Background

Qualifications: 

Associate Fellow HEA (2013) 

PhD “The coevolution of the firm and the supply network: A complex systems perspective”, Cranfield School of Management (2009) 

MBA, Cranfield School of Management (2002) 

BA (Honours) in Maths and Data analysis/design, Open University (1989) 

Past experience: 

Liz Varga has expertise in trans-disciplinary research projects across infrastructure systems (energy, transport, water, waste and telecoms) via her research projects, engagements with practice and feedback from dissemination. Her skills are in creating abstractions of real-world systems, recognizing emergent phenomena and co-evolutionary effects, together with measurable systemic metrics. She leads the design of computational agent-based models which represent the dynamics of inter-connected systems. She has experience of system transitions, modelling the effects of policy, technology and innovation under different future scenarios, and analysing computational results representing economic, environmental and societal effects. She won the Cranfield University Research Award (2014). 


Current activities

Liz runs the Complex Systems Research Centre creating evolutionary models of critical infrastructure systems embracing social, technical, economic and policy factors using various futures scenarios.

Current collaborative research projects.

  • Co-investigator and Leader of two Work-Packages: "Stepping Up" (see EPSRC - Stepping Up) 3 year project starting in October 2015, and focusing on big data collection and modelling of the scaling up of Water, Energy, Food Nexus innovations.
  • Co-investigator: European FP7 project "EU-InnovatE" (see EU-Innovate and FP7 funding) funded under the Sustainable Lifestyles and the Green Economy in Europe theme, 3 year project started January 2014, modelling the invasion and diffusion of sustainable user innovations using performance metrics for sustainable lifestyles in the domains of energy, transport, food and housing within sustainable scenarios (SPREAD).
  • Co-investigator: "International Centre for Infrastructure Futures" (ICIF) research project (see ICIF and EPSRC - ICIF), running June 2013 - December 2016, developing innovative business models, risk models and agent based models of interdependencies in infrastructure systems.

Other current initiatives

  • Various EPSRC/ESRC/H2020 proposals for research are in the review process.
  • Editor for a new Handbook: Complex delivery: projects and programs, to be published 2016.
  • Several publications in the review process, including: "Mixed Methods Research: A method for complex systems"; "Household water and energy technologies and UK infrastructures: exploration of system level effects"; "The Uncertainty of Systemic Risk".
  • Editor of special issue of E:CO (August 2015) with editorial "Complexity and Sustainable Utility Services".
  • Seeking doctoral students for modelling innovation at Water, Energy, Food Nexus and for Water, Energy, Clothing Nexus.

Recent past research projects

  • Transforming Utilities' Conversion Points (see TUCP portal and EPSRC - TUCP) - introducing the concept of a generic utility conversion and modelling utility interdependence in critical infrastructure.
  • Co-investigator : the Land of the MUSCos project (see MUSCO's public site and EPSRC - MUSCos) which modelled business models of potential Multi-Utility Service Companies.
  • All-in-One, (see EPSRC - All in One) a feasibility analysis for supplying all services through one utility product, All-in-One examined vignettes of future integrated utility provision.
  • CASCADE (see EPSRC - CASCADE) took a complex systems perspective to Smart Grids and Distributed Energy Generation; our partners at the Institute for Energy and Sustainable Development are pursuing a follow-on project AMEN (see EPSRC - AMEN).
  • ABI3L, a TSB (now Innovate UK) funded project (see TSB - ABI3L) an agent based model for multi-modal freight transport.

Clients

Directly and indirectly, related to adaptation and critical infrastructure:

  • Government departments: DfT, DEFRA, BIS 
  • Charities: Institute for Sustainability 
  • Firms: Arup, Ecotricity, MDST, IBM WPD (Western Power Distribution) 
  • National corporations: Network Rail, National Grid 
  • Lobby/coordination groups: ARCC-CN, UKCIP, RSSB

Publications

Articles In Journals

Conference Papers

  • Toossi A, Camci F & Varga L (2013) Developing an AHP based decision model for energy systems policy making. In: IEEE International Conference on Industrial Technology (ICIT).
  • Varga L, Allen P & Varga S (2013) Business model modelling: co-evolutionary competition in utility services. In: ECCS'13, Barcelona.
  • Gonzalez de Durana J, Barambones J, Kremers E & Varga L (2013) Agent based modelling of local energy networks as instances of Complex Infrastructure Systems.
  • Varga & L (2013) Action in 8 domains for an 8 factor improvement: infrastructure with agency.
  • Varga L, Grubic T, Greening P & Varga S (2012) Critical Infrastructure and Social Systems Coevolution.
  • Varga L, Greening P, Fletcher G, Varga S & Griffiths M (2012) Agent based freight logistics - intelligent, integrated and innovative policy making.
  • Varga L, Knoeri C, Steinberger JK, Roelich K & Varga S (2012) Modelling transitions towards resource-efficient and service-oriented infrastructure operation.
  • Varga L (2012) Complexity Science and Energy.
  • Knoeri C, Steinberger JK, Roelich K & Varga L (2012) Resource-efficient and service-oriented infrastructure operation: towards MUSCos: Multi-Service Utility Companies.
  • Varga L, Camci F, Boxall J, Toossi A, Machell J, Blythe P & Taylor C (2012) Transforming Critical Infrastructure: Matching the Complexity of the Environment to Policy.
  • Camci F, Ulanicki B, Boxall J, Chitchyan R & Varga L (2011) Energy and Utilities Infrastructure: Can All be in One.
  • Varga L, Boxall J, Blythe P, Taylor C & Camci F (2011) Integrated energy services not silo'd energy utilities.
  • Varga L (2010) Understanding Energy Sustainability: A Complex Systems Perspective.
  • Varga L (2010) Policy Making for Smart Grids.
  • Varga L (2010) Engineering of Emergence for a Low Carbon Economy.
  • Varga L, Allen PM & Strathern M (2010) Modeling the Growth of Distributed Energy Generation: Part I the approach.
  • Varga L (2009) Aerospace Manufacturing.
  • Varga L, Allen P, Strathern M, Rose-Anderssen C, Baldwin J & Ridgway K (2009) Towards Policy for Firm and Supply Network Coevolution: a Study of Commercial Aerospace Manufacturing.
  • Varga L (2008) A Coevolutionary Perspective on Supply Networks.
  • Varga L, Allen P, Strathern M, Rose-Anderssen C, Baldwin J & Ridgway K (2008) An Ecological Perspective on Supply Networks.
  • Varga L (2008) A Typology for Corporate Responsibility: Profitable and Sustainable.
  • Varga L (2007) Repertory Grid in Organization Studies.
  • Allen PM & Varga L (2006) Social and Economic Complexity: the co-evolution of Reality, Knowledge and Values. In: European Conference on Complex Systems (ECCS) 2006, University of Oxford.
  • Varga L, Allen P, Strathern M, Baldwin J & Rose-Anderssen C (2006) Complexity and the evolution of supply chain structures.
  • Varga L (2005) Inter-connectivity in organization: conflictual diversity as a measure of evolution.
  • Varga E (2004) A case study of the largest aerospace manufacturing organisations: an exploration of organisational strategy, innovation and evolution.

Books

  • Varga L (2014) Complexity Science: The Integrator. In: The Social Face of Complexity Science. Strathern M, McGlade J (ed.), Litchfield Park, AZ: Emergent Publications, p. 11-26.
  • Allen Peter, Strathern Mark, Varga & Elizabeth (2010) Complexity: The Evolution of Identity and Diversity. In: Complexity, Difference and Identity. Cilliers Paul, Preiser Rika (ed.), Heidelberg London New York: Springer, p. 41-60.