In Memoriam: Ivica Crnkovic

4 min readApr 8, 2022

By Barbora Buhnova, Masaryk University, Czech Republic,
Mark Harman, Meta Inc and UCL, UK,
Marsha Chechik, University of Toronto, Canada

Ivica Crnkovic, Professor of Software Engineering at Chalmers University, Gothenburg, and Mälardalen University, Västerås, has passed away on Wednesday 2nd February 2022. Ivica was a highly respected member of the Software Engineering community who served the community consistently and with distinction over many years. In particular, he was General Chair for the three most prestigious international conferences in software engineering:

  • The International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE) in 2018
  • The International Conference on Automated Software Engineering (ASE) in 2014
  • The European Conference on Software Engineering/Foundations of Software Engineering (ESEC/FSE) in 2007.

He was also General Chair of many other conferences including ICSA 2017, ECSA 2015, WICSA 2011 and was Program Committee Chair of many more including COMPSAC 2015, ECSA 2012, and Euromicro SEAA 2006. He also served as guest editor of a number of special issues in important journals and magazines, such as IEEE Software, and Elsevier Journal of Systems and Software. Few other scientists, in any field of scientific endeavor, could have done more to nurture, steer and support the international scientific community in their discipline.

Ivica has had a rich and comprehensive career in software engineering, including an extensive experience of both practical software engineering and the underlying science.

Ivica first gained notice as a scientist in 1973, when he was awarded first place in a competition of young physicists in Croatia. From 1975 to 1978, he was a student in the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, University of Zagreb. From 1978 to 1999, he was a practicing software engineer, first at Koncar — Industrial Systems, in Zagreb, Croatia and subsequently, after a period of consultancy between 1985 and 1987, at ABB in Sweden.

During this time in industry, Ivica also obtained his PhD for his thesis titled “Large Scale Software System Management”, awarded by the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing, University of Zagreb, Croatia in 1991. From 1999 to 2014, he served in various roles on the faculty of Mälardalen University, before moving, in 2014, to take a full professor position at Chalmers University of Technology. During his scientific career at these two universities, he won over 20 different grants from national and international funding bodies to support his scientific work and teams.

In his scientific work, Ivica authored over 200 peer-reviewed articles and papers on software engineering subjects, as well as two books and numerous conference papers, which collectively attracted over 7,000 citations. He was known in the scientific community for his work on Component-Based Software Engineering, Software Architecture, Software Development Techniques, Software Engineering for Complex Systems, and, more recently, Software Engineering for AI.

Ivica was always an advocate and role model of inclusiveness in all communities he entered. On any occasion, he made sure that nobody was left behind and everybody was given credit for their contributions, no matter how small. Despite his many duties, he never hesitated to take the lead in supporting underrepresented communities. He served as a co-chair of the Gender Equality workshop co-located with ICSE 2019 and as a work-package leader of the COST Action on building European Network on Gender Equality in Informatics (EUGAIN).

We were lucky to work with Ivica in organizing some of these events (ICSE’18 for Mark, Marsha and Bara, ASE’14 for Marsha, ICSA’17 for Bara). Together with so many in the community who were part of his organizing teams, we unequivocally and unreservedly attest to the great kindness and warmth he brought to these roles. As anyone who’s done it knows only too well, running an international scientific event is a highly demanding and stressful experience. Ivica always managed to make it a great pleasure. He also used every one as an opportunity for growth for younger members of the community. In this, he will be deeply missed by all who had the privilege to be touched by his skill, guidance and encouragement.

Ivica’s life and career touched an incredible number of people. Here are some memories that his students and colleagues shared.


We are also including a few of our favorite pictures of Ivica.

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