Professor Gilbert has been the Principal Investigator of over 60 research grants and contracts, receiving funding totalling over £18 million. He is currently the Director of the ESRC funded Centre for the Evaluation of Complexity Across the Nexus (CECAN), which brings together UK, European and US mathematicians, computer scientists, environmental scientists and social scientists to develop and test methods for the evaluation of complex public policies. A common feature of almost all the projects in which he has been involved is that they are multi-disciplinary and collaborative, bringing together social scientists, public sector and civil society organisations.
He founded and is Director of the Centre for Research in Social Simulation at the University of Surrey. The Centre currently numbers 12 researchers and has contributed new knowledge in a wide range of areas at the interface between engineering, public policy and the social sciences, including inter alia, understanding processes of innovation in high-tech industrial sectors, the unanticipated consequences of fiscal policies to promote the installation of solar panels, the dynamics of extortion racket systems such as the Mafia, the behavioural aspects of household energy demand, and the unanticipated consequences of public policies on air quality.
He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours of 2016 for services to engineering and the social sciences. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, a Chartered Engineer, and a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences and of the Royal Society of Arts.