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Christopher D. Clack is a computer scientist at University College London. He is known for his research on Smart Contracts, especially focusing on Smart Contract Templates and the semantics of smart contracts for high-value financial derivatives. He is Joint Field Chief Editor for the research journal Frontiers in Blockchain.

He assists the development of global standards for the automation of financial derivatives via collaboration with institutions in the financial services sector, and more generally assists the adoption of smart contracts by engaging with the legal profession and contributing to emerging standards. During his career he has also made seminal contributions in other areas such as architectures for parallel functional programming; strictness analysis and abstract machines; financial applications of evolutionary computing; extending evolutionary computing technology with concepts drawn from functional programming; maintaining phenotypic diversity and risk-switching detection in multi-objective systems; and inter-disciplinary work in agent-based simulation. [Learn more]

He also responds to many invitations from external organisations to deliver research, private briefings, focused analysis, and industry events aimed at policymakers and stakeholders. [Learn more]

He has secured roughly £13m external funding for research, teaching and knowledge transfer, and has founded and led a series of highly successful initiatives at UCL and elsewhere:

  • The prize-winning Thomson-Reuters Laboratory at UCL in partnership with Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and Reuters. 
  • The UCL MSc in Financial Computing (Director 2007-2012) also in partnership with Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and Reuters. 
  • The independent government-funded UK Financial Services Knowledge Transfer Network.
  • The research journal Frontiers in Blockchain (co-founder and Joint Field Chief Editor)

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Virtual Trading Floor

MSc Financial Computing

Financial Services KTN

Frontiers in Blockchain

In 2009 Clack was awarded the higher doctorate Doctor of Science (ScD) by the University of Cambridge for “distinction in the advancement of science, and ... a proven record of internationally recognised scholarship, including substantial and sustained contributions to scientific knowledge”.

Clack studied Natural Sciences at Queens' College, Cambridge from 1977-1980, gaining the BA and MA degrees.


From 1980 to 1982 Clack was an International Field Engineer for Dresser Atlas, leading open-hole wireline logging teams both on-shore and off-shore. During this time he was a licensed radiological supervisor.