The Dalhousie Software Engineering Lab (DalSEL) is dedicated to understanding and improving the human process of creating, evolving and maintaining software systems, and the wellbeing of both the developers and users of these systems. DalSEL is led by Professor Paul Ralph.

DalSEL provides a supportive, inclusive, multicultural environment where Postdocs, PhD students, MSc students and undergraduate research assistants benefit from extensive mentoring, a collaborative lab culture, strong industry links and competitive stipends. Those intent on an academic career receive coaching and help with professional networking. Those intent on an industry career path have opportunities for internships or close collaboration with industry partners.

Current Members

Eyram Amedzor, BSc (Bluecrest), is a Master’s student at Dalhousie University. His research interests include software engineering. Before joining Dalhousie, Eyram was a tech freelancer and founded multiple successful startups.

Hera Arif, MSc (Abu Dhabi), is a PhD Student at DalSEL under Prof. Ralph’s supervision. Her research interests include software code quality and measurement. She holds a Bachelors in Information Technology and a Masters in Information Technology from Abu Dhabi University, UAE and has five peer-reviewed publications. Her thesis investigates current research related to software code quality metrics; their measurement standards, validation, and usage.

Bimpe AyoolaBTech (FUTA, Nigeria), is a PhD Student at DalSEL under Prof. Ralph’s supervision. Bimpe’s research interests include sustainability and human factors of software engineering. Her thesis focuses on developing interventions for socially sustainable software design and development, promoting social justice and responsibility in software engineering. She was recently honoured with the prestigious Ada Byron Award for her substantial contributions to advancing and advocating for women’s involvement in computer science. Bimpe currently serves as the women’s representative of the Student and Postdoc Advisory Committee (SPAC) at CS-Can Info-Can, and a coding mentor and tutor for Grades 4-12 students of African heritage in Nova Scotia at Imhotep’s Legacy Academy.

Satya Deepika Chavatapalli, BTech (GIET, India), is a Master’s student at Dalhousie University with research interests in software engineering. Before joining DalSEL, she worked in quality assurance and testing for seven years at Deloitte and TCS.

Keisha Gaspard-Chickoree, B.Sc., M.Sc. (West Indies), is a PhD student at Dalhousie University with over a decade of experience in agile software development. Her unwavering passion for software development and social innovation for refugees has been the driving force behind her research. Keisha holds a B.Sc. in Computer Science and an M.Sc. in Geoinformatics from the University of the West Indies, as well as certifications as a Scrum Master, ITIL professional, and Project Management Professional.

Arazoo Hoseyni, BCS, M.Eng. (Dalhousie), is a PhD Student at DalSEL under Prof. Ralph’s supervision. Her research focuses on stress, burnout, and moral injury among software professionals. Before joining the PhD program, Arazoo worked in the software industry for 8 years, including at IBM Canada. Arazoo previously completed a Master of Applied Science in Electrical Engineering from Dalhousie University, during which her research explored Routing in MIMO Wireless X channels through innovative methods such as alternate relaying and signal alignment. She also mentors first generation Canadian girls, teaches programming courses for women and children, and loves exploring the hidden natural gems of Nova Scotia.

Photo of Arazoo Hoseyni

Miikka Kuutila, PhD (Oulu), is a Killam Postdoctoral Fellow at DalSEL. His research interests include human factors of software engineering, sentiment analysis, and repository mining. His PhD thesis investigated the time pressure on software developers. Dr. Kuutila’s has published more than 20 articles in leading venues including Computers and Human Behaviour, Computer Science Review, Empirical Software Engineering, ICSE and MSR. His research has garnered over 1000 academic citations.

Erin Shultz is a research assistant at DalSEL. She holds Bachelor’s in Applied Computer Science from Dalhousie University. Her research interests include human factors in software engineering.

Past Members

Ronnie de Souza Santos, PhD (Federal University of Pernambuco, Brazil) is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at The University of Calgary. He was a postdoctoral researcher at DalSEL from 2020 to 2022.

Arham Arshad was a research assistant at DalSEL and undergraduate student in Dalhousie’s Bachelor of Computer Science program.

Sean McGuire was a research assistant at DalSEL and undergraduate student in Dalhousie’s Bachelor of Computer Science program.


  1. Students are required to attend lab meetings unless they are ill or there are other extenuating circumstances.
  2. Every grad student gets two weeks vacation per year, bookable any time they are not taking a course and don’t have an impending submission deadline.
  3. Students are generally expected to be in Halifax year-round (except during vacation). Requests for temporary remote work will be handled case by case.
  4. No Gifts. Prof. Ralph does not expect students to bring him gifts. Prof. Ralph normally will not accept gifts that look like they cost more than $25.
  5. Any student found guilty of academic misconduct will be immediately dismissed from their program. There are no second chances.
  6. Copy-pasting AI generated text or images, without attribution, into any draft publication will be treated as misconduct.
  7. Graduate students are expected to manage their own degree. This means that students tell their supervisor when it’s time to schedule their committee meetings, defences, etc. not the other way around.
  8. Students are not required to work on evenings or weekends except in exceptional circumstances.
  9. Students should respond to requests within 2 business days. Prof. Ralph will endeavour to respond to all simple requests within 5 business days. Responses may be delayed during periods of travel.