Maria Tsakalerou, PhD

Associate Professor

Former affiliation

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Research interests


Dr. Mariza Tsakalerou received her PhD in Production and Engineering Management from Democritus University of Thrace in 2015.

She is an active researcher, practitioner and academic in knowledge management, business clusters and innovation networks.    She has been researching barriers to innovation internationally and her current focus is to issues pertaining to SMEs. Patent protection, absence of government R&D funding, and low financial regulation assurance are among the aspects that she is investigating through primary data sourced locally and internationally. She is actively combining her research with consultancy (such as the one with Air Astana) towards the support of existing and emerging SMEs.

A distinct part of her research is devoted to the importance of human capital in innovation and of diversity in the performance of innovation teams.

She has taught a variety of graduate courses (Leading Engineering Teams,  New Product Development, Managing Product and Service Development, Knowledge Management and Innovation, Globalization and Engineering) for our Master of Engineering Management (MEM) program.

In her career, Dr. Tsakalerou has interweaved a number of significant appointments with real-world entrepreneurial activities. She has served as a Research Fellow with the Department of Industrial Engineering at Hong Kong Polytechnic University; as a Visiting Scholar with the Department of Engineering Management and Systems Engineering at George Washington University; as an Academic Visitor with the Division of Engineering & Technology Management at the National University of Singapore.

She was a Ministerial Advisor for public policy initiatives on open administration and e-governance, before becoming an Assistant Professor of the Master of Engineering & Management Program at Nazarbayev University.

She is currently serving on the management board of Vertitech, a leading software developer and installer of educational management systems worldwide.


 Dr. Tsakalerou is active in international fora (such as the OECD Idea Factory, the European Innovation Summit, the Joint Institute for Innovation Policy and the European Higher Education Society) and a contributor to the Asia-Europe Foundation's Education Hub.

Dr. Tsakalerou is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE).  

Research interests

Barriers to innovation, Patent Protection, Innovation Networks, Product Development and Diversity

Research interests

External positions


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