Paul Timms


Pronouns: He/him
  • Research Associate - Systems Engineering


Mr Paul D Timms has been a practising Systems Engineer since 2012, working on multi-million-pound rail projects to deliver rolling stock signalling integrations, competition locomotives, fleet interior refits, fleet maintenance management, franchising agreements and plant assurance, specialising in requirements engineering, and the conceptualisation and management of operational system interfaces and instructions. In 2019, Paul returned to Loughborough University (where he completed his master’s degree) to pursue his interests in Systems of Systems. Since his switch to academia, he has worked as a Research Associate on projects exploring technology-driven change in insurance (2019-2021), digitally advanced services in rail (2021), and data innovations for product passport systems (2021-2022). His research applies systems methods to issues of regulatory policy, business ecosystem needs, end-user requirements and capability management, utilising systems concepts to avoid ‘solutioneering’ systems. Paul also supports the teaching of systems methods and techniques across undergraduate and post-graduate modules at the University.


  • Master of Engineering, First Class (Hons), Loughborough University, 2015

Main research interests

Paul is interested in the domain of ‘systems of systems’, and the problems that occur when multiple useful (human and technical) systems, that are managerially and operationally independent, are integrated together to deliver additional unique capabilities.  This covers a breadth of interests, all centred around the question “how do we deliver the right solutions for everyone in the ecosystem”? This is particularly important in the introduction of new, sustainability-focused innovations. Paul’s research currently centres on the development of product passport solutions; tools to enable better informational coordination between multiple actors for sustainability objectives. In the problem domain, he is interested in how the ecosystem of stakeholders if defined by others, how (and if) the right stakeholders are engaged to derive a balanced view of system needs, and how those needs can be defined in a way that is solution agnostic.  In the solution domain, he is interested in the operational realisation of multi-system solutions that are not overseen by a top-down, controlling entity. What are the interface needs? How will each system deliver the combined capability?  Who operates and interacts with each system? How are people part of the solution, rather than being external to it?

Grants and contracts

  • 2019-2021 Technology Driven Change and Next Generation Insurance Services (TECHNGI). InnovateUK & ESRC (RA).
  • 2020 Exploring future Advanced Services developments and collaborations for a ROSCO (Rolling stock operating company) using a systems thinking approach. EPSRC (RA).
  • 2021-2022 Data Innovations for Product Passports: A System of Systems Approach Towards Industry Symbiosis. EPSRC (RA).


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
  • WSA505 – Integrating Studies
  • WSC312 – Systems Methods


  • WSP062/762 – Applied Systems Thinking
  • WSP071 – Holistic Engineering


Recent Publications

  • P.D. Timms, M.R.N. King, S. Mountney (in review) “A Digital Product Passport Ecosystem (DPPE): A definition, 9 discrete capabilities, information requirements and stakeholders’ perspectives derived from a systems analysis of the European Commission’s Sustainable Products Initiative”, J. Clean. Prod. [Available on request]
  • P.D. Timms, J.K. Hillier & C.P. Holland (2022) “Increase data sharing or die? An initial view for natural catastrophe insurance”, Geography, 107:1, 26-37, DOI: 10.1080/00167487.2022.2019494
  • M.R.N. King, P.D. Timms & T.H. Rubin (2021) “Use of Big Data in Insurance”. In: R. Rau, R.Wardrop & L. Zingales (eds) The Palgrave Handbook of Technological Finance, Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-65117-6_24
  • M.R.N. King, S. Mountney & P.D. Timms (2021) “Using foresight futures and systems thinking to evaluate digitally enhanced advanced service concepts for a rolling stock company (ROSCO)”. In the Spring Servitization Conference (SSC2021) Florence, Italy (Online); Proceedings of the Spring Servitization Conference (SSC2021) 2021.
  • P.D. Timms, C.P. Holland & A. Yeoman (2021) “Concirrus Quest Marine's Insurance Business Model: The Role of AI and Big Data”, SSRN, 10th March 2021. DOI: 10.2139/ssrn.3801555
  • P.D. Timms, M.R.N. King, (2020) “Advocating systems approaches outside of engineering: reporting on research with the UK insurance sector towards the adoption of trustworthy AI-enabled systems”, Annual Systems Engineering Conference (ASEC) Nov 2020, Oxford, UK.
  • M.R.N. King & P.D. Timms (2020) “Response to the European Commission's Consultation on Artificial Intelligence: A European approach to excellence and trust”, TECHNGI, 6th July 2020. URL:


External Collaborators

  • UK Manufacturing Symbiosis Network+ (UKMSN+)
  • Circular Economy Network+ in Transportation Systems (CENTS)
  • Sheffield Hallam University
  • Porterbrook, Derby
  • Willis Towers Watson, London
  • Concirrus, London

External roles and appointments

  • Member of the International Council on Systems Engineering (MINCOSE)
  • Member of the Institute of Engineering and Technology (MIET)
  • Currently participating in the digital storytelling fellowship programme as part of the InterAct Network.