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Dr Richard Williams FRSA


Richard Williams

The Management School



Tel: +44 1524 592214

Research overview

I am a member of the Department of Management Science's Simulation Research Group and Information Systems Research Group. In addition, I am an Affiliate Member of the multidisciplinary Data Science Institute. My research revolves around the broad theme of Complex Systems Analysis. At present, I have particular interest in two main areas around: Operational Research of Health and Illness, using both hard and soft OR approaches; and Computational Social Systems, where emphasis is currently applied to the use of computational, mathematical and statistical approaches to understand how to harness the complexity that arises in large multi-vendor Enterprise Systems implementations.

PhD supervision

I am willing to supervise PhD students who have research interests around either 1) complexity within large Enterprise Systems implementations, or 2) how digital technology can be used within health and illness. The first research area can be tackled either from the perspective of the complex social interactions within the organisational structure of the project/programme, or from the perspective of the complexity arising from the technology itself. The second research area spans the wider topic of digital health, but I am specifically interested in how operational research techniques can be leveraged to assist us in understanding how disease and illness is developed at the cellular level, the human level, or propagated through a population.

Career Details

  • 2013 +           Lecturer in Management Science, Department of Management Science, Lancaster University
  • 2013 - 2015    SAMS-ESRC-UKCES Management and Business Development Fellow, Department of Management Science, Lancaster University
  • 2004 - 2009    Project Manager (Consultant), Oracle Corporation UK Ltd
  • 2001 - 2004    Applications Consultant (Programmer), Oracle Corporation UK Ltd
  • 1999 - 2000    Associate Consultant, Cambridge Professional Development Ltd

Research Interests

Currently focused around Complexity in Project Management, because:

The implementation and management of large software projects often becomes the preserve of external service providers. Some of the larger projects consist of hundreds of customer and third-party team members, who may be located across multiple geographies, and time zones. It has been argued that the increasing size and complexity of these software implementation projects, leads them to exhibit the behaviours and traits of complex systems.

Without a clear understanding of the emergent behaviours of large projects, it is difficult to predict the likelihood of successful implementation.

Professional Role

I'm currently the Department of Management Science's representative on the Faculty Research Ethics Committee (FASS/LUMS), a member of the Business Analytics and Consultancy Degree Task Force, and a member of the Pendle College Advisor Team (PCAT).

I have previously been the Early Career Representative on the University Research Committee (2014-15), and the Director of Part I Undergraduate Studies in Management Science (2015-16).

Current Teaching

MSCI105 Project Challenge (aka Project Event Management)

MSCI251 Project Management Tools and Techniques

MSCI390 Business Analytics & Consultancy Consolidation Project (Final Year Capstone)

FMBA508 Digital Innovation in Business


I have academic qualifications within the fields of Biochemistry (BSc Wales, MPhil Cambridge), Computational Biology (MRes York), Computer Science (MSc Kent, PhD York), and Higher Education (PGCertAP Lancaster). In addition I have a number of professional certifications and registrations, including: Chartered Professional Member of the British Computer Society (MBCS CITP), Chartered Professional Member of the Royal Society of Biology (CBiol MRSB), Project Management Professional of the Project Management Institute (PMP), Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (SMIEEE), Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA), and Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).

Research Grants

I have secured the following grant income:

Lancaster University Management School Pump Priming Scheme (May 2015 - Dec 2016)

Competitively awarded small grant to provide travel expenses for a visit to North America with a view to developing future collaborative research links.


Lancaster University Early Career Small Grant Scheme (May 2014 - Dec 2016)

Competitively awarded small grant to provide fieldwork expenses for a 2-year qualitative research project.


SAMS-ESRC-UKCES Academic Development Fellowship (Oct 2013 - Sep 2015)

Junior Research Fellowship aimed at career changers, providing 50% of salary costs for the first two years of a Lectureship at Lancaster University Management School.
Grant Reference: ES/L002612/1 

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