Event: System Dynamics in Construction

System Dynamics in Construction

Date: 6th of December 2011
Venue: Halcrow, Elms House, 43 Brook Green, Hammersmith, W6 7EF
Time: 6:00pm start, arrivals from 5:30pm for tea and coffee, talks finished by 7pm.

Wine, nibbles and networking to close.

“From theory to practice – how the application of system dynamics in construction projects can save time and money”

The UK Chapter of the System Dynamics Society invites you to a short series of talks looking at the experience of the application of system dynamics to construction projects within the built environment and an introduction to ongoing research and novel applications.

Originally developed in the 1950s to help corporate managers improve their understanding of industrial processes, system dynamics is currently being used throughout the public and private sector for policy analysis and design.

In the past few years the application of system dynamics to construction projects has helped Fluor and its clients save over £800m. The future applications being developed look to utilise system dynamic theory to help build resilience in our large scale infrastructure systems whilst meeting our sustainability objectives. These talks aim to give a brief introduction to highlight the potential benefits.


Managing the Dynamics of Projects and Changes at Fluor: Kim Warren

An introduction to how Fluor, a business that takes on the toughest challenges in construction and project management, have applied system dynamics to minimise rework through an understanding of the dynamics of changes to designs and programmes and the associated cost savings that this can bring.

Practical lessons of system dynamics: Ian Sinclair

Practical lessons learnt from the application of system dynamics approaches to major construction projects. Ian is a Director of Navigant Consulting and is a Quantity Surveyor with over 40 years in the construction industry. Amongst other projects Ian has been involved with the Channel Tunnel project and London 2012 Olympics.

Building Infrastructure Resilience with System Dynamics: Matt Montgomery

How system dynamic theory has been utilised to identify how sustainability issues are related allowing risks and potential benefits to be managed to build resilience in infrastructure systems.

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14th Annual Gathering of the Chapter

Annual Gathering 2012

THEME : Exploring Alternative Futures.
VENUE: London South Bank University
DATE: Thursday 9th February commencing 12.00 – 10th February

Topics and Speakers:

‘Modeling a Sustainable Economy’
Emanuele Campiglio, New Economics Foundation

‘Modeling Strategy and Business Value’
Richard Stevenson

‘Risk and Resilience of the Critical National Infrastructure’
Bob Thurlby

‘Modeling Business Prospects for Investors’
Maurice Glucksman


Attendee registration includes all presentations and workshops but not accommodation or the Thursday evening meal. Please select your tickets as appropriate (link includes full price details and early-bird offers).


We have not reserved rooms this year as we believe better deals are available online. E.g. a room at Days Inn Hotel Waterloo is available for around £60 on www.otel.com

Notes: Early bird rates are valid to Friday 6th January 2012. Increased rates after January 31 are due to the need to give notice of numbers for venue. Refund policy: cancellations prior to 31 January, full refund, from 1st February 50% refund.

PayPal payments are processed by Strategy Dynamics Ltd on behalf of the Chapter.

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Networking Event in London

System Dynamics Networking Meeting

Date: 21st November 2011
Venue: Crosse Keys
Time: 6:00pm start, presentation at 7pm.

We will be holding a networking meeting in London on November 21st from 6pm onwards. It will be held at The Crosse Keys, 9 Gracechurch Street, City of London, London, EC3V 0DR, food and cash bar available. booking is not necessary.

At this meeting we will have a presentation:

Keeping the Ship Afloat: Modeling Disruption, Risk and Resilience: – Dr Robert Thurlby

Bob is an expert in the strategic issues facing the utilities industries, notably the effective long-term management of their costly networks of physical assets. In recent years, this range of issues has seen a growing focus on major risks faced by such firms, arising from climate change, criminality, terrorism and other factors. After an extensive career within the industry, including senior positions with BT and Serco, Bob now advises large European utilities companies and industry regulators.

We hope to see you there!

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13th Annual Gathering of the Chapter

Annual Gathering 2011

THEME : How System Dynamics Can Help Get (Much) More From Less.

VENUE: London South Bank University

DATE: Thursday 10th Friday – 11th February 2011

Topics and Speakers:

Modeling for Cost Reduction in Pharmaceuticals.
Lee Jones, Ventana Systems UK

Lee discusses recent work in support of cost reduction in the pharmaceutical industry,citing a number of examples from high-level strategy to drug product manufacturing. A Product Life Cycle model is discussed in detail, and lessons learned from interacting with senior management at a large multi-national pharmaceutical company are presented.


Managing the Bathtub of Tax Debt.
Nick Whitehouse, HM Revenue and Customs

The good, honest, hard-working people of the UK owe HMRC about £20bn (yes, billion) in tax debts at any given time. Ministers have become more and more interested in getting hold of some of that cash. However, the level of understanding of how the debt balance actually works – and therefore what we can and cannot do to reduce it – was limited. To improve that, we started with some analytical basics (considering marginal impacts, not including debts that don’t actually exist), then moved on to creating an all-singing, all-dancing system dynamics model of debt. The model covers inflows, outflows, feedback, and the impacts of debt age, value & type, staff changes, process changes, and the advantages of using hired goons wielding baseball bats.

This talk explained the basics of the model, and show how to stretch an analogy to bursting point (and way beyond).


Increasing Software Development Productivity in a Major IT Corporation.
Sîon Cave Mirek Gliniecki, Qinetiq PLC

The development of software is a dynamic and complex problem. Elements of the key software development tasks can be automated to improve end quality and free up resource capacity. For example, performing software tests can be a laborious activity which if automated can be carried out quickly and without tester errors. However, developing automation takes time and is more cost effective for applications with a long shelf life. This presentation describes an innovative System Dynamics based strategy tool produced for a multinational IT corporation in order to assess the optimum level of automation to be used in the development of a software application.


Agent-based Modeling of the Economic Crisis.
Paul Ormerod, Volterra Consulting.

The main difference between agent-based and system dynamics models is that in ABMs, individuals in a popular are heterogeneous, whereas SD stocks assign equal characteristics to all members. Much work on ABMs in economics attempts to ‘fit’ the models to historic patterns, leading to very large models, whereas a more appropriate aim would be to mimic key features of events. A key feature of boom and bust cycles that an ABM can capture well is the spread or containment of optimism and pessimism among a network of connected agents.


The Steer Davies Gleave Prize:

Implementing the Comprehensive Spending Review in home care for older people
Peter Lacey, Whole System Partnership


The UK Chapter Student Prize

Understanding empty property management in a local government housing department
Rhys Lewis, Caerphilly County Borough Council


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Networking meeting held in London

In addition to networking we plan to have a discussion based on the topic “Sharing recent successes from our SD work”. On this occasion we used a discussion format and everyone contributed, leading to a lively and interesting evening.

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Networking meeting held in Manchester

Networking meeting held in Manchester, included presentation by Lee Jones of Ventana Systems: System Dynamics to Boost Innovation.

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12th Annual Gathering of the Chapter

Annual Gathering 2010

11th & 12th February 2010: London South Bank University

“Environmental Challenges”


Nick Mabey: Founder and the Chief Executive of E3G.

Until December 2005 he was a senior advisor in the UK Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit leading work on a variety of policy areas, including energy, fisheries, unstable states and organised crime.

Nick Mabey’s Biography is available here.

Dennis Sherwood: a leading expert in creativity, innovation and business modelling at Silver Bullet, and former Executive Director at Goldman Sachs Europe, responsible for internal audit and internal consultancy.

David Fisk: the BP/Royal Academy of Engineering Chair at Imperial College in Engineering for Sustainable Development and Co-director of the BP Urban Energy Systems project.

John Morecroft: Senior Fellow, Management Science and Operations at London Business School. His works focuses on the use of business modelling and simulation for strategy and scenario development. He has advised international organisations including Royal Dutch / Shell, BBC World Service and Mars Inc.

In addition we have a special event on the morning of Friday the 12th (9:15-11:15) when Kim Warren will lead a session of the Copenhagen Climate Change Exercise. “This event will give you a chance to explore and understand the biggest ‘strategic challenge’ of all – climate change”.

Outline programme:

Thursday : Speakers and presentation of Steer Davis Gleave Prize

Friday “The Copenhagen Climate Exercise”, Student Prize, Poster session and PhD Colloquium

Applications are invitated for the Steer Davies Gleave Prize and also for the Student Prize

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