Mr Jonathan Aylen

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Profile photo of: Mr Jonathan Aylen Email: Show Email Address
Position: Senior Lecturer
Academic unit: Innovation, Management and Policy


Jonathan is senior lecturer in the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research within Manchester Business School at the University of Manchester, England and was a founder director of MIoIR. Jonathan has a very varied career, as an economist - winning a Partnership Trust Award for innovative teaching in economics – and as an engineer, an innovation researcher and in environmental management. Jonathan Aylen was an Associate Editor of R&D Management 2014-2016. He was Conference Chair for the R&D Management Conference in 2013. He frequently broadcasts on steel and related industrial issues.

Jonathan is Chair of the Newcomen Society for the History of Engineering and Technology in the North-West of England, an elected member of their national Council and became Vice-Pesident of the Society in 2016. He is a former President of Manchester Statistical Society.

Research Interests

Jonathan’s current research focuses on four very diverse interdisciplinary areas: the management of R&D, the history of technology, wildfires and climate change.

He has won two “best paper” prizes - receiving the Williams Award of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining in 2007 for published work on time series forecasting with Kevin Albertson and an €1,000 award from Promote, the Centre for Management of Innovation in Process Industry in Luleå, Sweden for a paper on “Stretch” subsequently published in R&D Management in 2013.

A recent book on wide strip mill technology, Ribbon of Fire written with an Italian colleague, is about technology transfer from the USA to Europe. He retains his engineering interest in rolling technology and is a former member of the Bulk Metal Forming Committee, a technical committee of the Technology and Materials Science Division of IOM3. He advised the steel company, Corus (now Tata), for 18 years on forecasting, foresight, investment in new technology and knowledge management issues. He was a keynote speaker for international conferences on Mill Performance (2014) and on Rolls (2015).

His work on wildfires concentrates on the likelihood and consequences of fires. He has just completed a NERC funded project on Wildfire Threat led by Julia McMorrow (Geography, Manchester) working with the Forestry Commission to analyse the risk, spread and impact of wildfire. His research on wildfire work has helped inform policy and practice towards fire risk. Two jointly authored papers on wildfire have recently appeared in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, June 2016.

His latest work on weather and climate with Gina Cavan and Kevin Albertson has appeared in Climatic Change, following earlier published work in Climate Research and the Journal of Environmental Management.

His recent research on history looks at Cold War technology and at how the world went digital in areas such as missile guidance and process plant control. His latest papers published in 2015 and 2016 are on the technology of nuclear weapon design and contradict received wisdom on the issue.

Programme involvement

Specialist fields




Publication summary




Showing 54 publication(s)


  • Gazzard, R., Mcmorrow, J., & Aylen, J. (2016). Wildfire policy and management in England: an evolving response from fire and rescue services, forestry and cross-sector groups. Philosophical Transactions Royal Society B, 371(1696). DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2015.0341. Publication link: e3868f98-ba2e-4738-a921-67dfbe5f4700
  • Roos, C., Scott, A., Belcher, C., Chaloner, W., Aylen, J., Bliege Bird, R., ... Steelman, T. (2016). Living on a flammable planet: interdisciplinary, crossscalar and varied cultural lessons, prospects and challenges. Philosophical Transactions Royal Society B, 371(1696). DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2015.0469. Publication link: fea8771e-e7be-43c6-adca-5be03cf05760
  • Aylen, J. (2016). Building and deploying Blue Danube - Britain's first nuclear weapon. Royal Air Force Historical Society Journal, 63, 6-31. . Publication link: 43732a83-cccb-434c-ac7b-1b84ac1e0ec2


  • Aylen, J., Benoit, S. (Ed.), & Michel, A. P. (Ed.) (2015). Les logiques d’adaptation des techniques de métallurgie ameréricains en Europe (années 1930-1960). In Le monde du genie industriel au XXe siècle: autour de Pierre Bézier et des machines-outils. (First ed., pp. 75-92). Belfort, France: Université de technologie de Belfort-Montbéliard. . Publication link: e7726fe2-7ed7-48cc-bcb1-a34d63c83e67
  • Mcmorrow, J., Kazmierczak, A., Aylen, J., Gazzard, R., Morison, J., & Moffat, A. (2015). Wildfire Threat Analysis (WTA). Wildfire research and its impact on policy, planning and operations; the Swinley Forest fire, Greenwich University, .. Publication link: 94f3b6d2-eac7-48c6-947c-e34a41f1585f
  • Aylen, J., Benoit, S. (Ed.), & Michel, A. P. (Ed.) (2015). Transferts technologiques et naturalisations. In Le monde du genie industriel au XXe siècle: autour de Pierre Bézier et des machines-outils. (First ed., pp. 221-224). Belfort, France: Université de technologie de Belfort-Montbéliard. . Publication link: 60348a93-4dc0-401f-ab7f-1b685223947f


  • Mcmorrow, J., Aylen, J., Kazmierczak, A., Gazzard, R., Morison, J., & Moffat, A. (2014). Wildfire threat analysis in the forest-urban interface – a scoping study for the Swinley forest area. In host publication.. Publication link: 14660ade-d37d-4197-b664-1cd0d83613e1
  • Aylen, J., Ranieri, R., Barthel, C. (Ed.), Kharba, I. (Ed.), & Mioche, P. (Ed.) (2014). Technological trajectories: the wide strip mill for steel in Europe (1920 to the present). In The Transformation of the World Steel Industry from the XXth Century to the Present. (1st ed., pp. 363-380). Brussels: P.I.E. Peter Lang. . Publication link: 1b387481-d1f3-4e20-902e-0a272b0f97a3
  • Mcmorrow, J., Aylen, J., Kazmierczak, A., Gazzard, R., Morison, J., & Moffat, A. (2014). Wildfire Threat Analysis in a UK Forest-Urban Interface. In host publication.. Publication link: 0e081819-19b6-47d3-a6eb-e69063d68f62
  • Dewick, P., & Aylen, J. (2014). Sustainable innovation management: Ten lessons from innovation studies for a sustainable paradigm. In United Nations Global Compact International Yearbook. (2014 ed., pp. 30-32). Germany: United Nations Global Compact Office. . Publication link: 3c428d45-e3e5-4f23-8e08-a77a8ff93d6c



  • Aylen, J., & Ranieri, R. (2012). Ribbon of Fire: How Europe adopted and developed US strip mill technology (1920-2000). (1st ed.) Bologna, Italy: Pendragon.. Publication link: 24cc3692-27a4-44f8-ab34-c122cad09f87


  • Aylen, J., & Pryce, M. (2011). Practice in Communities: how engineers create solutions ‐ the Bloodhound Guided Missile and the Hawker Harrier “jump jet”. In host publication.. Publication link: 326db842-141f-49b2-ae43-5b6178b92547


  • Mcmorrow, J., Cavan, G., Walker, J., Aylen, J., Legg, C., Quinn, C., ... Jones, M. (2010). Fire Interdisciplinary Research on Ecosystem Services (FIRES) Policy Brief. Manchester: No publisher name.. Publication link: 10c643e5-0e91-4524-864f-274bb11b1310
  • Albertson, K., Aylen, J., Cavan, G., & McMorrow, J. (2010). Climate change and the future occurrence of moorland wildfires in the Peak District of the UK. Climate Research, 45(1), 105-118. DOI: 10.3354/cr00926. Publication link: 4cbe93dd-254d-4aca-9443-7964234603be
  • House, J., Clark, J., Gallego-Sala, A., Orr, H., Aylen, J., Bardgett, R., ... Yallop, A. (2010). Vulnerability of upland peatland services to climate change. No publisher name.. Publication link: dc725fa4-6c4b-4070-80dc-aa3b7b38221b


  • Aylen, J., Albertson, K., Cavan, G., & Mcmorrow, J. (2009). Forecasting the Incidence of Moorland Wild Fires Given Realistic Climate Change Scenarios. In host publication. nternational Society of Forecasters. . Publication link: 989e75da-c971-441a-a28f-9e7cc1a874e1
  • Mcmorrow, J., Lindley, S., Aylen, J., Cavan, G., Albertson, K., Boys, D., ... Stewart, J. (Ed.) (2009). Moorland wildfire risk, visitors and climate change: patterns, prevention and policy. In Drivers of Change in Upland Environments. (1st ed., pp. 404-431). Abingdon: Routledge. . Publication link: e7f18584-12e6-4e2c-9316-672722770302


  • Mcmorrow, J., Lindley, S., Aylen, J., Albertson, K., & Cavan, G. (2008). Wildfire risk and climate change in the Peak District National Park. Poster session presented at FIRES2, The impact of wildfire on ecosystem services: relationships between wildfire, climate change and people, Manchester, .. Publication link: 75503ea2-32c1-4e07-8215-315c2f2f94ea


  • Walker, J., Aylen, J., Mcmorrow, J., & Lindley, S. (2007). Increasing Water Supplies for Moorland Fire Fighting. In Wildfire 2007, Dalby Forest, Yorkshire. Port Elphinestone: Rural Development Initiatives. . Publication link: c8649ba9-57cb-4959-ac4e-7e3f5a54e8da
  • Mcmorrow, J., Lindley, S., Aylen, J., Albertson, K., & Cavan, G. (2007). Wildfire risk and Climate change in the Peak District National Park. Poster session presented at Adapting upland ecosystems services to climate change: planning for the future at community level, University of Cumbria, Newton Rigg campus, Penrith, .. Publication link: d922bf01-1e4a-48d9-b678-55d22b60b0a8


  • Mcmorrow, J., Aylen, J., Albertson, K., Cavan, G., Lindley, S., Handley, J., & Karooni, R. (2006). Moorland Wild Fires in the Peak District National Park, Technical Report 3. (Climate Change and the Visitor Economy (CCVE)). University of Manchester: Centre for Urban and Regional Ecology (CURE).. Publication link: bb50a719-13bd-43c4-aaac-5d362e55aaad
  • Mcevoy, D., Handley, J., Cavan, G., Aylen, J., Lindley, S., Mcmorrow, J., & Glynn, S. (2006). Climate Change and the Visitor Economy: Challenges and opportunities for England’s Northwest. (Defra, Northwest Regional Development Agency, Environment Agency, UK Climate Impacts Programme). Manchester and Oxford: Sustainability Northwest (Manchester) & UKCIP (Oxford).. Publication link: bbc99b6e-3b73-412b-9dee-71809c2dcad1
  • Cavan, G., Handley, J. F., Aylen, J., Albertson, K., McMorrow, J., Lindley, S., & McEvoy, D. (2006). Climate change and the visitor economy in the uplands. International Journal of Biodiversity Science and Management, 2(3), 170-173. DOI: 10.1080/17451590609618117. Publication link: 1f1ba2a4-30a4-4fcf-844b-b2eea84e2e7d


  • Mcmorrow, J., Lindley, S., Cavan, G., Aylen, J., & Handley, J. (2005). Risk Workshop: Moorland Wildfires in the Peak District. Technical Report, (Climate Change and the Visitor Economy (CCVE)). University of Manchester: Centre for Urban and Regional Ecology (CURE).. Publication link: 6ef47d6f-3d22-458e-9b4c-9447a1eb598d


  • Aylen, J. (2004). Three inventions that changed the world and their lessons for modern innovators. Manchester Memoirs, 143, 33-48. . Publication link: 70b634c2-0c04-4936-a5b0-f33605da6d8e





  • Albertson, K., & Aylen, J. (1999). Forecasting using a periodic transfer function: With an application to the UK price of ferrous scrap. International Journal of Forecasting, 15(4), 409-419. . Publication link: caf9471a-5ca9-410a-b825-bd165edb0a3f


  • Aylen, J., & Ranieri, R. (1998). The Steel Industry in the New Millennium - Vol 1: technology and the market (eds.). (1 ed.) London: Institute of Materials.. Publication link: 33973b98-abd6-4444-a5c1-9936c6dd7eda






  • Aylen, J. (1986). 2. Productivity Improvement and its Effects on the Level of Employment and Working Conditions in the Iron and Steel Industry. Geneva: International Labor Office.. Publication link: 0301033e-0322-48b2-a319-e6be34b2f542



  • Aylen, J. (1982). Plant Size and Efficiency in the Steel Industry: Some International Comparisons. National Institute Economic Review, (100), 65-76. . Publication link: 5d090e38-a1c3-455d-b5f6-388c29a71edd


  • Aylen, J., & Pavitt, K. (Ed.) (1980). Innovation in the British Steel Industry. In Technical Innovation and British Economic Performance. (1 ed., pp. 200-234). London: Macmillan. . Publication link: 8a1298a0-617e-40b2-9971-5410c0d931b5


  • Aylen, J., Artis, M. (Ed.), & Nobay, R. (Ed.) (1978). The Social Cost Benefit Analysis of Historic Building Restoration: A Case Study of Barlaston Hall, Staffordshire. In Contemporary Economic Analysis. (1 ed., pp. 409-447). London: CroomHelm. . Publication link: bdf32bf1-976d-4b4d-b6b9-3c1ea6f9e031