Janet Smart

Emeritus Reader

Saïd Business School
University of Oxford
Park End Street


Janet's areas of expertise include systems engineering, complex systems, big science projects, and programme management.


Janet joined Saïd Business School in 2007 to work within the BT Centre for Major Programme Management, which she helped establish along with the MSc in Major Programme Management. This course admitted its first students in 2009, and has since grown to be one of the most successful programmes of its kind in the world.

Janet’s research and teaching are in the area of systems engineering and in the design, delivery and management of large, complex projects. Her key interest is in the adaptation of project management methods to suit the circumstances of particular projects and organizations. She is currently working with two contrasting sectors – engineering manufacturers and museums.

Before joining the School, Janet spent almost twenty years in the Department of Engineering Science at the University of Oxford. Her research there was in measuring and modelling the complexity of manufacturing systems, and in developing and applying an information-theoretic approach to the structural and dynamic complexity of manufacturing systems and supply chains. She supervised several DPhil and Masters theses, and she and her co-workers continue to publish on this topic.

With Felix Reed-Tsochas (Saïd Business School) and Professor Neil Johnson (then Professor of Physics at the University of Oxford), Janet set up the CABDyN research cluster in 2003, to investigate complex agent-based dynamic networks. CABDyN has become a world-leading centre for research on complex systems, gaining many substantial national and international grants, under the leadership of Reed-Tsochas.

Janet took her undergraduate degree in Physics at the University of Oxford, and her PhD in computing at the University of Durham.


  • Project and programme management 
  • Servitisation for manufacturing organisations
  • Knowledge management in museums
  • Manufacturing systems
  • Systems engineering
  • Complex systems
  • The ecology of IT projects
  • Big science projects


Janet conducts research on operations management and project management, in the context of IT and manufacturing organisations, and the management of museums.

Recently, Janet’s work has extended to servitization in manufacturing organisations. Janet’s interest in operations management has led to a project on knowledge management in museums, and the challenges of maintaining museum catalogues.

Janet’s research has led to a number of papers and book chapters on manufacturing systems and complex networks. Before she joined the Said Business School, she was a Reader in Oxford’s Department of Engineering Science.

Servitisation in UK Engineering companies

Companies are combining services with their manufactured products, from after-sales repair and replacement to collaborative research and development. Janet is working with consultancy company Pcubed to explore the business models and competences that enable UK engineering companies to adopt servitization. They will be surveying companies through an online questionnaire, one to one interviews and workshops.   

If you work for a UK engineering company and would like to get involved, get in touch.


Complexity transfer in supplier-customer systems(opens in new window)

  • Journal article
  • Production Planning and Control
  • Luisa Huaccho Huatuco,
  • Janet Smart,
  • Anisoara Calinescu,
  • Suja Sivadasan
Major Programme Management
  • Suja Sivadasan,
  • Janet Smart,
  • Luisa Huaccho Huatuco,
  • Anisoara Calinescu
Major Programme Management

A method for analysing operational complexity in supply chains(opens in new window)

  • Journal article
  • Journal of the Operational Research Society
  • YR Wu,
  • LH Huatuco,
  • G Frizelle,
  • J Smart
Major Programme Management
  • J Smart,
  • A Calinescu,
  • L Huaccho Huatuco
Major Programme Management

Big science and big administration(opens in new window)

  • Journal article
  • The European Physical Journal Special Topics
  • J Smart,
  • M Scott,
  • JB McCarthy,
  • KT Tan,
  • P Argyrakis,
  • S Bishop,
  • R Conte,
  • S Havlin,
  • M San Miguel,
  • D Stauffacher
Major Programme Management
See more publications


Janet has been a member of Oxford University’s Programme Assurance Group for four years.

This group reviews large projects in the University’s portfolio of IT projects to help develop auditing and planning methods to improve the quality and outcome of the University’s IT.


Janet taught on:

  • MBA
  • Economics & Management undergraduate programme
  • MSc in Major Programme Management
  • Major Projects Leadership Academy

Janet was awarded an OXTALENT prize for Innovation in Digital Teaching in 2017 for her work on using video in her undergraduate course.

Oxford Answers

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View articles by Janet.

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