Systems Learning and Leadership Group

Who we are

Ruth Deakin Crick


Howard Green

Howard studied Natural Sciences at Cambridge and went on to a career in teaching, including two secondary headships, in Oxfordshire and Plymouth. He then worked at the Training & Development Agency, setting up the Leadership Programme for Serving Headteachers, the largest senior management training programme in Europe; the Department for Education, as a special adviser on leadership, and the National College for School Leadership, where he developed two national programmes for senior leadership teams and coordinated several projects on leading schools of a religious character. More recently, Howard has been Director of Education, and now Director of Research & Development, for the Oasis Academies. He has written and published widely on educational issues, particularly school leadership & management.

Patrick Godfrey

Patrick is Professor of Systems Engineering at the University of Bristol, and Director of the Systems Centre and the EPSRC Industrial Doctorate Centre in Systems at University of Bristol and University of Bath.

Patrick has for most of his career been a Director of a large consulting engineering company – Halcrow, where he specialised in the design of offshore oil and gas structures and more recently developed an innovation leadership position pioneered new ways of thinking about and managing the complete life cycle of large construction projects by developing the interface between business and engineering and using a ‘soft systems’ approach which integrates people with our physical environment.

It was during this time, 1995-2005, that he was appointed Visiting Professor of Civil Engineering Systems at University of Bristol. He co-authored ‘Doing it Differently – Systems for Rethinking Construction’ which was awarded a Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), Gold Medal and Author of the Year in 2001

From 1996 to 2001 he personally provided strategic risk management consultancy services to BAA for the development of Terminal 5. He retired from Halcrow to take up his Chair in Systems Engineering in 2005.

He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Fellow of Institution of Civil Engineers, Fellow of City and Guilds Institute, Fellow of the Energy Institute, Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Engineering by the University of Bristol in 2004. He is also a National Advocate for Industrial Doctorate Centres for EPSRC.

Martin Sandbrook

Martin has explored many areas in his professional work: he has been an accountant, a senior manager in the both public and private sectors, a process consultant and a lecturer, in Business and Management at Bath Spa University. In 2007, he took time out from his working life to study the Responsibility and Business Practice MSc at University of Bath, an experience that changed his life and professional direction. He now combines his passion and commitment to the ideas of sustainability and systems thinking with his experience in management, supporting individuals and organisations make the shift to a more systemic approach to action and change.

Qing Wang

I am an MPhil/PhD student in Positive Psychology and Learning at the Graduate School of Education, University of Bristol. My research interests include learning power, authentic enquiry, mindfulness, and learner’s experience and identity.

After completing a MEd in Educational Psychology, I focus my research area on coaching psychology and development of positive learning dispositions. My doctoral research explores the nature of Coaching for Learning and its role in facilitating enquiry-based learning and the development of learning power.

Sue Woodhead

Sue’s background is largely in the hospitality industry and public sector administration (local government and higher education). She has worked closely with Ruth Deakin Crick for nine years, supporting a number of projects – predominantly the ELLI Research Programme.  Currently working for Vital Partnerships and Learning Warehouse, as business and administration manager, Sue continues to support the further development of the ELLI Programme.  Her role includes the day to day running of the two organisations, overseeing the financial processes, monitoring the projects and being a central point of contact within the network.  She also has a key role in the Learning Warehouse support team, liaising with project leaders/managers and users of ELLI to offer support help and advice in use of the online tool.  In addition Sue is currently on secondment, one day a week, to the University of Bristol – adding administrative capacity to the Paul Hamlyn Foundation ‘Learning Futures Project’ and in the development of the new Systems Learning and Leadership Research Centre, and Masters Programme.

Dr Ruth Deakin Crick Reader in Systems Learning and Leadership Graduate School of Education

Dr Mike Yearworth Reader in Systems, Systems Centre.

Dr Helen Jelfs, Research Fellow, Graduate School of Education.

Martin Sandbrook, consultant to the MSc development programme, Graduate School of Education, visiting fellow in the Systems Centre.

Professor John Davis,  Systems Centre.

Professor Leroy White, Department of Management.

Professor Patrick Godfrey, Director of the Systems Centre

Dr Emma  Langman  – visiting fellow, Systems Centre

Howard Green, visiting fellow, Graduate School of Education.

Dr Kai Ren, Shaanxi Normal University

Qing Wang, PhD student Graduate School of Education.

Shaofu Huang, PhD student Graduate School of Education.

Helen Tracy, PhD student, Graduate School of Education.

Mim Hutchins, EdD student, Graduate School of Education.

Tim Small, Head of R&D ViTaL Partnerships

Dr Geoff Cox,  RSVP Design

Dr Barbara McCombs, University of Denver

Dr Chris Goldspink, Incept Labs, University of Sydney

Professor Helen Haste, University of Harvard

Tim Coburn, Flourish Ltd.