new positions allowed the centre to promote Shin Yoo (who was at the time a research associate in the centre) and to recruit Earl Barr from UC Davis. In June 2012 the centre's director, Prof. Harman was awarded a 6-year EPSRC programme grant (the DAASE project).

Former members

Afnan A. Al-Subaihin

Afnan completed her PhD in 2019.

Santanu Dash 

Santanu now works at the University of Surrey as a lecturer.


DongGyun Han

DongGyun completed his PhD in 2019.

Carlos Cetina 

Carlos visited CREST in 2018 from Universidad San Jorge, Spain

Gunel Jahangirova

Gunel completed his PhD in 2019


Matheus Henrique Esteves Paixao

Matheus completed his PhD in 2018.

Chaiyong Ragkhitwetsagul

Chaiyong completed his PhD in 2018.

Bobby Bruce

Bobby completed his PhD in 2018. He is now a Postdoctoral Scholar at UCLA's Software Evolution and Analysis Laboratory. 


Lingbo Li

Lingbo completed his PhD in 2017 and is now an Associate Professor at Wuhan University in Wuhan, China.

 Yuanyuan Zhang

Bobby Bruce

Bobby completed his PhD in 2018.


Fan Wu 

Fan completed his Phd in 2017 and is now an Assistant Professor at Wuhan University in Wuhan, China.

Ke Mao 

Ke completed his Phd in 2017 and joined Facebook.

William Martin 

William completed his Phd in 2017. 


Efstathios Panayi 

Shin Yoo

Dr Shin Yoo left CREST to take up a post at KAIST School of Computing, South Korea in July 2015

Iman Hemati Moghadam  


Samer Abdallah

Christodoulos Aspromallis 

Syed Islam


Dr Nadia Alshahwan

Nadia Alshahwan was a research student at CREST and completed her PhD under the supervision of Mark Harman (1st supervisor) and Jens Krinke (2nd supervisor) in 2012. She return to CREST as a post doctoral research associate in 2013 on the SeMaMatch project. 

Khalid Alzarooni

Khalid Alzarooni was a research student at CREST and completed his PhD under the supervision of David Clark (1st supervisor) and Richard Overill (2nd supervisor) in 2012.

Dr Kelly Androutsopoulos

Kelly was a Research Associate in CREST until 2013, primarily working on the  SLIM (SLicing State based models) project. She is now a Senior Lecturer at Middlesex University London. Her research interests are centered around specification and verification of software, in modelling, analysing and understanding specifications and creating tools for supporting their development. 


Prof. David Binkley

David is a Professor of Computer Science at Loyola University Maryland. He spent his sabbatical at CREST. David's work on software engineering includes test-case generation using genetic algorithms, refactoring object-oriented code into aspect-oriented code, and empirical investigations of software.

Dr Mustafa Bozkurt

Mustafa was a research student at CREST and completed his PhD under the supervision of Mark Harman (1st supervisor) in 2013. His work laid the foundation for the use of search based testing for service oriented systems, using service compositions to find realistic test data with which to test services.

Dr Steve Counsell

Steve spend his sabbatical at CREST in 2010. He is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Information Systems and Computing Brunel University. His research interests are in refactoring, re-engineering and software metrics. He also has interests in data quality, intelligent data analysis and simulating the software process.


Dr Youssef Hassoun

Youssef was an RA on the EvoTest (Evolutionary Testing) project funded by the EU. The project aimed at developing search based techniques using evolutionary algorithms for automating test data generation. His part in the project was to develop techniques for search space reduction using static code analysis methods. He also maintains VADA (VAriable Dependence Analysis), a tool developed for analysing program variables dependencies.

Dr Sebastian Hunt

Sebastian Hunt is the Associate Dean (Education) at the Department of Computing at City University London and spent his sabbatical in CREST in 2010. His research interests include: language-based security; information flow; semantics and models of computation; program analysis; abstract interpretation; type systems; programming languages.

Dr Hui Liu

Hui is an associate professor at Beijing Institute of Technology (BIT, aka LiGong). He was a visiting research fellow in CREST in 2013.


Dr Kiran Lakhotia

Kiran Lakhotia was a Research Associate in CREST from 2009 to 2013.

After he left CREST Dr Lakhotia has founded a start-up called Plan-A Software Ltd.

Prof Zheng Li 

Zheng Li used to be an RA on the SLIM project. His present research interests include search-based software engineering, source code analysis and manipulation, dependence analysis and regression testing.

Dr Li is now a Professor at Beijing University of Chemical Technology.

Dr Soo Ling Lim

Soo Ling worked in the CREST centre as an RA from March 2011 to November 2011. Her work focused on techniques for adapting SBSE to help identify stakeholders in requirement analysis and ways to model software systems such as app stores as ecosystems. This work was a collaboration between with Mark Harman and Yuanyuan Zhang from CREST, and Anthony Finkelstein from SSE.


Dr Marian Mohr

Marian Mohr was a research student at CREST and completed his PhD under the supervision of Nicolas God (1st supervisor) and Mark Harman (2nd supervisor). As a research student he worked on software engineering and service-oriented computing in particular, focusing on performance assessment and optimisation in service oriented architectures.

Dr Chunyan Mu

Chunyan Mu works on Software Security using Quantitative Information Flow analysis. Dr Mu is now a lecturer at the School of Computing Science at Newcastle University.

Dr JungSup (James) Oh

JungSup Oh was a visiting Research Associate at CREST for 12 months in 2010. His interests are in state-based model, automatic test case generation, requirements engineering and model slicing.


Dr Federica Sarro

Federica spent a month in CREST as a visiting PhD student between October and November 2011. During this time she worked on SBSE of project management under the supervision of Prof Harman and in collaboration with the CREST PhD student Jian Ren. She returned to CREST as a post doctoral research associate in 2012.

Saurabh Sinha

Saurabh Sinha is a member of the Programming Technologies and Software Engineering department at IBM Research - India. In 2010 he spent a month at CREST. His research interests lie in the area of program-analysis-based software engineering.

Dr Jian Ren

Jian was a research student at CREST and completed his PhD under the supervision of Mark Harman (1st supervisor) in 2013. His work developed the use of co-evolutionary optimisation in the search for optimised software engineering program plans.


Dr Laurence Tratt

Laurence Tratt is a researcher who worked on search-based refactoring as part of the SEBASE project from 2006-2007 and continues to collaborate with CREST on this project and others. He is the designer of the Converge language. He is a member of the IEEE Software Industry Advisory Board, and is on the organising committees of several international events.

Akadej Udomchaiporn

Akadej joined CREST as a PhD student of King's College London in October 2009. He was working on fuzz testing on security applications under the supervision of Jens Krinke and Mark Harman.

Dr TianTian Wang

TianTian from the Harbin Institute of Technology in China visited CREST in 2012. She worked on SBSE as a way to search the space of clone detection configurations to improve the rigour of experiments of clone detection.


Dr Westley Weimer

Westley is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at the University of Virginia. He visited CREST for a few months in 2013.

Yibiao Yang

Yibiao from Nanjing University visited CREST for e few months in 2013. He worked on source code analysis with Prof. Harman, Dr Krinke and Dr Islam.

Dr Xiangjuan Yao

Xiangjuan from the China University of Mining and Technology visited CREST for six months in 2013. She worked with Prof Harman and Dr Jia on the problem of equivalent mutants in mutation testing.


Jaeeun Yi

Jaeeun Yi is a former CREST PhD student. She  worked on object code optimization with constraints using search based software engineering. She worked as a software engineer and project manager of various embedded systems for a few years.

Prof Ruilian Zhao

Ruilian Zhao is a professor in the Department of Computer Science, Beijing University of Chemical Technology.  Dr Zhao has spent 12 months in CREST working on testing and slicing on the SLIM project.