UCL Centre for Systems Engineering


Defence and Security Systems MSc students joined by industry speakers

1 July 2020

MSc students joined by guest speakers from the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), the world's oldest independent think tank on international defence and security,

As part of our MSc programmes, UCL Centre for Systems Engineering run the Defence and Security Systems module. As well as our own experts, this module usually boasts an impressive array of speakers from industry, and 2020 is no exception.

This five-day short course provides a broad over view and high-level understanding of the implementation of systems engineering principles and practices in the defence and security environment. 

It discusses the ever-changing threats to security, the process for defining the capability required to counter the threat and the wide range of systems required to deliver the required effect.

Neil Melvin, DIirector, International Security Studies, RUSI

headshot of Dr Neil Melvin

Dr. Neil Melvin is Director International Security Studies at the RUSI.  His current research is focused on emerging international security dynamics in key regions around the world, notably Europe and Eurasia, the Gulf and Middle East, East Africa and the Horn, and the Indo-Pacific. His recent publications have focused on the new external security politics of the Horn of Africa and Indian Ocean, and the Black Sea region.

Prior to joining RUSI, Dr. Melvin was Director of the Armed Conflict and Conflict Management Programme and then Director of Research at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).  He has held senior adviser positions in the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the Energy Charter, the European Union, and has been a consultant for the United Nations.  Dr. Melvin has also held positions at the Centre for European Policy Studies and Chatham House, as well as several universities. 

Dr. Melvin holds a DPhil from Oxford University. He has been a visiting fellow at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University and the Department of Government of the London School of Economics.



Sabin Khan, Senior Associate Fellow, RUSI

headshot of sabin khan
Sabin Khan has demonstrated a life-long commitment to public service through numerous positions of leadership within civil society, local authority and Government. Sabin is currently on a secondment from the Home Office working to advance global policy and analysis.

She has worked in the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism (OSCT) at the Home Office over the past 10 years. Throughout this period, Sabin has demonstrated a very strong personal commitment to serving Ministers, the Government and the Civil Service in maintaining national security and protecting the public from terrorism. Sabin played a significant role in establishing OSCT as a Centre of Excellence. She advanced the Government’s work on counter-terrorism and the evolution of its response to the threat of Islamist radicalisation. Sabin encouraged the department to be more inclusive and outward facing bringing together a wide range of academics, community practitioners and policy makers. Sabin has been central to the development of several counter-terrorism initiatives and Government reviews. She has provided advice to the highest levels of Government at critical moments of national security, and represented the UK at numerous global counter-terrorism forums.


Trevor Taylor, Professorial Research Fellow, Defence, Industries and Society, RUSI

headshot of Trevor Taylor
Trevor Taylor is Professorial Research Fellow in Defence Management at RUSI, where he heads up a research programme in Defence, Industries and Society, and is a member of the Acquisition Focus group which publishes regularly in RUSI Defence Systems.

In addition, he is professor emeritus at Cranfield University, where he still teaches, and where he was head of the Department of Defence Management and Security Analysis from 1997-2009. He also works regularly for the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, where he is an adjunct faculty member.

His career has linked the academic sphere with that of governmental and industrial professionals in defence, and he speaks and writes regularly at conferences on defence acquisition and management. A joint author of a book on UK defence industry, he was for six years an elected Council Member of the former Defence Manufacturers' Association.

He was previously Professor of International Relations at Staffordshire University and from 1990-93 was head of the International Security Programme at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) in London.  

Defence and Security Systems is normally available as a short course to external delegates. It will next run in June 2021. Please contact us for any further information or visit the short course page.