Ian Allison

Prof. Ian Allison

Executive Dean

Faculty of Science and Technology

JB Firth, JBF203

+44 (0) 1772 89 2505


Subject Areas: Business and Management, Computing, Education, Engineering

Ian is Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science and Technology with responsibility for approximately 9000 students and 400 academic and research staff. The Faculty includes a range of subjects across the Schools of Engineering, Forensics and Applied Science, Physical and Computing Sciences, and Psychology. Ian is a member of the University’s Academic Leadership Group and the Academic Board. Ian is a member of the Committee of Professors and Heads of Computing, co-leading the Learning Development Group. He is a Principal Fellow of the HEA, with a strong focus on employment and skills. His personal research is in the field of socio-technical information systems.

Ian is research active within the Innovative Computing Education Research Group, the Emerging Interactive Technologies Research Group and the HCI and Information Systems Research Group

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Full Profile

As Executive Dean Professor Allison leads the academic and business strategy for the Faculty of Science and Technology. Ian is responsible for the academic quality of the Faculty’s education and research programmes.

The Faculty delivers a wide range of educational programmes including specialist training, degree apprenticeships, undergraduate degrees, Masters degrees and research degrees. Approximately half of the students study with partner universities and colleges across the globe and nationally, and with leading employers such as the BBC, BAE Systems, Royal Mail and Police Forces as part of apprenticeship programmes.

Innovative and world-leading research in the Faculty of Science and Technology spans a wide spectrum. Our research helps to utilise and engage with our physical world more effectively and to provide real-world solutions to industry, the business community or the public sector. Research excellence is paired with ensuring the impact of the work through engagement, knowledge exchange and commercialisation of the work. The Faculty recently won the Times Higher Education (THE) Awards for a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with Recycling Lives.

Ian is leading the interdisciplinary academic programme for the new Engineering Innovation Centre and is launching a new impact-focused data science initiative.  He is a member of university strategic initiatives including: the student experience strategy, data strategy, digital strategy, academic workload, future of academic space, REF and research strategy, as well as other senior committees.

Ian’s research and commercial expertise focuses on socio-technical information systems, namely the processes related to the management, design, development and adoption of digital systems. He has forged an international research track record after his doctorate, with best paper awards, invited and keynote speeches, and special issue editorship, and Chaired the 2017 International Information Management Association (IIMA) Conference. He is now Vice President of the IIMA.

As an enthusiastic educationalist and reflective practitioner, Ian has recently been granted Principal Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy. He has significant experience of external QA work – including six years on the BCS Accreditation Committee – and pioneering curriculum development that reflects employers’ future demands. He has been at the forefront of the creation of degree apprenticeships, and related pedagogical frameworks and work-based learning standards.

His significant employer engagement work draws on Ian’s prior commercial experience, and subsequent consultancy and knowledge exchange projects. He co-led the establishment of the SFC funded Data Lab Innovation Centre and a DCMS funded Aberdeen-wide digital entrepreneurial incubator. He has held many board level and national committee roles focused on addressing the HE-industry interface and STEM skills gap, including being an elected to the ScotlandIS Board, the national ICT trade body. Consequently, he has a national voice on digital skills and is an invited speaker at high profile events. Previously he was the inaugural chair of a Digital Skills Partnership formed across Scottish HE and FE institutions to address gaps in the graduate skill base.

Ian works to ensure equality and diversity in the sector, and that the pathways to STEM careers are open to all. He was the Universities Scotland representative on Scottish Government’s STEM strategy implementation group, with a focus on equality and diversity.  He is currently leading a project on inclusivity in assessment and the impact of disadvantaged backgrounds on graduate employability.


Seifu, S. D., Abubakar, D.A., Bass, J. Allison, I. (2017) Cloud Computing: Adoption Issues for Ethiopian public and private enterprises, Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries, 78, 7, p1-17

Allison, I. and Narciso, H. (2015) Managing Change in SPI: a Framework for Addressing Resistance, Software Quality Professional, 17 (4), 4-14. ISSN 1522-0540  Open Access at: http://asq.org/pub/sqp/past/vol17_issue4/index.html

Bass, J., Allison, I., Banerjee, U. (2013) Agile Method Tailoring in a CMMI Level 5 Organization: Addressing the Paradox, Journal of International Technology and Information Management, 22 (4), 77-98. ISSN:  1543-5962

Allison, I and Merali, Y (2007) Software Process Improvement as Emergent Change: a Structurational Analysis, Information and Software Technology, 49(2), 668-681. ISSN: 0950-5849


  • Ph.D Information Systems, University of Warwick, 2004
  • Pg Dip. Teaching in Higher Education, Nottingham Trent University, 1996
  • B.Sc.(Hons.) Computer and Mathematical Sciences, Teesside Polytechnic, 1983



Expertise focuses on socio-technical information systems, namely the processes related to the management, design, development and adoption of digital systems.


Current and recent research projects:

  • challenges with the adoption of agile methods and continuous integration (Dev-Ops) environments
  • managing agile development in a high-maturity software engineering environment
  • situational-aware decision support systems for complex, high-risk environments
  • processes and factors related to cloud adoption
  • employability issues related to STEM graduates from socially-deprived backgrounds


  • Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (PFHEA)
  • Fellow of the British Computer Society (FBCS)
  • Fellow of the International Institute of Information Management (FIIMA)
  • Chartered Engineer (CEng)
  • Chartered IT Professional (CITP)

External Activities

International Information Management Association

  • Vice-President

Council of Professors and Heads of Computing

  • Co-lead of Learning Development Group

Training 2000

  • Board member

IN4.0 Access

  • Board Member

Previous external roles

  • Scottish Government STEM strategy implementation group
  • Digital Skills Partnership, Chair
  • CEntre for Engineering Development (CEED) Board
  • The Data Lab Board
  • ScotlandIS Board
  • Scottish e-placements Advisory Board
  • British Computer Society (Branch Committee; Academic Accreditation Committee; Examiners)


Okay-Somerville, B., Allison, I., Scholarios, D. and Caira, T (2018) Demographic influences in the strategies used to support the transition to employment in STEM, Horizons in STEM Higher Education Conference: Making Connections and Sharing Pedagogy, Hull

Schwarzer, J., Wang, Q. Casaseca, P., Allison, I. von Luck, K., Draheim, S. and Grecos, C. (2017) Ambient Surfaces: Encouraging Communication Beyond Agile Practices in Co-located Scrum Teams, 28th IIMA Conference/4th ICITED Joint Conference., Glasgow, September

Thompson, J, Allison, I. West, D. (2017) Soft Systems Thinking as a means of analyzing uncertain requirements in a multi-organizational investigation, 28th IIMA Conference/4th ICITED Joint Conference., Glasgow, September

Adewojo, A.A., Bass, J.M., Allison, I., (2015) Enhanced Cloud Patterns: A case study of multi tenancy patterns, Lecture Notes in Engineering and Computer Science: Proceedings of the World Congress on Engineering and Computer Science 2015, 21-23 October, 2015, pp. 53-58.

Nwiabu, N., Allison, I., Holt. P. Lowit, P. Oyeneyin, B (2011) Situation awareness in context-aware case-based decision support, IEEE Conference on Cognitive Methods in Situation Awareness and Decision Support, pp 9-16, Feb 22-24. Best paper award ISBN 978-1-61284-785-6

Allison, I (2010) Organizational factors shaping Software Process Improvement in small-medium sized software teams: a multi case analysis, In: Brito F., Faria, J. and Machado, R. (eds) Proceedings of 7th International Conference on the Quality of Information and Communications Technology, pp. 418-423, 29 Sep-2 Oct, Porto, Portugal.  IEEE Computer Society 2010, ISBN 978-0-7695-4241-6