Cranfield School of Management


Peter Allen

Emeritus Professor


Peter Allen


  • Evolutionary complex systems
  • Mathematical modelling
  • Non-linear dynamics, chaos, change and transformation
  • Distributed learning networks

Peter founded the Complex Systems Research Centre that is now headed by Dr Liz Varga. The Centre is and has been involved in a wide range of research projects. These currently include: an EPSRC funded research project with De Montfort University on creating Smart Grid models to help policies and infrastructure decisions for future energy production and distribution; an ESRC funded joint project with Sheffield University "Modelling the Evolution of the Aerospace Supply Chain"; an EU Sixth Framework project "Quasiopportunistic supercomputing for complex systems in Grid environments" (QosCosGRID), concerning the development of evolutionary supply networks; OMEGA, a multi-university consortium carrying out research concerning Aviation and Environment. The project is looking a different scenarios of the European Carbon Trading scheme and the impacts that this may have on innovation in the aviation sector.

Peter is Editor in Chief of the Journal Emergency: Complexity and Organization. He has a PhD in Theoretical Physics, was a Royal Society European Research Fellow 1969 - 71 and a Senior Research Fellow at the Universite Libre de Bruxelles from 1972 - 1987, where he worked with Nobel Laureate, Ilya Prigogine. Since 1987 he has run two Research Centres at Cranfield University. He was also co-founder of the Complexity Society that has organized courses and research seminars across the UK. For over 30 years Peter has been working on the mathematical modelling of change and innovation in social, economic, financial and ecological systems, and the development of integrated systems models linking the physical, ecological and socio-economic aspects of complex systems as a basis for improved decision support systems. A range of dynamic integrated models has been developed in such diverse domains as industrial networks, supply chains, river catchments, urban and regional development, fisheries and also economic and financial markets. Professor Allen has written and edited several books and published well over 200 articles in a range of fields including ecology, social science, urban and regional science, economics, systems theory, and physics. He has been a consultant to the Cambridge Econometrics, the Asian Development Bank, the Canadian Fishing Industry, Elf Aquitaine, BT, GlaxoSmithKline, DERA, DSTL, the United Nations University, and the European Commission.
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