Contact Professor Philip John

Areas of expertise

  • Systems Engineering


In 1999 Prof John joined Cranfield to take up the Chair of Systems Engineering and subsequently established one of Europe’s leading Centres of Systems Engineering.  He has held several roles in the University, including Technical Director leading the FLAVIIR research programme that developed a novel Uninhabited Air Vehicle called DEMON, demonstrating flapless control and other new technologies in flight.

Prior to this move to academia, Phil had a successful industrial career in a wide range of senior managerial roles in Systems Development and Project Management, including international responsibilities as Head of Systems Engineering for a major multinational blue chip company.

He has been a member of several National Advisory Committees and Industrial Steering Boards and served as the President of the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) in the UK from 2003 to 2004. Phil gained his PhD in Mechanical Engineering at Imperial College, London

Current activities

Professor Philip John was Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Head of the School of Aerospace, Transport & Manufacturing and the Professor of Systems Engineering at Cranfield University. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering.

Professor John provides research, training and consultancy to many major organisations dealing with complex systems issues. His research interests reflect the wide range of systems expertise necessary to understand and manage the complexities and risks of today’s highly integrated and demanding world including:

  • Understanding complex Systems and Systems of Systems
  • Managing complex systems projects and risks
  • Through Life Capability Management
  • Integrated System Design
  • Coping with uncertainly and change in systems.


Professor John's clients include major industrial and government organisations who deal with the challenges of today's complex systems. Principal clients include:
  • Airbus
  • Rolls-Royce
  • Boeing
  • AWE
  • BAE Systems
  • Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL)
  • Home Office
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Ministry of Defence.


Articles In Journals

Conference Papers


  • Price S & John P (2004) Chapter 10: the status of models in defence systems engineering. In: Systems Modelling: Theory and Practice, Chichester, UK: Wiley, p. 164-174.
  • Wiese PR & John P (2003) Engineering design in the multi-discipline era: a systems approach. London: Professional engineering publishing.