Professor Laurie Thomas created CSHL as a self-financing RESEARCH and POSTGRADUATE TEACHING INSTITUTE in 1967. From a science and engineering background and served his national service as a captain in the REME. Then after a brief career in Production Management and as Statistical Research Manager at the Acton Society Trust, he went on to study “Subjective Judgement and the Control of Quality” and was awarded his PhD in Psychology (London University).
He taught Management Development and Production Engineering at Brunel University and later as Reader established with Marie Jahoda the first undergraduate sandwich course in psychology. He procured major research grants (SSRC, DEC, NUFFIELD, MOD, Ministry of Prod & Employment) and consultancy contracts to study Human Learning in the natural habitats of work, business, education, sport and the social service. Whilst on sabbatical leave in the USA he worked at the Menninger Foundation and with C.Rogers, G.Murphy and G.Kelly. He is the originator of the first man-machine Repertory Grid elicitation and analysis computer program (DEMON, PEGASUS and FOCUS) and is the author of the Integrated Software Suite for Grid Elicitation and Analysis, adding PERCEIVE and EVALUATE, CHANGE Grid, EXCHANGE and CONVERSE, and SOCIOGRID. He has patented several LEARNING AIDS and published over 100 papers and 5 books.
Together with Sheila Harri-Augstein he has carried out a 7 year action research study with The Royal Mail Post Office introducing a system of Self-Organised-Learning for Management Effectiveness and developing a FEEDBACK FOR LEARNING Technology for managing Self-Organised Change. With Sheila he also developed a LEARNING CONVERSATION SHELL for Ship Command and Control and for Air Intercept Control for the Royal Navy.