UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering


UCL researchers present their work at the 2022 System Dynamics Conference - Frankfurt Germany

28 July 2022

A blog by Environmental Design and Engineering MPhil/PhD student Yuhong Wang

Yuhong Wang and colleagues at The International System Dynamics Conference

The International System Dynamics Conference (ISDC) is an annual event where people from all over the world interested in the practice of System Dynamics and systems thinking gather. Now in its 40th year, the Conference appealed to audiences across industry and academia in Frankfurt Germany, or virtually. 

Between 18-22 July 2022, the UCL group and over 300 researchers and academics from other universities came together to present and discuss their contributions to uncover this hidden potential of “diversity” in system dynamics and system thinking. 

Plenary lecture at The International System Dynamics Conference
Associate Professor Nici Zimmermann from UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering (IEDE) worked as a conference program Chair this year, she also presented ‘Weaving participatory modelling into an introductory systems thinking and system dynamics class’, bringing insights on using participatory system dynamics in a teaching context.  Alexander Walker, PhD researcher at UCL IEDE, presented ‘System interventions, commercial real estate & capability traps v1.0’, and realised his survey regarding system dynamics understanding to the conference participants. UCL visiting student Virginia Rosa Coletta showcased her research on ‘Flood risk management in a complex urban system using a participatory System Dynamics approach’.

UCL was further represented by Dr Eleni Oikonomou presenting her recently completed PhD work on ‘Conceptualising the drivers influencing domestic heat pump performance in the UK through systems thinking’. Ke (Koko) Zhou presented research on resilience using a small system dynamics model to explore health and wellbeing deterioration during the COVID-19 pandemic, and her PhD research on housing associations’ decision-making in urban regeneration. UCL Energy Institute’s Dr Brunilde Verrier discussed ‘Sunset and sunrise industry strategies shaping national energy transitions pathways’. PhD researcher Yuhong Wang shared her research in a Modern Modelling and Application session, titled ‘Modelling the Complexity of Large Systems: A Network-aided System Dynamics Approach’. Finally, UCL IEDE's Senior Research Fellow Dr. Irene Pluchinotta talked about research on ‘Grounding simulation models in a participatory process: a case study of use of urban natural space in Thamesmead, London’ and ‘Dealing with soft variables and data scarcity: lessons learnt from the quantification in a participatory System Dynamics modelling’ in the Stakeholder Engagement session.

The conference showcased research from a variety of disciplines, including the built environment, sustainability, psychology, computer science, economics and public health. This is the first time the conference was held in hybrid format following the outbreak of COVID-19 to meet other delegates to discuss their research in person and online. It was an excellent opportunity to exchange knowledge of the current work in the field, and also of the landscape of academia itself.