Brian graduated in Mathematics from Imperial College, London in 1957. After periods with English Electric and at IBM he became Professor of Computing Science at the University of Newcastle, where in 1971 he led the project that introduced the "recovery block" concept. Subsequent major developments included the Newcastle Connection, and the prototype Distributed Secure System.
He has since led a long succession of research projects in reliability and security. Most recently he has been Project Director of the ESPRIT LTR Project on Design for Validation, and the ESPRIT Network of Excellence on Distributed Computing Systems Architectures. He has published nearly two hundred technical papers and reports, and is co-author or editor of seven books.
Brian Randall was employed at English Electric from 1957 to 1964 were he was working on compilers. His work on Algol 60 is particularly known. In 1964 he joined IBM, where he worked at the Thomas J. Watson Research Center on high performance computer architectures and also on operating system design methodology. In 1971 he became Professor of Computing Science at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, were he has been working eversince in the area of software fault tolerance and dependability.
He is a member of the Special Interest Group on Computers, Information and Society (SIGCIS) of the Society for the History of Technology CIS, and a founder member of the Editorial Board of the Annals: the IEEE Annals of the History of Computing journal. He was also a founder-member of IFIP WG2.3 Programming Methodology, and a founder-member of IFIP WG10.4 about Dependability and Fault Tolerance.