UCL Centre for Systems Engineering


Meet the Academics

Short biographies of the members of the group

Email addresses for the group and links to IRIS profiles can be found here (Contact details)


Michael Emes

Professor Michael Emes

Michael is Professor of Technology Management, Head of the Technology Management Group at UCL's Mullard Space Science Laboratory and Director of the UCL Centre for Systems Engineering. His research interests include technology decision making, risk management and the causes of project failure. Before joining UCL, Michael was a strategy consultant working on projects in retail, e-commerce and transport. Michael is a Chartered Engineer, Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, a member of the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE), the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and the Association for Project Management (APM), where he was founding Co-chair of the Systems Thinking Specific Interest Group (jointly with INCOSE). He is Programme Leader for the MSc Technology Management and the MSc Management of Complex Projects.


Dr Raul Leal

Dr. Raúl Leal

Raúl is a Lecturer in the Department of Space and Climate Physics in UCL, and Deputy Director and Director of Industrial Engagement for UCL Centre for Systems Engineering. He is Programme Leader for the MSc Systems Engineering Management. He is interested in systems thinking, systems modelling, systems design, project management and the professional development in these areas in industry. His involvement in education and training extends to over 20 years and several countries. Before joining UCL Dr. Leal was systems design authority in the development of a nuclear imaging (PET) instrument.


Professor Alan Smith

Professor Alan Smith

In 1990 Alan joined University College London's Mullard Space Science Laboratory following 8 years at the European Space Agency in the Netherlands. He is founding Director of UCL's Centre for Systems Engineering (since 1998), instigator of the Centre's education and training programme and former Director of MSSL. Alan's background is in space science technology and project management and he has worked with all of the major space agencies.


Benoit Pigneur

Benoit Pigneur

Benoit is an Assistant Lecturer in the Centre for Systems Engineering in Department of Space and Climate Physics (MSSL) at University College London. He is involved with teaching at MSc level as well as delivering industrial training. Some of his research interests include space systems, space mission design, systems architecting, system-of-systems, concurrent design, design management and design thinking. Before joining UCL, he worked in the space industry and also in academia in UK, Europe and USA. Through his career, Benoit has been involved with several space projects as well as teaching engineering courses at university. He holds a MSc in Space Mission Analysis and Design from the University of Glasgow and a MSc in Systems Engineering and Control from Purdue University. Benoit is a member of the International Council of Systems Engineering (INCOSE).


Dr Carola Hieker

Dr. Carola Hieker

Carola specializes in Senior Executive Coaching, coaching senior management teams and running international leadership programs.  As a trained banker and business psychologist, she possesses more than 25 years’ experience as a coach and change management consultant and has worked with top teams and individuals across a wide range of industries all over the world. Next to her work as a coach, supervisor of coaches and consultant she is an Honorary Associate Professor for Transformation Leadership at UCL,  Associate Professor for Leadership and Organisational Behavior at Richmond, The American International University in London and sits in the advisory board of Professors without Borders. Her publications reach out to scholars and practitioners and focus on leadership, coaching, diversity and mentoring.


Professor Doug Cowper

Professor Doug Cowper

Doug is a UCL Visiting Professor in Systems Engineering and has over 20 years of industrial experience working on various aspects of systems in the Defence, Aerospace and Rail sectors. Doug has a proven track record of delivering Systems Engineering, Technical Management and Governance and Technology Decision Making with a diverse range of organisations. Doug also has lead a number of working groups developing the definition and teaching of systems engineering core competencies in the UK. Doug is a Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of the IET. He has been an active member of INCOSE and was President of INCOSE UK from Nov 08 to Nov 10. He is also Co-chair of the joint APM and INCOSE UK Systems Thinking SIG, an INCOSE Certification Application Reviewer (CAR) and Member of the INCOSE Certification Advisory Group (CAG). 


Giles Poulsom

Giles Poulsom

Giles is a Lecturer in UCL's department of Space and Climate Physics (MSSL). Since graduating with a master's degree in Aeronautical Engineering, Giles has gained broad experience within the aerospace, defence, marine and rail industries, and has held various senior technical and management roles. Giles is a Chartered Engineer and a member of the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) and Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS). Giles is Programme Leader of the MSc Systems Engineering Master's Degree Apprenticeship.



Helena Andres Hilarion

Helena Andrés Hilarión joined the UCL Centre for Systems Engineering in 2018 as an Assistant Lecturer after completing an MSc on Management of Complex Projects. She also holds a Civil Engineering five-year degree from the Polytechnic University of Catalunya (UPC). She has previously worked in industry for SENER and SYSTRA on the development of complex rail projects in Spain, France, Brazil and Mexico. Her professional responsibilities spanned several life-cycle phases and she served in engineering as well as technical management capacities within intercultural teams.


Ian Raper

Ian Raper

Ian is an Associate Professor in the Technology Management Group of the Department of Space and Climate Physics. He is also the Departmental Graduate Tutor responsible for MSc programmes in Systems Engineering Management. Prior to joining MSSL he had 22 years of industrial experience working on all aspects of the systems design lifecycle from user requirements through to integration, acceptance and deployment. Part of Ian's career was in the defence sector, within Vickers Shipbuilding and BAE SYSTEMS. Following this, he worked in the space sector covering mission and system level activities at EADS Astrium. Ian is a Chartered Engineer and a member of the International Council on Systems Engineering. He holds an MSc in Systems Engineering from UCL and in 2015 gained a PGCert in Teaching and Learning in Higher and Professional Education.


Marta Stelmaszak Rosa

Dr. Marta Stelmaszak Rosa

Marta is an Honorary Lecturer in the Technology Management Group. She holds a PhD and an MSc in Management, Information Systems from the London School of Economics and Political Science, as well as an MSc in Data Science from Birkbeck, University of London. Having previously developed a number of entrepreneurial ventures, Marta now focuses on researching and publishing on how to manage technology, in particular big data, analytics and artificial intelligence, in increasingly complex organisations. She regularly teaches on this topic and holds a PGCert in Higher Education. She is a member of the British Computer Society and the Academy of Management.


Matthew Whyndham

Matthew Whyndham

Matthew is an Assistant Lecturer in the Centre for Systems Engineering. He is a practising project manager and research scientist in UCL's Department of Space and Climate Physics (MSSL). Most of his work has been in the instrumentation field (radiation detectors and data handling systems). He teaches topics in space technology, technology management and project management within these programmes, and is Programme Leader for UCL's APM-accredited project management course.


Dr. Peipei Zhang 

Peipei is an Assistant Lecturer in the Technology Management Group involved with teaching and research in systems engineering and management, technology strategy and the business environment. Peipei holds a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from University College London. Previously she worked in the world's largest air conditioner producer as commissioner of science and technology management and holds the Associate Teaching Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy.