Professor Michael Henshaw


  • Professor of Systems Engineering

Michael Henshaw’s research interests are in integration and management of complex sociotechnical systems. It focuses on real systems and he has made contributions in cyber-physical Systems of Systems Engineering associated with several domains, and to autonomy, C2, systems architecture, ethics, decision making, and quantum systems engineering.

Professor Henshaw graduated in Applied Physics and his early research developed and used CFD to model laser-plasma interactions. He worked for British Aerospace (later BAE Systems) in computational modelling of aeronautical systems for seventeen years. In 2006, he joined Loughborough as Professor of Systems Engineering to lead a large multi-disciplinary academic/industry project in Network Enabled Capability.

Between 2016 and 2020 he led the University’s Global Challenge in Secure and Resilient Societies. He has been Wolfson School Associated Dean responsible for Education and Student Experience since 2020. Additionally, he is Director of the Systems Engineering MSc. and Level 7 Apprenticeship Programme.

Strategic Research and Teaching Themes: Cyber-physical Systems of Systems, Systems Thinking, Capability Engineering, Quantum Systems Engineering, Resilient Systems


1983 University of Hull: BSc (First Class Hons.) Applied Physics; Dept. prize top student
1989 University of Hull: PhD Applied Physics; Thesis: ‘Computer modelling of hydrodynamic instabilities in spherical laser accelerated targets’
1998 University of Lincolnshire & Humberside (part-time): Master of Business and Administration (Distinction) (Prize top student in each of the three years)


1986-1987 Research Assistant, Hull University, Applied Physics Dept.
1987-1989 Research Assistant, York University, Physics Dept.
1989-2006 Aerodynamics Engineer, BAE Systems (see industrial-based projects below)
2006 - Professor, Loughborough University
2020-2023 Associate Dean Education and Student Experience

Whilst at BAE Systems, Michael was a Royal Academy of Engineering Visiting Professor in Systems Engineering at Cranfield University (2005-2006)

Professional society membership

  • The Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeSoc),
  • The International Council Of Systems Engineering (INCOSE).
  • The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE)
  • The Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors (IEHF)

Prizes and awards

  • NATO CSO Panel Excellence Award 2023 for leadership and contributions to the panel
  • Honorary member of DTUS Typhoon Squadron 2023
  • NATO CSO Panel Excellent Award 2017 for Lecture Series in Systems of Systems Engineering for NATO Defense Applications
  • NATO Scientific Achievement Award (team prize) 2014 for work on C2 Agility and Requisite Maturity (SAS-085 Final Report)
  • In 1999; awarded a prestigious BAE SYSTEMS Chairman’s silver award for innovation, for development of aeroelastics prediction technologies

Best papers

  • Best Paper Award INCOSE Symposium 2011 - Henshaw, M., Kemp, D., Lister, P., Daw, A., Harding, A., Farncombe, A., and Touchin, M. (2011) Capability Engineering - An Analysis of Perspectives, INCOSE 21st Int. Symp., Denver, US, 20-23 June
  • Best Paper Award CEAS (Council of European Aerospace Societies) 2002 - Henshaw, MJD (2002) Current status and the future for unsteady flow research. In CEAS Aerospace Aerodynamics Research Conference, CEAS, Cambridge, UK, pp.1-15.

Advisory roles (continuous)

  • Innovate UK KTN Defence and Security Board member 2016 - 2020
  • BSI Committee member IST/15 (Systems and Software), 2016 - present
  • NATO CSO Systems Concepts and Integration Panel (SCI) – member at large in Aeronautical and Systems Engineering, 2008 - present
    - Chair of Working Session on Capability Planning and Management Allocation 2012 - 2019
    - Chair of Strategy Committee (2023-)
  • Academic Director and member of INCOSE UK Board 2010 - 2012
  • National Defence Industry Council (NDIC) Working Group on Systems Engineering and Open Architectures - member 2008 - 2012
  • IEEE SMC Technical Committee on Systems of Systems - Co-Chair
  • INCOSE UK Advisory Board (UKAB) - Loughborough University Representative

One-off roles

  • Senate Review of Cranfield Defence & Security (Shrivenham), External Academic Member, 2019
  • Dstl Independent Review (External Review College member): People Capability Area, 2018
  • FCT (Portugal) R&D Units Research Evaluation (Mechanical Engineering & Engineering Systems) 2018
  • FFG (Austria) Research Grant Assessment Panel (ICT), 2016, 2018, 2020
  • FCT (Portugal) Research Grant Assessment Panel (Mechanical Engineering & Engineering Systems) 2015, 2017, 2018, 2020, 2021
  • University College of SE Norway, Committee of Experts to audit MSc. In Systems Engineering, 2016
  • Dstl Live, Virtual Constructive Simulation reviewer 2016/2017
  • European Parliamentary (STOA) Panel on Ethical Aspects of Cyber-Physical Systems (responsible for defence and security theme) 2016
  • Open Architectures Maritime Combat Systems Technical Advisory Group, 2015
  • NATO Lecture Series in Systems of Systems Engineering for NATO Defence Applications (Chair) 2015
  • Steering Group member for revision of JSP912 and DefStan 00250 (Human Factors), 2014/15
  • Systems Engineering National Technical Committee - member
  • Romanian Research Assessment Exercise 2011 - International Expert
  • Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 2008 – member of sub-panel 28 (Mechanical, Aeronautical and Manufacturing Engineering)

Editorial boards

  • Associate Editor of the Aeronautical Journal 2004 - 2021
  • Member of Board of Associate Editors of IEEE Systems Journal 2011  - 2014
  • Associate Editor of Guide to Systems Engineering Body of Knowledge (SEBoK), 2013 - present
  • Responsible for Systems of Systems (SoS) in Part 4: Applications of Systems Engineering
  • Editorial Board member: Problems of Mechatronics – Armament, Aviation, Safety Engineering (quarterly), 2016 - present

Working group membership

  • INCOSE UK Capability Working Group - Chairman 2011 -  2014
  • BKCASE (Body of Knowledge and Curriculum to Advance Systems Engineering) - Lead Author of SoS Knowledge Area 2011 - 2012
  • SoSA Community Forum Open Systems Working Group - Chair 2011
  • NATO RTO SAS-085 C2 Agility and Requisite Maturity - member 2009 - 2012
  • NATO RTO Technical Working Group on Modelling & Simulation for NATO Network Enabled Capability (TR-MSG-062), 2007 - 2010
  • NATO RTO Task Group AVT-010 on Test Cases for Computational Unsteady Aerodynamics, 1997 - 2000

Conference chair

  • NATO CSO SCI Symposium on Situation Awareness of Swarms and Autonomous Systems, Tallinn, 18/19 May 2021 (Co-Chair)
  • NATO CSO SCI Specialist Meeting on Cyber-Physical Security of Defense Systems, Fort Walton Beach, Florida, US, 8/9 May 2018
  • Loughborough University / RUSI: Resilience Conference: Responding to Complex Threats, London, UK, 2017 (Co-Chair)
  • NATO RTO: Architecture Assessment for NEC (SCI-254), Tallinn, Estonia, 13/14 May 2013
  • IEEE Systems of Systems Engineering Conference (General Co-Chair), Genova, Italy, 16-19 Jul. 2012
  • IEEE Systems of Systems Engineering Conference (programme co-chair), Loughborough 22-24 Jun. 2010
  • Realising Network Enabled Capability, Leeds, UK, 13-14 Oct. 2008
  • Systems Engineering for Future Capability, Loughborough University, UK, 13-14 Feb. 2007

Conference associations

Keynotes and invited speeches


  • INCOSE SoSE Mini Event, The Systems Challenge of Quantum Technologies. 4th November, Online International Event. (Reprise IEEE Keynote)
  • IEEE 15th Int. Conf. On SoSE, The Systems Challenge of Quantum Technologies Budapest, Hungary, 2 June (Virtual event, Keynote)


  • Researcher Links Workshop on Urban Vulnerability, Risk, Safety and Security, Cyber-Physical Systems as both cause and cure of Urban Vulnerabilities, Tsinghua, China, 6 November (Invited)


  • Swiss Society of Systems Engineering, 5th Anniversary Engineering Day, Systems Engineering for Quantum Technologies, ETH, Zurich, Switzerland, 3 September (Keynote)
  • IEEE Systemic Innovation Special Interest Group, The role of Systems Engineering in innovation, Nottingham Trent University, UK, 23 January (Invited)


  • IEEE SMC 12th Annual SoSE Conference, Modelling and Simulation for Cyber-Physical Systems, Waikoloa, Hawaii, 21 June (Keynote)


  • 7th Advanced Doctoral Conference on Computing and Industrial Systems (IEEE sponsored), Cyber-Physical Systems – more than just a technology challenge, Novo University, Lisbon, Portugal, 11 April (Keynote)


  • IEEE Int. Conf on Computer, Communication and Control, Living with the inevitable – the risks and opportunities of the Internet of Things, Indore, India, 9 September (Keynote)
  • Loughborough University Secure & Resilient Societies inaugural conference, Good Practice in Systems of Systems Engineering, 26 March (Invited)


  • Seminar Realisierrung von komplexen wehrtechnischen systemen (Realisation of complex defence technology systems), Why Systems Engineering is helpful for managing complex projects, Bildungszentrum der Buderswehr (Training Centre of the Bunderswehr), Manheim, Germany, 26-28 November (Extended invited lecture)
  • The Swiss Society of Systems Engineering Day (in collaboration with INCOSE Swiss Chapter and ETH LUSE) inaugural event, Systems of Systems Engineering - a Problem for Systems Engineers? ETH, Zurich, Switzerland, 1 September
  • 9th IEEE Int. SoSE conference, Research Challenges in SoSE, Adelaide, Australia, 12 June (Keynote)


  • 37th National Systems Conference, Systems Society of India, A systems of systems minded workforce, Jodphur, India 7 December (Invited)
  • Complex Systems Design and Management (CSD&M) Air Traffic Management: Behaving nicely in a Systems of Systems - Harmonizing with the Environment, Paris, France, 4 December (Keynote)
  • Cyber-Physical Systems - Uplifting Europe's Innovation Capacity, European Commission, SoS Challenges, Research Priorities and Technology Transfer, Brussels, Belgium, 30 October (Keynote)
  • 1st Int. Workshop on "Systems of Systems in Technology Foundations, Labex, Systems of Systems Research Priority: Theory and Characterization, Labex Compiegne, France, 6 Sept. (Keynote)
  • INCOSE SoS WG Webinar series, EU – US Collaborative Strategic Research Agenda in Systems of Systems, 30 August (Invited webinar)
  • 8th IEEE Int. SoSE conference,SoSE Research Priorities - an essential international agenda,Maui, US, 6 June (Keynote)


  • Interoperable Open Architecture Conf., DefenceIQ, Open Architecture Benefits: How Can You Be Sure You Get Them? London, 29-31 October (Invited)
  • MEGS III Annual Conf “Systems thinking in energy”,  Managing the Systems Lifecycle: Systems Engineering Competencies and Approaches, University of Birmingham, UK,18-19 September (Invited)
  • IEEE 7th Int. Conf. SoSE, How to behave nicely in a systems of systems society, Genova, Italy, 16 July (Keynote)
  • Invited webinar - T-AREA-SoS, INCOSE, 29 June
  • Open Systems in the Land Domain Conference, The Value of Open Systems, Milton Keynes, UK, 19 June (Keynote)
  • MATRIX/RTI organisations meeting, Converging IT and Operational Technology- the need for interoperability, Tel Aviv University, Israel, 26 March (Invited)


  • Groningen University Colloquium, Systems of Systems Research – getting the best out of multidisciplinary teams, Johann Bernoulli Inst. The Netherlands, 16 May (Guest Lecture)


  • Inauguration of Kongsberg Systems Engineering Centre, Systems Engineering for the delivery of Network Enabled Capability, Kongsberg, Norway, 2 July (Guest Lecture)


  • Royal Aeronautical Society local group, Unprecedented Systems Integration, Cranfield University, UK, 12 October (Invited)

Professor Henshaw's current research broadly covers the areas of Cyber-physical Systems of Systems, Systems Thinking, Capability Engineering, Quantum Systems Engineering, Resilient Systems.

PhD students

  • Architecture assessment for fitness for purpose along the system lifecycle, sponsored by Brazilian Army (Ongoing Raquel Lampaça Viera Radoman)
  • Complex Systems of Systems in Healthcare, sponsored by EPSRC (Ongoing: Iqra Shahzad)
  • Reusable templates for the extraction of knowledge, supported by EPSRC (PhD: Paul Palmer, 2021)
  • Decision Support in the context of disruptive innovation, supported by Innovate UK, (PhD: Guy Schmidt, 2020)
  • A model based approach to System of Systems Risk Management, supported by Lockheed Martin (PhD: Andrew M K Kinder, 2017)
  • Maintaining Systems-of-Systems fit-for-purpose: a technique exploiting material, energy, and information source, sink and bearer analysis sponsored by EPSRC and Thales UK (CASE Studentship) (PhD: Steve Hinsley, 2017)
  • Design support for constructing pilot training programmes, Supported by EPSRC and BAE Systems (PhD: Luminita Ciocoiu, 2016)
  • Managing Knowledge for Through Life Capability, jointly sponsored by EPSRC and Dstl (CASE Studentship) (PhD: Sofia Ahlberg Pilfold, 2016)
  • Managing Knowledge for Capability Engineering, jointly sponsored by EPSRC and BAE Systems through the Systems Engineering Doctorate Centre (SEDC), (EngD: Huseyin Dogan, 2014)

Main research projects

Project name Funding received Time frame Summary

Industrial Robots as a Service (IRaaS)

EPSRC £1M (co-I)


Seeking to define adaptable robots for small businesses

Urban vulnerability, risks, safety and security: transdisciplinary workshop

British Council, Newton Fund £24K (PI)


Joint programme to Tsinghua University (Dr. Jianguo Chen) Inst. for Public Safety, to explore collaboration opportunities for new lecturers

TAMS4CPS (Trans-Atlantic Modelling & Simulation for Cyber-Physical Systems) Project No. 644821

EU Horizon2020, €400K (PI)


Programme to connect EU and US in area of M&S for CPS.  Strategic agenda published 2017


EU Horizon2020, €800K, Loughborough £129K  (PI Lboro)


Definition of cyber-physical systems research agenda

Optimed-ID – automated drug dispensing

Univ. Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust £43K (Co-I)


Evaluation of automated drug dispensing using tools developed by Santa Lucia Pharma Apps SrL.

T-AREA-SoS (Trans-Atlantic Research and Education Agenda in Systems of Systems)

EU FP7 €489K (PI)


Programme connecting EU and US; SoS research agenda published 2013

Interoperability Management for Large Scale Enterprises



programme to exploit research conducted under the NECTISE programme in the area of interoperability tools

Integrated Governance, Risk and Compliance (iGRC)

TSB, £1.6M programme, Loughborough £108K (PI Lboro)

2010 – 2013

Dynamic governance, risk and compliance management system for policies, standards and controls, sensor-fed including supply chain

C2 Agility and Requisite Maturity



NATO task group in C2; published final report 2012 and received NATO Scientific Award

Assessment of Open Architectures within Defence Procurement

Self-funded by participants


Prof. Henshaw led study with 11 major defence organisations: published influential report on assessment of architectures

Service Support Solutions: Strategy & Transition (S4T)

BAE Systems & EPSRC, £2M programme, Loughborough £114K (PI Lboro)


Multi-university programme led by Cambridge investigating the challenge of transition from Product to Product Service Systems (PSS)

Joint Enablers for the Realisation of NEC (JERNEC)

UK MoD £1.7K PI



Role of Modelling and Simulation in advancing NATO NEC



NATO Task Group published Guide to Modelling & Simulation (M&S) for NATO Network-Enabled Capability (RTO-TR-MSG-062)

NECTISE (Network Enabled Capability Through Innovative Systems Engineering)

BAE Systems & EPSRC £4M (PI)


Director of multi-disciplinary programme (ten UK universities) delivered in areas of Systems Architectures, through-life capability, control systems, and decision support.

Key industry R&T projects

Project name Funding received Time frame Summary


EPSRC and BAE Systems £6.4M


Set up FLAVIIR Programme

PUMA (partnership for Unsteady Methods in Aerospace)

DTI, £1.7M (chair of partnership)


Joint Academic/industry initiative on aeroelastics for VSTOL and turbomachinery.  Key results published in Henshaw et al 2007




Major contributions to fluid-structure interactions

RTO Task Group AVT-010

Funded by nations


Published Verification and Validation Data for Computational Unsteady Aerodynamics

JAST - Joint Strike Fighter pre-selection phase

BAE Systems/McDonnell-Douglas


Developed CFD model of transition phase, subsequently used on Harrier Prgoramme.


Programme and Modules

He is Programme Lead for the Systems Engineering MSc. and Level 7 Apprenticeship Programme that engages more than 25 organisations to develop the Systems Engineering capability of their staff.  The programme is notable for the Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) approach that it takes focusing on knowledge and skills that students and apprentices can deploy in the workplace immediately.  The programme has significant input from industry in terms of content and direct contributions to modules.

Within the Systems Engineering programmes, he leads the following modules:

Applied Systems Thinking (WSP062/762), in which students are taught a variety of Systems Thinking techniques through practical application. The module aims to provide a rigorous approach for all (engineering) students to acquire the principles, concepts, and outline applications of systems-based studies, and it is also provided to MBA students on certain programmes.

Engineering and Managing Capability (WSP460/760) module aims to provide students with the Systems of Systems Engineering knowledge to understand the provision of capability by enterprises (multi-organisation endeavours), through case studies and scenario-based exercises.  This is a wide-ranging module that considers the life-cycle aspects of large, complex systems, including both the technical and business aspects of their management.

Group Project module (WSP085/785) is a capstone project in which students work in groups of 5 or 6 to develop complex system.  The module begins with the development of a SEMP (Systems Engineering Management Plan) and proceeds to draw on the integration of skills and knowledge that students have acquired throughout the programme.

Short courses:

Working with the Physics Department, Prof. Henshaw has also provided a short course on Quantum Systems Engineering. This course (delivered in-person of online) provides science post-graduates with knowledge of systems engineering techniques to support the development of quantum technologies.

He has also provided entry-level Systems Engineering courses of varying length and depth in response to industry requirements.

The above courses have been delivered both in the UK and to overseas customers.

External examiner roles


One or more examinations at:

  • University of Bath (2)
  • Bournemouth University
  • University of Cambridge
  • University of Cape Town S.A. (3)
  • University of Leicester
  • Newcastle University
  • University of Queensland, Australia
  • University of Strathclyde (2)
  • Tallinn University, Estonia
  • University of York (2)


  • University of Bristol, School of Civil, Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, MSc. In Aerial Robotics, 2022 
  • Cranfield University, Dept. Informatics and Systems Engineering, MSc. in Systems Engineering for Defence, 2014 - 2017
  • University of York, Computer Science Dept. MSc. in Gas Turbine Control, 2008  - 2011


  • University of Warwick, School of Engineering, MEng/BEng in Systems Engineering and MEng/BEng in Biomedical Systems Engineering, 2022 
  • University of Bristol, School of Civil, Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, MEng/BEng in Aerospace Engineering, 2021
  • Queens University Belfast, School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, MEng/BEng in Aerospace Engineering, 2014 - 2018