Liz Varga is Professor of Complex Systems. She recently joined University College London (UCL) and is developing a new Institute for Infrastructure Systems providing thought leadership on innovation, resilience and efficiency in infrastructure. Infrastructure provides critical services, such as power, heating, waste management, digital services and clean water, that need to be improved to meet society’s needs whilst protecting against hazards and minimizing environmental harm. She uses multi-disciplinary approaches to investigate and recommend changes to infrastructure, treating infrastructure as open and complex system of systems, with intra- and inter-dependencies, feedbacks, and non-linearities leading to uncertainties in the trajectories for innovation, resilience and efficiency.
Prof Varga focuses on research and supervises a number of doctoral and masters’ students. She is a top 6% EPSRC Peer Review College reviewer (2019), an invited speaker on infrastructure systems, resilience and liveable/future cities, invited international reviewer, lecturer in systems, society and sustainability for engineers, and, an international journal reviewer for: Emergence: Complexity and Organization (2008-). She has edited special issues on integrated utility systems, complexity and energy, and complexity and supply chain, and has a chapter in the new Edward Elgar Handbook of Research Methods in Complexity Science. She was Director of Cranfield University’s Complex Systems Research Centre 2009-2019.
Prof Varga’s skills are in creating abstractions of real-world systems, recognizing emergent phenomena and co-evolutionary effects, and designing computational agent-based models which represent the dynamics of inter-connected systems. She has experience of system transitions, modeling the effects of policy, technology and innovation under different future scenarios, and analysing computational outputs. Current research includes: AGILE, on distributed energy digitalisation, OPTEMIN, on improving economic and environmental performance via waste heat recovery, and energy integration, DAFNI, on data analytics and visualisation of infrastructure systems, and CECAN, on evaluation and assessment across nexus systems. She has over 90 peer-reviewed publications, book chapters, conference papers and practitioner reports. She won the Cranfield University Research Award (2014, 2016).