What We Do

Understanding socio-technical systems

Originally a £2 million transformation fund project, the Socio-Technical Centre (STC) was established in 2009 by a team led by the late Professor Chris Clegg*, Leeds University Business School; Professor Alison McKay, School of Mechanical Engineering; and Professor Nigel Smith, School of Civil Engineering. 

All complex systems, from individuals using a computer, to teams, through to whole organizations or industries – involve human behaviour (or a “socio” component) and engineering (or a “technical” component). Both components need to be carefully considered during the design of the system, to ensure optimal efficiency, effectiveness, and safety. The STC is therefore ideally positioned to undertake research, teaching, and practice in this important and emerging field. 


The STC brings together academics and practitioners from various disciplines, including:

  • Organisational psychology
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Design
  • Civil engineering
  • Geography

Our network

Our inter-disciplinary expertise enables STC to approach problems from different perspectives, creating new solutions that challenge previous assumptions.

We have strong relationships with companies, offering advice and expertise on a wide range of business issues, and work on a number of research projects.

We also have a thriving Postgraduate Research community and contribute to the teaching of the MSc Organizational Psychology and MSc Business Psychology.

*In a distinguished 40 year career, Professor Chris Clegg established himself as one of the UK’s most influential and respected organisational psychologists. He established the Socio-Technical Centre in 2009 as its inaugural Director and his expertise as an organisational psychologist is internationally recognised, with contributions to research, practice, and teaching. He sadly passed away in 2015. Colleagues at the STC share an enormous gratitude for everything he did for us.