UCL Centre for Systems Engineering


Research and PhDs


We conduct research projects sponsored by research councils, Innovate UK, and industry in the areas of systems engineering, project management and technology management.

We have experience in working in a broad range of industry sectors including aerospace, transport, defence, energy, construction, health, pharmaceuticals and agriculture.

Wherever there are complex systems, whether 'hard' technology-based systems or 'soft' human-based systems, we are interested in understanding how to make them work better.

Across the different industry sectors, we have five broad research themes:

  • Systems Modelling and Optimisation - System dynamic modelling, Cost-benefit analysis, Soft Systems Methodology, Intelligent systems, Adaptive modelling, Applying systems thinking to provide insights in new domains (e.g. health, education, sport, transport)
  • Risk Modelling and Management - System failure, System integrity, Risk management, Decision making under uncertainty
  • Technology Planning - Technology maturity, Technology roadmapping, Scenario planning, Game theory, Technology valuation, Technology decision making, Adoption of technology and diffusion of innovations
  • Project Management - Causes of failure in technology projects, Management of complex projects or other 'special' projects where normal project management approaches do not apply, Sources and consequences of variability within projects, Value-driven project management and systems engineering
  • Defining Systems Engineering - Systems engineering competencies, Principles for systems engineering management, Systems engineering standards and terminology, Relationship between systems engineering and project management, Scope of systems engineering, Value of systems engineering, Definition of Systems Architecting

These themes are a focus not only for funded research but also for major research projects conducted by our MSc students, PhD students and visiting research staff.