Human Systems are organisations of people, process and technology. They serve many human interests, including defence, security, education and business. The development and operation of these systems depend upon a wide range of expertise from the art of strategy, leadership, creativity and communication skills through to analytical science, engineering and information technology. The way in which the various aspects of Human Systems work together governs the effectiveness of the whole.

We bring together the many disciplines which address different aspects of people, process and technology. With this multidisciplinary approach and a focus on a collective human purpose, human systems can be designed harmoniously, exploiting the unique value that humans and technology can each bring to system capability, while allowing for people's natural behaviour rather than train against the grain. 

Through research, consultancy and teaching, we provide an understanding of the issues and methods for designing and operating Human Systems. Specific topics include the following:

Understanding the Human: 

  • Organisational, social and cultural issues;
  • Group dynamics - attitudes, expectations and assumptions;
  • Cognitive capabilities, intuitive and analytical thinking, human attributes, skills, competencies, education and training. Influencing human behaviour, optimising human performance;
  • Interactions between people and technology.

Methodologies for Human Systems: 

  • Socio-technical methods, design for engineering, art and science;
  • Process design - use of simulation, modelling, operations analysis, trials, experimentation, analysis, expert judgement, observation, assessment;
  • Systems thinking;
  • Needs and requirements;
  • Exploitation of information, technology, and human attributes.

Human Factors in Systems Engineering: 

  • Management, processes and techniques for Human Factors Integration across the CADMID cycle;
  • Human Factors Engineering and Ergonomics;
  • Human Performance;
  • Technology insertion;
  • HFI in UORs and COTS/MOTS programmes (Human Factors Integration in Urgent Operational Requirements and Commercial Off The Shelf/Military Off The Shelf programmes);
  • Safety – the Human Component;
  • Strategic Management of Human Factors;
  • Managing Human Factors Integration (HFI);
  • Culture of the Workplace;
  • Military Anthropology.

About our research

Our research is highly regarded internationally and our academics are called upon to undertake progressive research projects and to provide impartial, expert advice on their subjects. Our approach to research and consultancy projects is flexible. While our main areas of research are defence and security, we often apply our knowledge to other sectors or to bring together multidisciplinary teams combining the skills of a number of academic areas.

Our research influences and informs the global defence and security sector. Forged through a distinctive blend of expertise, experience and facilities, we are leaders in defence and security research.

Working with us

There are a variety of ways in which your organisation can engage and work with us. We can provide real-world solutions that support and inform your operations, products and services. To highlight a few of the ways that you can work with us:

• Provision of expert advice;
• Sponsor a PhD student research project;
• Commission a research project;
• Collaborate on an research activity or project;
• Provision of support to a master's project;
• Commission a customised development programme, tailored to the requirements of your organisation;
• Commission a consultancy project. 


Clients and partners

We work closely with the military, industry and government departments to influence and provide leading solutions to major global defence and security challenges.

Examples of key business clients and partners include:

• RAF,
• Research Councils,
• BAE Systems,
• FCO,
• MOD,
• Chemring,
• AEL Mining,
• Honda.