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Personal Statement

A common theme that runs through my research is risk modelling, whereby I develop models to support decision making under uncertainty.  Much of my work makes use of both data analysis as well as expert judgement, often applied to support the design or maintenance of complex sociotechnical systems.  The projects I am working on concern a range of application areas such as large manufacturing processes, maintenance of offshore wind farms and search and rescue operations for the coastguard supporting Inuit communities. 

Examples of some recent projects I have been involved with are:

NSAR: This project is funded jointly by the NERC and Canada’s National Research Council (NRC). The aim of the project is to strengthen the whole-of-society search and rescue (SAR) system in the Canadian Arctic territory of Nunavut through capacity and skill building, and by creating a decision support model for current and future planning, preparation, and infrastructure development

NEXUS:  The Horizon 2020 funded project concerning vessel design to support offshore windfarm maintenance, where models were developed that link vessel design characteristics with windfarm productivity and so help identify optimal designs.  A collaborative project with academics from Management Science and Naval, Ocean and Marine Engineering as well as industrial partners Kongsberg, Gondan, Global Marine, DNV, Sintef and Arttic.

PCAD: The EPSRC funded project to create algorithms and identify statistical methods to enable a predictive Computer Aided Design (CAD) system which enhances the productivity of engineering designers.  A collaborative project with academics from Design, Manufacturing and Engineering Management.

Resilience and Robustness of Dynamic Manufacturing Supply Networks: The EPSRC funded project to develop methods for supplier risk analysis.  A collaborative project with academics from Management Science and the Universities of Bristol, Nottingham and Coventry as well as industrial partner Rolls Royce.  

Productivity and Sustainability Management in the Responsive Factory: The EPSRC funded project is concerned with the use of real time data during manufacturing to optimise operations, identify opportunities for improvements in efficiency, productivity and sustainability through the use of probabilistic networks.  This is a collaborative project with academics from the Universities of Edinburgh and Napier as well as the National Manufacturing Institure of Scotland.

I am committed to working with industry and have been involved in consultancy and applied research projects with a variety of organisations for example, Aero-Engine Controls, Rolls Royce, IrvingGQ, BAE SYSTEMS and the MOD.  Beyond defence, I have experience of developing decision support models for asset management for energy utilities (e.g. Scottish Power, SSE), water utilities (KTP with Scottish Water), critical infrastructure (e.g. anchorage condition assessment of Forth Road Bridge) and risk of train derailments with Railway Safety and Standards Board. 

I have worked with the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) training staff for elicitation and quantification of expert uncertainty as well as leading the COST Working Group on Processes and Procedures for eliciting expert judgment.  The COST project resulted in the book Elicitation: The Science and Art of Structuring Judgement.

I am an Associate of the Society of Actuaries, a Chartered Statistician, and a member of the Safety and Reliability Society.  I have a Bachelor of Mathematics in Actuarial Science from the University of Waterloo, Canada and a PhD in Management Science from the University of Strathclyde.  I am currently Vice Dean (Research) for the Strathclyde Business School.  Between 2016-19 I was Head of Department for Management Science 


Teaching Interests

John provides specialist teaching for a number of programmes at various levels.  These have included teaching Management Science at all levels of undergraduate and postgraduate as well as Executive Education.  John has taught in 10 different international centres across Europe, the Middle East and South East Asia, as well as Executive Education in Canada. 

John is committed to making effective use of technology to support teaching and learning.  He has been involved in managing, developing and teaching on pedagogically successful online and distance courses, as well as investigating the effectiveness of using virtual reality environments to support teaching.    

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Managing Infomration From a Reliability Growth Programme, UNIVERSITY OF STRATHCLYDE

Award Date: 1 Jan 1998

Bachelor of Mathematics, University of Waterloo

Award Date: 1 Jan 1993


  • Uncertainty
  • Statistics
  • big data analytics
  • decision making
  • Bayesian Networks
  • expert judgement


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