Associate Professor Simon Reay Atkinson

Simon Reay-Atkinson

Honorary Associate
BSc MPhil PhD (Cantab), CEng, EurIng, FIET
Captain RANR

H04 - Merewether Building
University of Sydney

Biographical details

A diversified career has followed four connected pathways:

  • Recognised thematic leader and assessments researcher of security, defence, cyber, risk, trust, resilience, complex systems; network law, and international relations – extensively published
  • Security strategist, researcher, analyst, system assessor & innovator advising top levels of government and industry, with international experience including in Europe, North America, NATO, the Middle East and SW Asia.
  • Senior Naval Officer, Strategy, Security, Defence and Systems Assessment Director and Senior Research Fellow in the UK and Australia
  • Professional, Chartered Complex Systems Engineer (Communications, Ordnance, EW, & ITC)

Innovative problem solving has been a highlight throughout diverse career experiences. A first degree in engineering was combined with a second degree (a research-based MPhil) in International Relations; majoring in Law and Economics. This provided the foundation for a part-time PhD (the first to be awarded by Cambridge University Engineering Department) that explored, through engineering, security, defence and social science lenses, complex systems and human factors behavioural modelling. The underlying strength of research has been its applicability and re-use; allowing for re-interpretation and practical application, specifically in the area of Cyber.

Building and leading team-networks capable of learning, and managing change in a variety of different work contexts has been a hallmark. Teams have been nurtured, led and developed in many contexts; including building an aircraft carrier, in the laboratory, ‘field’ and lecture room; briefing experts, Industry, Ministers and senior officers; and devising new systems and strategies. As evidenced, these teams have achieved quite remarkable results. As a leader, catalyst, researcher, facilitator, trust broker, assessor and strategist, people from many different backgrounds have been formed into cohesive units and achieved significant outcomes.

Research interests

  • Network States and Network City States
  • Risk, Trust and Resilience
  • Cyber, Quantum and Synthetic Ecologies
  • Anthropomorphic Human Factors, including Study of 1500 sailors based in Western Australia (Fleet Base West) and Sydney (Fleet Based East).
  • Cyber-Big Data technology, techniques and psychology for Cognitive Fitness Enhancement (CFA) with specific regard to improved Mental Health Fitness (HMF); Decision Making and Taking (DMT) and a Aid to Command and Control (A2C)
  • Joint systems-network, synthetic behavioural ecology approach for application to Defence and for improving and aiding resilience of decision making and taking in complex environments.
  • PTSD, Transfer Entropy and Mutual Information so that Defence can improve mental health fitness and resilience – Defence Health Symposium (Sydney, November 2014) and Neuro-feedback Conference, DSTO with University of South Australia, Adelaide February 2015.

Teaching and supervision

  • ENGG 3853 Risk Management Tools & Techniques
  • PMGT 5891 Risk Project Management

Grants and research

  • UK EPSRC Reviewer in areas of Cyber and Resilience, 2010-
  • UK Royal Navy Hudson Research Fellow, 2007-2012
  • Research lead for Sydney University in collaboration with Adelaide University, Curtin University, UTS, QUT, CSIRO and ICCPM. ICCPM and Universities MCPP CRC submission (2014) to the Productivity Commission entitled, ‘Public Enquiry into Public Infrastructure’.
  • Clarkson PJ, A., Sheikh, & M. Henshaw. (2009), ‘From one extreme to another: understanding radicalisation and resultant behaviours amongst young adults in the context of global recession’. ESRC Large Grants Scheme 2009/2010. Cambridge: for Economic & Social Reserach Council (ESRC).
  • Developmental Research on Risk, Recovery and Resilience: Reay Atkinson S. (2014a) Risk, Recovery and Creating Resilience - Research into the Blue Mountains Fires, Oct 2013. In: Simon Reay Atkinson, BMCC, The Lions Club of Winmalee, NRMA Insurance, RHoK (Sydney), ENGG 3853 Risk Managment Students, (ed) Productivity Commission submission on Natural Disaster Funding. Sydney: University of Sydney CCSRG.
  • Developmental Research on Resilient Cities examining Sydney as also part of MPM Risk Management course work research programme leading to a successful prototyping of concepts and ideas, presented to IAG Sydney Headquarters in October 2014 and contributing to the decision by Sydney to become one of the Rockefeller Top 100 Resilient Cities.
  • Early research into resilience, risk, uncertainty and instability as it relates to collaborative joint venture (JV) programmes; Building Information Modelling (BIM); Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA), Green Star awards.

Selected publications

  • Reay Atkinson S, & J, Moffat. (2005) The Agile Organization, Washington: CCRP Publications.
  • Donnelly C, S. Reay Atkinson, J. Lindley French. (2012) Affording War: The British Case. In: Lindley-French J, & Y. Boyer (ed) The Oxford Handbook of War. Oxford: OUP, pp. 503-516.
  • Alston (Reay Atkinson S). (1998) Leaders & Managers: Chalk and Cheese. UK Naval Review Vol. 86, No. 2, Apr: pp128-133.
  • Blake RC. (Reay Atkinson S). (2012) Return to the Seas. The Navy Vol. 74, No.1: pp. 11-14.
  • Blake RC. (Reay Atkinson S). (2014) A New Model Navy. Headmark: Journal of the Australian Naval Institute 153: pp. 31-35.
  • Harré M, S., Reay Atkinson, L., Hossain. (2013) Simple nonlinear systems and navigating catastrophes. Journal of European Physics B Regular Article 86: 289.
  • Hemlock J. (Reay Atkinson S). (2012a) Cyber / Maritime Security. The Navy Vol. 74, No. 4: pp. 21-23.
  • Hemlock J. (Reay Atkinson S). (2012b) The Defence Enterprise. The Navy Vol. 74, No. 4: pp. 17-20.
  • Hossain L, S., Reay Atkinson, M., D’Eredita, & Rolf.T., Wigand. (2013) Towards a Mech-Organic Perspective for Knowledge Sharing Networks in Organizations. UK Academy for Information Systems. Worcester College University of Oxford, 8-20th March 2013.
  • Keller R, Reay Atkinson, S., & P.J. Clarkson. (2008b) Network Enabled Capability as a Challenge for Design: A Change Management View. International Design Conference (ICED 2008). Dubrovnik, Croatia: ICED.
  • Reay Atkinson S, & M Sharma. (2007) Learning and Adapting to Modern Insurgencies. In: Marshall-Centre (ed) The Comprehensive Approach to Modern Conflicts Conference, Munich 26-27th March: UKDA, ARAG.
  • Reay Atkinson S, & A. Goodman. (2008b) Network Strategy and Decision Taking. ARAG Occasional, UK Defence Academy 11 / 08.
  • Reay Atkinson S. (2009a) Cyber-: Envisaging New Frontiers of Possibility. UKDA Advanced Research & Assessment Group Occasional Series, 03/09.
  • Reay Atkinson S. (2010b) Returning Science to the Social. The Shrivenham Papers, UK Defence Academy Number 10, July.
  • Reay Atkinson S, A.M., Maier, N.H.M., Caldwell, & P.J., Clarkson. (2011c) Collaborative trust networks in engineering design adaptation. International Conference of Engineering Design, ICED11. Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby,.
  • Reay Atkinson S, A. Goodger, N.H.M Caldwell, L. Hossain. (2012a) How lean the machine: how agile the mind. The Learning Organization Vol. 19 Iss: 3: pp. 183 - 206.
  • Reay Atkinson S, D. Walker, K. Beaulne, & L. Hossain. (2012b) Cyber - Transparencies, Assurance and Deterrence. Presented at IEEE Cyber Conference, 14-16 Dec. Dec. Washington: IEEE.
  • Reay Atkinson S, S., Tavakolitabaezavareh, D., Walker, L., Liu, & L., Hossain. (2013c) Securing the bolts before the horse has bolted: A new perspective on Managing Collaborative Assurance. The IEEE 2013 Conference on Security Management, Aug. Las Vegas.
  • Reay Atkinson S, S.,Tavakolitabaezavareh, M., Harré, R.T., Wigand, & L. Hossain. (2013e) Towards a new Social Philosophy of the Physical Sciences. In: Putnik G (ed) Third International Conference on Business Sustainability 2013, Management, Technology and Learning for Individuals, Organisations and Society in Turbulent Environment. Póvoa de Varzim, Portugal, November 20-22.
  • Reay Atkinson S, & G., Tolhurst. (2014d) Adapting Jurisprudential Networks to Stateless Jurisdictions. In: Zann J (ed) PASSAT 2014: The Sixth ASE International Conference on Privacy, Security, Risk and Trust including BigData 2014: The Fourth ASE International Conference on Big Data. Harvard, Cambridge MA,14-16 December: ASE.
  • Reay Atkinson S, A., Goodger, S. Lesher, N.H.M. Caldwell, J. Steel, & D. Shoupe. (2014e) What are the real risk of knowing and not knowing - leading Knowledge in Cyber. In: DoD C-U (ed) 19th ICCRTS: C2 Agility: Lessons Learned from Research and Operations, 16-19 June. Alexandria, (Washington), Virginia: CCRP.
  • Reay Atkinson S, A., Vakarau Levula, N.H.M., Caldwell, R.T.,Wigand, L., Hossain. (2014f) Signalling Decision Making and Taking in a Complex World. International Conference on Information Technology and Management Science (ICITMS 2014), 1-2 May. Hong Kong: WIT Transactions on Engineering Sciences.
  • Reay Atkinson S, G., Tolhurst, and L., Hossain. (2014g) Decision Making and Taking in Changing Ecologies Considering Network Law. The Fourth International Conference on Advanced Communications and Computation (INFOCOMP). July 20 - 24, 2014 - Paris, France: IARIA.
  • Reay Atkinson S, M. Mitchell, A., Wehbe, I., Wahlet, H., Ainsworth, M., Harré, S., Sousa. (2014h) Classifying and Systemising Uncertainty and Instability - a Dynamic social Network approach to Risk. In: EAID (ed) RISK 2014 Conference Brisbane, 28-30 May: Engineer Australia.
  • Reay Atkinson S, S., Tavakoli Taba, M., Harré, T., Bossomaier & L., Hossain. (2014k) Managing mutual information & transfer entropy in synthetic ecologies. UK Academy for Information Systems. St Catherine's College, 7th-9th April 2014. University of Oxford: UKAIS.
  • Reay Atkinson S, S.,Carlsson, & L. Hossain. (2014l) From ICT-Machine Determinism to a Socio-ICT Organic Design of Knowledge Sharing Systems. In: CRC (ed) 5th International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics 2014 and the Affiliated Conferences, 19-23 July. Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland: CRC Press/Taylor & Francis.
  • Reay Atkinson S, S.T. Taba, A. Goodger, N.H.M. Caldwell, L. Hossain. (2014m) Synthetic Standards in Managing Health Lifecycles and Cyber Relationships. International Journal on Advances in Life Sciences (IARIA) Vol 6: pp. 41-51.
  • Reay Atkinson S, S.T. Tavakoli Taba., D. Walker, & L. Hossain. (2014n) Seeding Trusts and [In.]Tolerance in Cyber Communities. In: IEEE (ed) The Third IEEE/ASE International Conference on Cyber Security. Stanford, CA, USA, May 27 - May 31, 2014: IEEE (Submitted).
  • Reay Atkinson S, Vakarau Levula, A., Caldwell, N.H.M., Wigand, R.T., & L. Hossain. (2014o) Signalling Decision Making and Taking in a Complex World. In: Wessex-Institute (ed) 2014 International Conference on Information Technology and Management Science (ICITMS 2014), May 1-2. Hong Kong: WIT Transactions on Engineering Sciences (submitted).
  • Reay Atkinson S, and G., Tolhurst. (2015b) Certainty in joint venture negotiations: a case study. Commercial Law Quarterly, March-May 2015, Vol. 3, The Commercial Law Association of Australia: Sydney.