UCL News


Spotlight on Bert de Reyck

14 August 2013

This week the spotlight is on Professor Bert de Reyck, Head of the Department of Management Science & Innovation.

Bert de Reyck

What is your role and what does it involve?

I am the Head of the Department of Management Science & Innovation, a very novel department that conducts theoretical, empirical and experimental analyses of managerial, organisational, and operational dynamics in innovation‐oriented organisations. We offer undergraduate, masters and PhD programmes in management science, technology entrepreneurship, and information management for business.

My role mainly involves delegating the many things that need doing to the extremely capable people in my department, who can do a much better job than I ever could.

How long have you been at UCL and what was your previous role?

I joined UCL six years ago. Previously I was at London Business School, where I still teach courses on project management and decision-making.

What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of?

I am very proud to have helped shape my department from its humble beginnings in 2007 to the thriving community it is today, with more than 50 staff and more than 2,000 students. But especially I am proud of creating a working environment that my colleagues feel happy to be part of. (Or at least that's what I would like to believe!)

Tell us about a project you are working on now which is top of your to-do list

I am writing this in Singapore, where I am working on a project with the Noble Group, to help improve the efficiency of their shipping operations in Asia.

Also, we are about to launch a new major 4-year programme in Management Science, which is not only one-of-its-kind in the UK, but which will also be a major programme with hopefully thousands of candidates.

What is your favourite album, film and novel?

Album: Violator by Depeche Mode. I have been a DM fan since 1981, and recently attended their O2 concert twice in a row!
Film: Fargo by the Coen Brothers. I am a big fan of all their other movies, and I also like Tarantino's movies, including the recent Django Unchained.
Novel: Lord of the Rings (a cliché, I know, but still brilliant.)

What is your favourite joke (pre-watershed)?

No pre-watershed ones I'm afraid…

Who would be your dream dinner guests?

I have never really understood people who would want to invite politicians, philosophers or famous historical people. I'd go for Kerry Washington…

What advice would you give your younger self?

Not to worry, everything will turn out fine.

What would it surprise people to know about you?

Although I am a professor in and head of an engineering department, I did not study engineering myself. What people don't know, however, is that I failed the entrance exam for engineering, and therefore had to choose another subject to study!

What is your favourite place?