Dr Melanie King

BA (Hons), PhD, SFHEA

  • Senior Lecturer in Systems Engineering


Dr Melanie King has an undergraduate degree in Architecture and a doctorate in Computer Science from Loughborough University. 

After periods of working as a software developer and Computer Aided Design (CAD) technician, she joined the Department of Design & Technology at Loughborough University (1998), working as a research assistant on CAD practices and pedagogy.  Between 2001 and 2010, she worked as a Learning Technologist within the Faculty of Engineering.  From 2011 and 2016, she was the Head of Loughborough’s Centre for Engineering and Design Education (CEDE) and then Head of Digital Innovation, where she managed a highly successful team comprising technologists, educationalists, researchers and students delivering enhancement projects locally and nationally through internal, research and enterprise income. In 2017 se became a Lecturer in Systems Engineering and in 2020 I gained recognition as a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Dr King is both a technologist and academic and has developed a variety of software and IT systems such as; integrated information systems, web applications, laboratory simulation software, data architectures and digital services.  She is also an experienced IT and Project Manager with certifications as an Enterprise Architect (TOGAF 9.0 Certified), DSDM Agile Project Manager and Scrum Master.

Dr King’s research concerns advancing knowledge of the practice of digitilization within companies and whole industries, in particular, she is interested in the way that information-intensive ecosystems are designed and engineered, and most importantly how systems are evaluated to help evidence what works and what does not.  Research methods used include; systems thinking, generic foresight processes, participatory research and theory-driven evaluative research methods.  She is a member of the Advanced VR Research Centre and the Engineering Systems of Systems (ESoS) research group.


PhD, Department of Computer Science, Loughborough University (2017). ‘The Realist Evaluation of Educational Technology’

Main research interests

  • Digital innovation and digital transformation within enterprises and/or complex multi-stakeholder projects, particularly to understand the application and value of systems engineering adoption, Enterprise Architecture, and System of Systems (SoS) perspectives.
  • Information engineering, data technologies, AI/ML, smart systems, trust and ethics.
  • Futures and foresight research methods.
  • Evaluation & realist methodologies to understand real-world impact and consequences of systems implementation, particularly ‘what works’ (or what does not work) in the lifecycle of complex socio-technical integrated systems.  Methods specifically to address complexity issues, in relation to development and embedding of socio-technical systems, into organisational and social systems that are in constant flux.
  • Human and contextual factors and how they link to our understanding of emergent properties of complex systems.

PhD Students

  • Iqra Shahzad – “Digital-first Primary Care: A Realist Evaluation using Soft Systems Methodology” (Primary Supervisor with Prof M Henshawe)
  • Will Brown – “Intelligent systems in smart cities: Advancing co-design, citizen participation and systems engineering practices” (Primary Supervisor with Dr M Goh)
  • Demetrios Joannou – “A Model-Based Engineering Process to Explore Resilience Attributes of a System-of-Systems” (Secondary Supervisor with Prof R Kalawsky) – Graduated 2021.
  • Johnny Cartucho – “Reducing errors in aircraft maintenance and assembly using Industry 4.0 technologies such as AR & Cyber-Physical systems” (Secondary Supervisor with Prof R Kalawsky)
  • Tom Bath – “Digitalization, Modelling and Simulation of complex manufacturing/inspection environments using Virtual Reality” (Secondary Supervisor with Prof R Kalawsky)
  • Irma Hafidz – “Human Factors towards Decision Making using Big Data, Data Analytics & VIZ techniques in Energy Informatics” (Secondary Supervisor with Prof R Kalawsky)

Grants and contracts

  • 2021 EPSRC (PI): Data Innovations for Product Passports: A System of Systems Approach Towards Industry Symbiosis (07/21) University consortium: Loughborough (lead), Sheffield Hallam.  (EPSRC grant EP/S036091/1) £160k
  • 2020 EPSRC (PI): Exploring future Advanced Services developments and collaborations for a ROSCO (Rolling stock operating company) using a systems thinking approach, (09/20), University consortium: Loughborough (lead), Sheffield Hallam, Industrial partner: Porterbrook. £5k (EPSRC grant EP/R044937/1)
  • 2019 EPSRC (CI): A Digital Twin Platform of the Customer Journey for Future BAXI Advanced Services, (07/19) University consortium: Sheffield Hallam (lead), Loughborough, Manchester, Northumbria, Aston. Industrial partners: Baxi Boilers. £110k
  • 2018 Innovate UK & ESRC (CI): Technology Driven Change and Next Generation Insurance Services (TECHNGI), (11/18), University consortium: Loughborough (lead), Exeter, Queen Mary, Reading. Industrial Partners: BGL Group, IBM, JLR, Lloyds, PWC, SCOR, WTW, Z/Yen Group. £1.5m. UKRI Project Ref: ES/S010416/1
  • 2015 HEIF & Jisc (PI): Co-Tutor® system development, commercialisation & cloud shared service – a web-based relationship management system. (10/15) University consortium: Loughborough (lead), Queen Mary, Southampton. £333k
  • 2012 Higher Education Academy (PI) - Commissioned by the Higher Education Academy (HEA) to undertake a National survey of HE STEM teaching academics. £5k
  • 2011 EPSRC (PI): Kit-Catalogue® open source equipment catalogue system & the ‘Uniquip’ open data publishing specification project, (10/11), University consortium: Loughborough (lead: kit-catalogue), Southampton (lead Uniquip), Bath, Northumbria. http://equipment.data.ac.uk/  £90k
  • 2011 Jisc) (PI) ‘Pedestal for Progression’ project.  The aim of this project was to explore the application of a Service Design methodology in order to enhance the student experience for final year students and aid their progression to next stage - either employment or further study. £60k

Current teaching responsibilities


  • WSA015 – Industrial Project in Electronic and Electrical Engineering
  • WSA017 – Industrial Project in Electronic and Computer Systems Engineering
  • WSA018 – Industrial Project in Robotics, Mechatronics and Control Engineering
  • WSC/D500 – Final Year Project Supervision
  • WSD574 – Machine Learning: Principles and Applications for Engineers


  • WSP062/762 – Applied Systems Thinking
  • WSP074 – Machine Learning: Principles and Applications for Engineers

External collaborators 


  • The University of Hull
  • Sheffield Hallam University
  • Northumbria University
  • Aston University
  • Exeter University
  • Bath University
  • Southampton University
  • Newcastle University
  • University of Manchester
  • Queen Mary University of London
  • University of Reading
  • Jisc, Higher Education Academy
  • University of Brisbane


  • Lloyd’s
  • BGL group
  • IBM
  • Jaguar Land Rover
  • Z/Yen Group
  • Willis Towers Watson
  • Baxi
  • Porterbrook
  • Ministry of Defence