Prof Christine Unterhitzenberger

Prof Christine Unterhitzenberger


Dr Christine Unterhitzenberger (BEng, MEng, ChPP, MAPM, SFHEA) is a Professor of Project Management at the School of Civil Engineering at the University of Leeds and a Chartered Project Professional (ChPP). She is the founder and Director of the Leeds Centre for Projects, which is an internationally leading centre of excellence in project management research, education and engagement at the University of Leeds.  She is also an Associate Editor for the International Journal of Project Management (IJPM), Chair of the Project Experiences SIG at the British Academy of Mangement (BAM) and Chair or the Project Organising SIG at the European Academy of Management (EURAM). She is also the former Chair of the Research Advisory Group for the Association for Project Management (APM) and a former Member of their Professional Standards and Knowledge Committee. She was a Department Editor for the Project Management Journal (2019 – 2023). Previously she was a Senior Teaching Fellow in Project Management and Director of the PhD Programme at Lancaster University Management School (2018 – 2020) and Senior Lecturer in Project Management and Programme Leader of the Doctorate of Business Administration at Liverpool Business School, Liverpool John Moores University (2016 – 2018). She completed her PhD in Project Management in 2017 at the School of the Built Environment at Liverpool John Moores University under the supervision of Prof David Bryde. Prior to her academic career she worked for almost ten years as a project manager in the construction industry. She was responsible for the project management of various large scale construction projects with a total value of more than £500 million. During her professional career she covered the whole life cycle of projects from the initial feasibility study to the final handover and implementation. Her clients were public bodies and private organisations.

Funded research projects

  • Prefab Sprouting: Modern Methods of Construction and the English Housing Crisis (Co-I) – a research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) investigating residential MMC projects incl. project governance and stakeholder engagement (£725,000; 2021 – 2024)
  • Organisational Justice in Projects (PI) – a research funded by the Association for Project Management (APM) investigating the characteristics, influencing factors and impacts of fairness and unfairness in projects (£25,000; 2020 – 2022)
  • Building Resilience in Construction (Co-I) – a research funded by the World University Network (WUN) investigating the resilience of the construction supply (£10,000; 2021 – 2022)
  • Fair Project Governance (PI) – dissemination activities funded by the ESRC Impact Accelorator Account (ESRC IAA) in collaboration with Merck KGaA, Germany (£8,000; 2018 – 2019)
  • Being Lean and Seen: Developing a framework to guide project delivery (Co-PI) – a research funded by the EU in the context of the Marie Sklodowska Curie Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE) investigating lean project management, psycho-social aspects of project management and innovation in projects (€325,000; involvement 2016 – 2018)
  • Stakeholder Challenge: Dealing with Difficult Stakeholders (Co-I) – a research funded by the Association for Project Management (APM) investigating how project managers cope with situations involving challenging stakeholders (£5,000; 2016 – 2018)


  • 2021 Shorlisted for Association for Project Management Paper of the Year award 
  • 2021 Best Reviewer European Academy of Management Conference
  • 2021 Best Reviewer Project Organising SIG European Academy of Management Conference
  • 2019 DSI/PMI Instructional Case Writing Competition for a teaching case on “Resolving agency issues in client-contractor relationships: The Merck Innovation Centre”
  • 2016 Highly Commended Emerald/EFMD Outstanding Doctoral Research Award
  • 2016 Best Paper Award at the Britisch University in Dubai Doctoral Research Conference. 


  • Director of the Leeds Centre for Projects
  • Member of School Management Team

Research interests

Her research is focused on relational and organisational aspects of projects. She is particularly interested in project behaviour, governance and sustainability through the lens of organisational justice. She has recently started work on the behavioural and organisational aspects of digital transformation in projects. She is also contributing to the advancement of research methods in the field.  

  • Project behaviour – understanding how individuals work together in projects with a particular focus on human behaviour in projects and the interface between human behaviour and projects.
  • Project organisation and governance – developing effective strategies to create appropriate organisational structures for projects to be managed successfully with a particular focus on governance arrangements.
  • Digital transformation – investigating the impact of digitisation of project communication on project managers, team members and the project itself.

Christine is interested in PhD research projects in the area of project management in general and more specifically in the behavioural and organisational aspects of project management. She is a UKCGE Recognised Research Supervisor. Please get in touch if you would like to discuss an idea.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • BEng in Industrial Engineering
  • MEng in International Project Management
  • PhD in Project Management

Professional memberships

  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA)
  • Member of the Association for Project Management (MAPM)
  • Member of the European Academy of Management (EURAM)
  • Member of the British Academy of Management (BAM)

Student education

Christine has taught on different under- and postgraduate programmes various project management modules as well as research methods. Currently she is teaching on the MSc in Engineering Project Management and the the MSc in International Construction Management and Engineering the following modules:

  • CIVE5175M Project Strategy and Organisation
  • CIVE5170M Dissertation

She also has an expertise in developing professionals through executive education and MBA programmes. She has extensive experience in teaching on doctoral programmes having been the programme leader for a DBA programme and director of a PhD programme. She also engages in supervision on MSc and doctoral level. 

Research groups and institutes

  • Cities, Infrastructure and Energy
  • Project management

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>
    <li><a href="//">Behavioural Aspects in Projects</a></li>