Dr Simon Reay Atkinson

PhD, Adjunct Associate Professor
Center for International Security Studies, University of Sydney

Professor Simon Reay Atkinson is a Cambridge educated strategist, researcher, analyst, system assessor, ideator & innovator used to advising top levels of government and industry, with international experience including in Europe, North America, the Middle East and SW Asia.   A professor of cyber, risk, trust and resilience, complex systems (and quantum), networks,; extensively published, he is a systems engineer (and Fellow of the Institute of Engineering & Technology) and Senior Naval Officer in the UK and Australia. Innovative problem solving has been a highlight throughout a wide array of career experiences.  A first degree in engineering was combined with a second degree (a research-based MPhil) in International Relations majoring in Law and Economics. This provided the foundation for the PhD which examined, through engineering and social science lenses, complex systems and human factors modelling including with regard to cyber, risk and resilience. The underlying strength of research has been its applicability and re-use; allowing for re-interpretation and practical application.

Building and leading team-networks incorporating agile and lean techniques capable of learning, and managing change in a variety of different work contexts has been a hallmark. Teams have been nurtured, led and developed in many contexts; including building an aircraft carrier, in the laboratory and lecture room; briefing experts, Industry, Ministers and senior officers; and devising new systems and strategies. As evidenced, these teams have achieved quite remarkable results. As a leader, catalyst, researcher, facilitator, ideas & trust broker, assessor and strategist people from many different backgrounds have formed cohesive units and achieved significant outcomes.      

Twice mentioned in despatches (QCVS), 1997 Bosnia and 2000 Sierra-Leone, he was awarded a MPhil in International Relations (Faculty of History) in 2000 and a PhD in Complex Adaptive Systems, Engineering Design Adaptation (Engineering Department) in 2012, both from St Catharine’s College, Cambridge.