Paul Davies

Course Presenter, MA (Cantab), C.Eng, MINCOSE


Paul pretended to retire in early 2014, but soon realised he wanted and needed to give back to the systems engineering community, and help bring on the next generation of practitioners. An experienced systems engineer with thirty years in the defence & aerospace industry, six years in the nuclear industry, and a couple of years in rail, he brings a wealth of diverse experience to bear. He has a track record of delivering successful projects in the face of challenging customers, project managers and operational environments. All of which means that Paul is in an excellent position to deliver systems engineering training from a position of authority.

A Cambridge graduate mathematician by training, Paul fell into systems engineering more or less by accident. This entailed building up a solid background of engineering knowledge and physical processes underpinned by mathematical modelling and algorithm development. Several short steps later – simulation, performance analysis, verification & validation, requirements definition – he became a project engineering manager on multi-million pound, multidisciplinary systems before the age of 30. He has 30+ years subsequent experience in all phases of project lifecycles, specialising in early-stage requirements elicitation, interface and risk management, and in customer acceptance. In addition to applying systems engineering to high-tech projects, Paul has had functional management roles – assessing individual and team competence, professional development, process improvement, and coaching and mentoring.

Before his retirement, Paul was the Discipline Manager for Systems Engineering at Network Rail Infrastructure Projects in the UK. In that role he was responsible for promoting improvements in process and standards, and in practitioner competence and training in all aspects of systems engineering, a relatively new concept to the rail industry. Prior to this, he worked for Thales UK for over 25 years, mostly in electronic warfare and command and control systems. Subsequent to his project responsibilities, Paul managed the business unit innovations process and the supervision of University research, including the establishment of business cases and planning technology transfer. In parallel, he was a member of the corporate Systems Engineering Council, delivering continuous improvement in SE process and methods, and relevant training.

Paul has been a Visiting Professor at Loughborough University and a Visiting Fellow at Bristol University, and also a member of the conseil d’administration of the prestigious Institut Supérieur de l’Aeronautiqe et de l’Espace in Toulouse. He has acted as industrial supervisor for a dozen PhD, Engineering Doctorate and Masters students at five UK Universities.

He is a Past President of the INCOSE UK Chapter, in which role he founded its sponsoring Advisory Board and compiled its first entry into the INCOSE Chapters Awards, immediately winning Gold and subsequently the President’s Award for Outstanding Chapter. At international level, he has undertaken leadership roles on the Requirements Working Group and the SE Management Technical Committee, and as Outreach Director. He also acted as Master of Ceremonies at three INCOSE International Symposia. Through an INCOSE UK initiative, he gained his Chartered Engineer title in 2012 via the IET, becoming one of the first 50 to do so specifically in systems engineering.

Paul has run training courses and workshops in requirements; interface management; verification and validation; systems engineering management; competence assessment; and SE return on investment; all with very positive feedback. He has been a popular presenter and tutorial lead at many INCOSE events both in the UK and internationally, winning several Best Paper or Presentation awards. With such a good alignment of aims, SE outlook, and commitment to excellence, Paul was delighted to join the Project Performance International/Certification Training International team in July 2017, as a Course Presenter.