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Personal profile

Research interests


I graduated from the Heriot Watt University in the School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences (MACS) in 2009 with a first class honors degree in Information Systems.  I was awarded the Cooper Walker Engineering prize for outstanding computing work, the Andrew Stewart prize for most deserving student and I was a finalist for the young software engineer of Scotland award in 2010 .In 2010, I was awarded an internal MACS scholarship for PhD research to further my work on ‘collaborative picturing for system understanding’.  I graduated in 2013 with my PhD on Rich Picture Interpretation. During my PhD research work I was awarded the ‘problem structuring’ steam prize for outstanding contribution to the Operational Research Conference in 2012. I lectured in Information Systems in Edinburgh Napier University in 20I4 and presently teach in Computing Science as an Assistant Professor in MACS at Heriot Watt University.  I won the University's 'Learning and Teaching Oscar' for being a ‘guiding hand’ (most helpful and encouraging lecturer) in 2016.

I am a Fellow of HEA (Higher Educational Academy) and member of AIS (Association of Information Systems) and BCS (British Computer Society).  I regularly review and write articles for system and educational journals. I have most recently published a co-authored book on my research; Rich Pictures: encouraging resilient communities. I am actively involved in encouraging women into computer science and have coordinated many ‘girls into computing’ events in the Department of Computer Sciences at Heriot Watt.

I have published in international research journals and many pre-print versions of these papers are available for download on my Research Gate page at https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Tessa_Berg/publications.

 My research video can be seen here: https://youtu.be/ttBqOFF2HEE.

Other collaboration media clips regarding my research can be viewed here:

Current research interests

  • Problem structuring for information Systems
  • System design using visual methods of enquiry
  • Online privacy and security for autistic young people.
  • Developing a computing badge for girl guides Scotland
  • Collaborative pictures to aid understanding of  international student transition

Research students

I currently supervise 1 PhD student and 3 BSc students. I am happy to consider applications for self-funding or funded/sponsored students wishing to undertake PhD, MPhil or Masters by research projects in my area of research. Potential students interested in undertaking such research should email me in the first instance. 


I have undertaken a range of consultancy projects including delivery of rich picture training to industry, and system requirement evaluation. 


Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Tessa Berg is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

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student Social Sciences
information system Social Sciences
content analysis Social Sciences
stakeholder Social Sciences
language Social Sciences
graduate Social Sciences
experience Social Sciences
education Social Sciences

Co Author Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2011 2019

31 Downloads (Pure)

Bridging the Digital Skills Gap Are computing degree apprenticeships the answer?

Taylor-Smith, E., Smith, S., Fabian, K., Berg, T., Meharg, D. & Varey, A., 2 Jul 2019, ITiCSE '19 Proceedings of the 2019 ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education. ACM, p. 126-132 7 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Open Access

Computing in the classroom: Learning Programming with educational robots

Berg, T., Jan 2019.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Interpreting Rich Pictures using Content Analysis

Berg, T., Coady, J. & Guion Akdağ, E., 14 Jan 2019, (Accepted/In press).

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Open Access
content analysis
study contents
9 Downloads (Pure)

Towards an Understanding of Rich Picture Interpretation

Bell, S., Berg, T. & Morse, S., Dec 2019, In : Systemic Practice and Action Research. 32, 6, p. 601-614 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Coastal zones
Data acquisition
Coastal zone

Using rich pictures outside of soft systems methodology: a case study analysis

Berg, T., Bell, S. & Morse, S., 3 Oct 2019, In : International Journal of System of Systems Engineering. 9, 3, p. 257-276 20 p., 4.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle



Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Tessa Berg (Recipient), 2015

Prize: Fellowship awarded competitively

Teaching and Learning Award

Tessa Berg (Recipient), 2016

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

Activities 2017 2019

  • 2 Participation in conference
  • 1 Consultancy
  • 1 Hosting an academic visitor

Implementing Inclusive Active Learning Spaces

Tessa Berg (Consultant)
1 Jan 20191 Jan 2020

Activity: Consultancy

Kathryn Seigfried-Spellar

Tessa Berg (Host)
25 Oct 2018

Activity: Hosting a visitorHosting an academic visitor

Horizons in STEM Higher Education Conference

Tessa Berg (Member of programme committee)

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

Horizons in STEM Higher Education Conference

Tessa Berg (Member of programme committee)
29 Jun 201730 Jun 2017

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference