Lessons on Project Management from Big Physics projects

Wednesday 20 January 2016

6.00pm - 9.00pm

Free to attend for both BCS Members and non-members

BCS London, Davidson Building, 5 Southampton Street, London, WC2E 7HA | Maps

Janet Smart


Many of the scientific advances in Physics are made now in large-scale scientific projects that could not be undertaken by one nation alone. CERN is one well-known example in particle physics, but there are many others, such as the Square Kilometer Array (astrophysics) and the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (particle physics). These projects are challenged by multi-national teams, tight budgets and huge technical complexities. Despite these challenges, the projects are often delivered at or close to budget and time-scale, and succeed in their scientific objectives.

Our current research is comparing the project management approach these projects take, which can show marked differences to the normal project management approaches. We will present the findings from a study comparing scientific projects with commercial projects of a similar size. Our findings will be discussed in terms of the culture and organisational forms of the different project teams.

This presentation will be of interest to anyone involved in alternative forms of project management; project management in high technology environments; and the design of project organisations and teams.


6.00pm - 6.30 pm

Registration and Networking

6.30pm -  8.00 pm


8.00 pm - 9.00 pm

Refreshments and networking

About the speaker:

Dr Janet SmartDr Janet Smart

Janet Smart is a Reader in Operations Management at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, and Director of Undergraduate Programmes. Her current research is on the use of patterns in project and programme management, systems engineering practices in large science projects and operations management in the museums sector.

Janet is a contributor to the School’s Major Projects Leadership Academy and MSc in Major Programme Management. As well as Director of the Undergraduate Programmes in the School, Janet is Academic Project Manager for the School’s GOTO Platform. She is currently running  an online course on Big Data for the MBA and Executive MBA students.

Janet’s first degree is in Physics from Oxford University; she also has a PhD in Computing from Durham University. She is a member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology.

Networking drinks only at this event.