Category Archives: Awards

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Outstanding Contribution Award

Category : Awards

As part of our 20th anniversary the Chapter Policy Council decided to introduce a new annual Outstanding Contribution award.

This award recognises those who have supported the development of the field of System Dynamics in the UK and/or have contributed their time and energy to supporting the activities of the UK Chapter

The recipient of the award is decided by..continue

2016 Student Prize

Oluwasegun Aluko (University of Leeds)

The winner of the student prize was Oluwasegun Aluko from the University of Leeds for his paper “A Model for the Evaluation of Transport Safety Policies in Commercial Motorcycle Operation in Nigeria”.

2016 Student Prize

There were five full paper entries for the student prize, covering a range of system dynamics applications in business, the environment and the housing market. The papers were assessed on four criteria: dynamic problem formulation, justified use of the system dynamics methodology, model results and implementation, and contribution to knowledge. All entrants gave presentations of their work to the UK System Dynamics Chapter Annual Conference and received feedback from the judging panel with a view to publishing their work.

Three features of Oluwasegun Aluko’s work stood out. Firstly, the range of policy changes that gave insight into how the driver behaviour could be improved. Secondly, the data extraction methods used. Semi-structured interviews with drivers were used in model construction and calibration. Thirdly, the potential transferability of the model to other forms of commercial taxi services across many developing countries where the operational issues are similar.

Although Oluwasegun could not be there to receive the prize, it was received on his behalf by his PhD supervisor, Dr Astrid Güehnemann, who also presented his work to the chapter conference. The policy council send their congratulations to Oluwasegun, and wish him the best in his future career.

A copy of his presentation is available from

2016 Geoff Coyle Medal Winner

Chris Spencer (Strategy Dynamics)

Chris Spencer has been awarded the 2016 Geoff Coyle Medal for his work in developing the Sysdea System Dynamics software, which makes System Dynamics modelling properly accessible to practically anyone.

Coyle Prize 2016

Simon Shepherd (Left), the UK Chapter President, presenting the Geoff Coyle Medal to Chris Spencer (Right)

Chris’ browser-based approach brings System Dynamics modelling squarely into the 21st century and exploits all the benefits of the Cloud.  Chris has also clearly put much thought into ease-of-use and demystification of preceding approaches, not only to modelling but also to the practicalities of System Dynamics.  In a nutshell, he has created a simulation package that is easy to understand.  Because it is shareable and browser-based, there is nothing to install and there is no barrier to looking at, running and understanding models by people with no training in System Dynamics or System Dynamics software. Novices can open the web app and create working models with much more efficiency than ever before.

There are two outstanding features of the Sysdea software that justify the award of the Geoff Coyle prize to Chris Spencer. First, the speed with which models can be created. The design concept makes model building fast and easy. Second, the ease of sharing the models, either finished for review or in co-creation.  This is a great benefit in teaching, as well as for practical business applications and even scientific use.  Chris Spencer is highly deserving of the prize and the policy council have no doubt that Geoff Coyle, once recovered from the shock of how easy Sysdea makes System Dynamics, would agree wholeheartedly.

The Sysdea software, for which Chris has been awarded the Geoff Coyle Medal, can be found at In addition the Sysdea User Guide can be downloaded from, and there are more resources at A copy of the presentation Chris gave at the conference is available from

Event news and Geoff Coyle Prize

Here’s a little news to keep you up to date with the latest Policy Council initiatives.  I did say it was a little news….


As you are no doubt aware, the UK Chapter hold a (seemingly) random series of events  throughout the year and most of these are held in London, in response to previous questionnaires.  Our next such random event, to be held in Edinburgh on the 19th of this month, will no doubt prove once again to be interesting, entertaining and an ideal opportunity to meet fellow practitioners.

We like these events, and we want more!  This is where you come in.  The UK Chapter wants to encourage others to organise relevant events to be publicised to the wider community.  So, if you know of such events or are organising or thinking of organising an event, we are here to help.

In addition to publicising your event to almost 500 members (actually 421 but it sounds better) we can provide some financial support up to a maximum of £500.  This can be used towards travel & subsistence costs for speakers or for event hire.  A formal submission would need to be made to the Policy Council who will meet in a secret location in a dark corner of the island to determine the worthiness of your begging letter, I mean, request for financial assistance.

Not all events can be supported, if you want to increase the chance that your event will attract financial support, we are particularly looking for events covering a specific industry sector or theme.

In addition to the above, if there are any events you believe would be of interest to the membership (either national or local events), please do let us know, preferably with a link to the event notice or some information regarding subject, location and time.  We will then advertise the event on our website and (subject to the number of such notices we receive) publicise via email to the subscribed members.

Geoff Coyle Prize

The Geoff Coyle prize is to be awarded for innovative system dynamics work in the UK.  Since Geoff Coyle had encouraged early career developments in SD, this will form the scope of the prize for either research or practice.
The prize takes the form of a medal and will be presented at our annual conference on April 15th 2016 .

Guidelines for submission:

UK-based nominee

Early career: within 10 years of commencing use of SD

Only submissions reported in calendar year considered

Description of work and contribution (no more than 800 words,12pt font size in plain text)

Discretionary award by 3 member panel of policy council

No age limit applies

The awarding panel will contact short-listed nominees in order to discuss their work, prior to award.

Closing date Friday 1st April 2016

Click here to nominate.

Past Events: 2015 Conference Presentations

Annual Conference 2015

THEME : Public Policy for Innovation and Finance
VENUE:  London School of Economics
DATE: 12:20 Thursday 26th  March  – 16:00 Friday 27th March

UK SDS Conference Proceedings 2015

Session 1 – Systems thinking in public policy

Using Systems Thinking in Public Policy: The experience of the Munro Review of child protection child protection: David Lane (Henley Business School)


System Dynamics and Group Model Building for Public Policy – some examples of the use of SD and GMB at the Ministry of Security and Justice in The Netherlands : Rian van Gulijk-Boon, Willem Stapel (Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice)



Session 2 – Systems modelling for innovation

Systems mapping for international benchmarking of the UK science and innovation system : Ian Mitchell (UK Gov: BIS)



Systems change in theory and practice : Geoff Mulgan (Nesta)


Session 3 – System dynamics in international development and finance

Systems thinking and system dynamics in international development : Ben Ramalingam (Overseas Development Institute)


Minsky: Extending System Dynamics to easily handle financial flows : Steve Keen (Kingston University)




Inaugural Geoff Coyle award

Winner: Martin Kunc


Exploring developments in system dynamics software – Introduction

Siôn Cave (Decision Analysis Services)


Web-based modelling

Sysdea and web based modelling : Kim Warren (Strategy Dynamics Ltd)



The Systo toolkit for building modelling-enabled web pages : Robert Muetzelfeldt (University of Edinburgh / Simulistics Ltd)


Disaggregated modelling and handling structural complexity

Ventity and entity-based System Dynamics modelling : Lee Jones (Ventana Systems UK)



Using Simile to handle disaggregation and individual-based modelling : Robert Muetzelfeldt – University of Edinburgh / Simulistics Ltd, Jasper Taylor


Student Presentations

Update on State Stability; introducing the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015, David Carter, Plymouth University

Interdependencies between the long-term supply capacity investment decisions of the power and gas industries: the case of the United Kingdom: Donna Peng (Delft University of Technology and Comillas Pontifical University)


Understanding the impact of ‘Cycle Superhighway” policy in London using a system dynamics simulation model : Mariana Hernandez (Nijmegen University)

PhD Poster Session

Dynamics of school choice problem: Multiple agency views

Dave Carter (Plymouth University)

Informing renewable energy policy in hydrocarbon-rich countries using system dynamics approach: The case of Oman: Aisha Al-Sarihi (Imperial College London)

Causal loop diagram of freight transport system in Laos : Daosadeth Soysouvanh (University of Leeds)

System Dynamics and the development and utilization of isolated island electricity systems : George Matthew (Open University)


How can the diffusion of domestic energy-efficient renovations be accelerated? How occupiers make their decisions to proceed with energy efficiency renovations? : Yekatherina Bobrova (University College London)


New award launched

Geoff Coyle Prize

In recognition of his outstanding contribution to System Dynamics, not just here in the UK, but internationally, the UK Chapter today launches the “Geoff Coyle Prize” for “innovative system dynamics work in the UK”.  The award, in the form of a medal, will be presented at our annual conference.

More information can be found here.

Past Event: 2014 Annual Conference

Annual Conference 2014

THEME : Operational Risk and Analytics
VENUE:  London School of Economics (New Academic Building, Wolfson Theatre)
DATE: 12:30 Thursday 3rd April  – 16:00 Friday 4th April

Speaker abstracts


Thursday 3 April

  • Dr Aled Jones (Global Sustainability Institute) – ‘Modelling global risk from resource scarcity’
  • Dr Dennis Sherwood and Tim Leslie – “Managing risk wisely – and holistically – at Ofqual”
  • Michael Mortensen, Prof Stewart Robinson, Prof Neil Doherty (Loughborough University) – Big Data, Analytics & System Dynamics: The Red Pill or the Blue Pill?
  • Dr Dave Exelby (Decision Analysis Services) and Vittorio Raimondi (Foresight Associates) – ‘Bridging the Gap – systems models linking consumer behavioural insights to coherent strategic planning’
  • Discussion on analytics  followed by the Steer Davies Gleave prize, award and presentation

Friday 4 April

  • Interactive Workshop: Peter Lacey (Whole Systems Partnership)     Collaborative workforce planning in the NHS
  • PhD Poster session: student introductions
  • Chapter AGM
  • Student presentations
  • Student prize: award

Previous Events


2014 Student Prize Winner

The UK Chapter Policy Council are pleased to announce the winner of the student prize for 2014 is Jennifer Morgan.   Jennifer presented her work to the Annual Conference on Friday April 4th, entitled “Exploring frameworks for mixing DES and SD in theory and in practice “.


Calling all System Dynamics Students

Student Presentations at the 2014 Conference

We would like to invite you to consider submitting a student presentation (poster or slides) for the forthcoming system dynamics conference of the UK chapter which will take place in London between 3-4 April 2014.

Students are invited to submit proposals for oral presentations and/or poster designs explaining research projects employing system dynamics as part of their studies (PhD, masters or undergraduate level students at British universities considered). Prizes are available for both presentation formats. Ongoing work is warmly welcomed for which feedback can be sought from practitioners and other academics and as such, presenting can be an invaluable source of feedback for students in the middle of their studies.

Student submissions cannot be accepted after the cut-off date 15 March 2014.

To submit a paper or poster, complete the form here.

Applications are also still open for the student prize.

Please pass this information on to others you may know who could also be interested in presenting their system dynamics research submissions from British universities.

Report from the 2012 Annual Gathering

Annual Gathering 2012

THEME : Exploring Alternative Futures.
VENUE: London South Bank University
DATE: 9th/10th February 2012

The 14th Annual Gathering of the UK Chapter of the System Dynamics Chapter was held on February 9th and 10th at London South Bank University on the broad theme of ‘Exploring Alternative Futures’.  With an increased attendance from the previous year, there were three main speakers on the afternoon of Thursday 9 February 2012, followed by the Steer Davies Gleave prize presentation.  After an evening meal enjoyed at a nearby Italian restaurant, the Friday sessions included an interactive seminar and a series of short presentations by software vendors, followed by a student colloquium and the AGM.

Modelling a sustainable economy.
Emanuele Campiglio of the New Economics Foundation described work in progress to build a macroeconomic model of the UK economy in order to explore alternatives to existing economic paradigms.  The aim of the project is to explore how a modern developed economy might produce high employment without compromising environmental sustainability.  The concept has been based on Peter Victor’s low-growth system dynamics model of the Canadian economy.  The system dynamics model has been built around a core using conventional economic theory (standard production functions and aggregate demand relationships). Currently the model covers only the UK economy. Future work could include 1) application to other countries 2) explicit inclusion of the banking sector and international trade 3) more detailed modelling of relationships with stock-flow structures to avoid over-use of auxiliary variables.
Modeling a Sustainable Economy

Connecting SD with Strategy and Finance
Richard Stevenson of Cognitus gave his views on why he thought attempts to popularise system dynamics with mainstream management using ‘systems thinking’ and ‘strategy dynamics’ have fallen short.  He believes system dynamics has remained relatively obscure because it has not connected with the hard business realities of value creation and standard financial measurement.  Addressing this gap, the Business Value Cycle is proposed as a universal business model.  Strategy is then viewed as a balanced management of resources to create financial value.  The concept of the Business Value Cycle draws together insights from strategy dynamics, valuation and balanced management. One key idea Richard advocated was to generate outputs from SD models that are directly compatible with reports that finance people are used to seeing.  Richard  illustrated the application of the Business Value Cycle with a case study from the pharmaceutical industries where his approach had helped to make a major disinvestment decision.
Modeling Strategy and Business Value

Place your bets: what’s happening to gold?
Maurice Glucksman and Bianca Granara of Hamilton Ventures conducted real-time research with the audience based on their experience of advising a client on the gold investment market.

The price of gold has been increasing markedly over recent years. Investors often express widely divergent views on how the price might change in future based on speculative and intangible factors but rarely recognise  the long term drivers of supply and demand.

The presentation invited the audience to make predictions to mirror those made on “prediction markets” and then to bet on the future price of gold, using real money. This yielded a distribution of the predicted future price in 2014 that was approximately Normal.  An assessment based on some system dynamics modelling of the industry was then presented and the same question was posed to the audience, who were again invited to bet with real money.   With new information available, the result was a downward skew in the audience’s range of price predictions.  Winners were decided and their winnings collected, but it remains to be seen if their cash will be invested in gold.
What’s happening to gold? Place your bets

Steer Davies Gleave prize presentation:

Symmetric Partnership / Department of Health
The Steer Davies Gleave system dynamics prize is awarded annually for the best application of system dynamics modelling to a topic of wide public interest.  The winning entry this year was from the Symmetric Partnership, for their work on the “Alcohol Systems Model”, carried out for the Department of Health.  The prize was accepted by Douglas McKelvie on behalf of Symmetric Partnership, after which he gave a presentation describing the work.  At its heart was a four stock model that simulated how people move between different states of alcohol dependency, with various costed interventions available to slow down or reverse their transition to increased alcohol use. Douglas showed how the model can be used to assess intervention strategies, comparing outcomes against costs.  Although a spreadsheet model had been available previously, the new model included explicit dynamic relationships, and was capable of showing how there can be delays between initial investment and the resulting benefits, such as savings from fewer hospital admissions.  The model is now available for use by Primary Care Trusts.

Managing strategy in the asset-intensive utilities industry.
On  Friday morning, Bob Thurlby presented work on a four stock model of aging assets based on his extensive experience in the utilities industries.  Managing assets is a matter of balancing the allocation of resources between maintenance, refurbishment and replacement policies while also complying with external regulatory targets for performance.  The audience was invited to experiment with a microworld simulation to attempt to achieve a maximum net cash flow within regulatory constraints.  The session ended with a discussion on emerging threats and the tasks of managing risks and achieving resilience in the face of climate change, cyber-attacks and terrorism.
Risk and Resilience of the Critical National Infrastructure

Presentations by software vendors
Next came a series of presentations from SD software vendors to show how their products are evolving.   The vendors included Insight Maker, Sysdea by Strategy Dynamics Ltd, Goldsim, AnyLogic and Powersim. A paper flyer was distributed describing the new features available in isee Systems’software: ithink and Stella version 10.  An interesting theme was the growing availability of web-based modelling systems requiring no software installation.

Student colloquium
Along with poster presentations by other students, Matt Montgomery of Halcrow presented his work as part of his Engineering Doctorate at the Bristol University Systems Centre on systems-based sustainable design, construction and maintenance in the engineering and infrastructure industries. The “HalSTAR Systems” process enables users to efficiently and effectively identify context specific sustainability related issues and identify their indirect, secondary and cumulative effects. It allows causal loop diagrams to be produced, highlighting systemic behaviour and allowing negative effects to be mitigated and synergies to be enhanced. HalSTAR Systems is being designed into a piece of software which allows inter-project learning and the sharing of knowledge and risks between project teams
UKSD event – A system dynamics approach for sustainability

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