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Complex Systems

Complex systems are primarily autonomous and independent systems that are networked and recognised as adding capability to systems, products and services.

The breadth of complex systems facilitates integration of technological, human, cultural, environmental and political systems. The study of complex systems is used in both the innovation and entrepreneurship and project management disciplines.

Research in the innovation and entrepreneurship and project management disciplines feeds into social and economic development.

  • Areas of ResearchLearn about our research focus areas and supervision expertise
    Research into Complex Systems includes:
    • Models of complex projects and the definition of the boundary between complicated and complex and the further boundary between complex and chaos
    • Exploration of power laws and Paretian statistics within complex system
    • Exploration of scalability and fractals supporting complexity
    • Exploration of cultural and other aspects of human systems within complexity
    • Application of complexity in complex adaptive systems (disaster management, dispute resolution, security systems and other application of complexity concepts)
    • Application of complex systems within system of systems engineering.
    Each of these research areas contributes to social and economic development both locally and globally.
  • ResearchersMeet our academic research leaders
    Professor Vernon Ireland 
    Professor Vernon Ireland 
    Areas of Specialisation:
    • Management of Complexity
    • Change Management
    • Behavioural Change
    Dr Allan O’Connor 
    Dr Allan O’Connor 
    Areas of Specialisation:
    • City and Regional Entrepreneurship Eco-Systems
    • Systems-based Intellectual Capital Analysis
    Dr Graciela Corral de Zubielqui 
    Dr Graciela Corral de Zubielqui 
    Areas of Specialisation:
    • Innovation Networks
    • Innovation National / Regional Systems
    Dr Scott Gordon
    Dr Scott Gordon
    • Organisational emergence
    • Quantitative process research
    • Environmental influences on entrepreneurial actions
    Assoc Prof Indra Gunawan
    Associate Professor Indra Gunawan
    • Systems Modelling and Simulation
    • Quality and reliability Management
    • Applications of Operations Research
  • PhD Student ResearchersMeet our student researchers and enquire about joining the group
    Antonella Cavallo

    Supervisors: Vernon Ireland and Barry Elsey

    PhD topic: “Building resilience with the support of the community: A systemic approach.

    Antonella Cavallo
    Amina Omarova

    Supervisors: Vernon Ireland and Barry Elsey

    PhD topic: “An alternative approach to appraise adaptive mechanisms in complex organisations.

    Amina Omarova
    Yasmin Ooi-Sanches

    Supervisors: Vernon Ireland and Barry Elsey

    PhD topic: “Application of Complex Project Management to an international security event.

    Yasmin Ooi-Sanches
    Barbara Rappaport

    Supervisors: Vernon Ireland and Barry Elsey

    PhD topic: “The exploration of complexity theory, including systems thinking and system dynamics, to address complex international negotiation processes and conflicts between traditionally warring States.

    Barbara Rappaport
    Ashraf Zaghwan

    Supervisors: Vernon Ireland and Barry Elsey

    PhD topic: “A Matter of Fact: Fractal Behaviour Devolve Complex Agents to Penetrate the Edge of Chaos in System of Systems Engineering: It is a Reason to Formulate Weighable Characteristics Model Concerning Complex Agents in Complex Managerial Practices.

    Ashraf Zaghwan

    Become a PhD student with our group

    We are actively seeking prospective PhD students to study with us and contribute to our understanding of this important field.

    The University of Adelaide understands the importance of encouraging and nurturing the next generation of researchers.

     Interested in studying with us?

    If you would like to do a PhD with our Complex Systems research group please fill in this form.

    First Name: *
    Last Name: *
    Email: *
    Attached your potential field of research: *

    Potential Supervisors Name:

    International Applicants

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  • External CollaboratorsExplore opportunities for industry and professional collaboration

    The University of Adelaide understands the importance of collaborative research and strong partnerships with industry and professionals in today's global market.

    We view these interactions as essential elements in advancing the University's research and teaching objectives as well as adding value to you as our partners.

    The Faculty of the Professions is renowned for its academic diversity and is home to some of the most respected and eminent researchers at the University of Adelaide. Within the ECIC, our commitment to innovation, collaboration and a culture of forward thinking helps to influence the world we live in.

    Our collaborative research activities span across government, business and community groups. Our under-pinning philosophy of research partnerships is to match your community needs and business opportunities with the resources and expertise of our Faculty. The expertise and knowledge of our academic staff, who are specialists in their fields, present great opportunities for organisations to grow and to make decisive contributions that can influence strategic agendas and operational frameworks.

Complex Systems Research

Entrepreneurship, Commercialisation and Innovation Centre (ECIC)

Faculty of the Professions


Level 5, 10 Pulteney Street
Adelaide  SA  5005


Telephone: +61 8 8313 7422
or: 1300 660 543
Facsimile: +61 8 8313 4377
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