The Systems Testing Excellence Program (STEP) is a major interdisciplinary research initiative under the umbrella of the FedEx Institute of Technology with academic program support from the Fogelman College of Business and Economics.

The Department of Business Information & Technology is leading this Program and is tasked with building up research and curricular competencies at the University of Memphis that will help position the university as a national and internationally recognized thought leader in the science of systems testing.

To achieve this, The Department of Business Information & Technology, in collaboration with industry and academic partners has set forth a three part agenda that addresses:

The Program defines systems testing as a strategic and interdisciplinary area of interest encompassing all aspects of the testing of business systems including hardware testing, software testing, requirements testing and the testing of business rules. At a theoretical level it encompasses all forms of validation and verification of business applications using a systems thinking approach to ensure the successful development and application of technology in business.


  • Organize research competitions for faculty teams across campus working in testing related areas to provide seed funding for research projects.

  • Encourage faculty teams to invite selective faculty from other universities and industry experts in testing to join their research projects as co-authors.

  • Promote the hiring of faculty with software testing related research interests.

  • Monitor and update curricular planning and execution of software testing as a recognized focus on certain courses as well as in the undergraduate minor and the graduate certificate in software testing.

  • Initiate an incentive program for attracting high-quality post-graduate students to work on software testing research areas at the University.

  • Organize an annual international-level workshop on advances and innovations in software testing.

  • Develop a close working partnership with the Global Testing Center of Excellence at FedEx Corporation and with other national and international technology organizations.

  • Publish ground-breaking research in top-tier conferences and journals on topics which advance novel insights into the science of and promote best practices in software testing.

  • Sponsor top software testing leaders to visit our campus and engage with our faculty and local practitioners on state-of-the-art ideas.

  • Bring interested parties and academic units at the University of Memphis and elsewhere together to collaborate on research programs in software testing.

  • Offer industry partners a research-based testing certification program comprising two levels of certification for testers and other interested parties in order to improve their software testing effectiveness and efficiency.

  • Undertake testing improvement projects for industry clients who seek to advance their testing best practices.

  • Continue to grow a knowledge base of software testing best practices.

  • Serve as an international focal point for cutting edge research and discourse for advancing the science of testing.