Systems engineering is the disciplined use of various skills to develop a set of components that, as an interrelated whole, achieve defined objectives.

I am interested in all aspects of software-intensive systems engineering – with a particular focus on the upstream phases of the system lifecycle (requirements engineering), the management of this information (traceability) and continual process improvement – taking a multidisciplinary and human-centred approach. My research falls into two broad areas:

Doing The Right Thing

Meeting defined objectives

  • The upstream stages of the system lifecycle – understanding the business, the environments, the problems, the requirements (as an integrated whole).
  • The management and traceability of this information to ensure that the right thing is still being done as businesses, environments and problems change.

This is a concern with systemics – understanding the “big picture” in some way, so you can work out what exactly is needed and why.

Doing Things Right

Harnessing and using the most appropriate
techniques, methods and tools for each situation

  • How exactly are these activities undertaken by (sometimes globally distributed) teams and, more crucially, how can we transfer this understanding to those whose job it is to undertake these activities, whilst also imparting the necessary skills?
  • How can practical guidelines, exemplars and standards be developed?

This is a concern with systematics – an organised or disciplined approach to whole lifecycle engineering, coupled with attention to communication.

My concern is to ground my research in industrial problems and to validate it in real settings. A further concern is to develop underpinning concepts, realised through the use of simple representations, techniques, methods and supporting tools, with more general applicability. It goes without saying – it’s got to be made serious fun.