City University is to be the first to benefit from a new scheme introduced by the Royal Academy of Engineering. A specialist Visiting Professor in Integrated System Design will join its Engineering and Mathematics School this month. Dr David Stupples will work closely with Philip Thomas, City University’s Professor of Engineering Development in the School of Engineering and Mathematics (SEMS) to establish ground-breaking teaching material for the Engineering Management Course.

The Royal Academy of Engineering recognises that a traditional engineering degree does not equip students well in the development of complex problem solving competencies. The scheme therefore aims to boost university engineering departments by introducing the teaching of new engineering methods able to address the increasingly integrated nature of modern engineering systems. It will take a pragmatic approach to introducing students to the challenges of system integration, and will demonstrate methodologies (through examples) that can help to demystify some of the complexities of large systems.

Perfectly placed for the post, David Stupples was, until recently, a senior partner with PA Consulting where he advised major industrial enterprises and the UK and overseas governments on the design and implementation of large-scale engineered systems. His new pathfinder post will give City University’s engineering undergraduates a unique insight into the techniques and skills needed to manage the kind of large-scale engineered systems seen in the 21st century, from the design and build of an air-traffic management system to the implementation of a major, urban transport system.

City University has made engineering systems a major focus for both its academic programmes and research and welcomes this Royal Academy of Engineering appointment as it will further enhance its considerable standing in the area.

The appointment at City University is the first in a pilot scheme to be established this year involving up to six universities, as a precursor to further appointments in subsequent years.

Peter Deasley FREng, Chairman of The Academy’s System Engineering Working Group says,

“The Royal Academy of Engineering supports excellence and interdisciplinarity in engineering and encourages feedback from engineering practice into the curriculum. The Visiting Professors in Integrated System Design Scheme is one way of doing this. The scheme will convey to students the excitement realised by engineers of working on complex projects, and of the vital management roles played by engineers in achieving success on large system integration projects.”

Notes for editors

  1. Founded in 1976, the Royal Academy of Engineering promotes the engineering and technological welfare of the country. Our fellowship - comprising the UK’s most eminent engineers - provides the leadership and expertise for our activities, which focus on the relationships between engineering, technology, and the quality of life. As a national academy, we provide independent and impartial advice to Government; work to secure the next generation of engineers; and provide a voice for Britain’s engineering community.
  2. The Visiting Professorships Schemes began in 1989 in response to a widely held belief that engineering design education in UK universities was too theoretical and too far removed from industrial practice.
  3. The first tranche of Visiting Professors (VPs) were VPs in Principles of Engineering Design, and in 1998, the scheme was extended to include VPs in Engineering Design for Sustainable Development. This produced teaching materials for undergraduate courses based on case studies in sustainable development.
  4. This third initiative deploys Visiting Professors from industry with extensive experience of system integration into university schools of engineering. They will assist in the construction of undergraduate courses that will develop an awareness of the role played by the systems engineer and the application of system thinking in order to prepare the students for roles in multidisciplinary teams engaged in large complex projects.
  5. David Stupples will work closely with Philip Thomas, City University’s Professor of Engineering Development, to establish ground-breaking teaching material for the Engineering Management Course. He will also work with Professor Nick Karcanias, Associate Dean for Research in the School of Engineering and Mathematics (SEMS), as a member of the Centre for Systems and Modelling on engineered systems research.
    SEMS considers Professor Stupples’ prestigious appointment as key to its plans for expanding the portfolio of engineering programmes and bringing them closer to business and industry in line with the recommendations of the Lambert Review.

For more information please contact

Claire McLoughlin at the Royal Academy of Engineering