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Engineering Design Centre


For more than twenty-five years the Cambridge Engineering Design Centre (EDC) has undertaken fundamental and applied research to generate knowledge that improves the design process. Our work is driven both by intellectual curiosity and industrial collaboration, resulting in understanding, methods and tools that shape design theory and design practice.

The EDC engages in knowledge transfer activities through publications, education, training and ongoing engagements with government and other public institutions. More generally, we promote the value of engineering design in the UK and beyond, and the value of design education and design research.

The EDC represents ten distinct groups, addressing a broad range of methodological approaches, professional practices and industry sectors:

Multiobjective optimisation is required to design a nuclear power plant

Computational Design Group

Dr Geoff Parks

Integrated optimisation methods and tools

A complex design process is required for major building projects

Process Management Group

Professor P John Clarkson

Improving design process performance

An excavator is a complex interconnected system

Change Management Group

Professor P John Clarkson

Modelling change in products

A designer at work

Design Practice Group

Dr Nathan Crilly

Relating designers, artefacts and users

A design team discussing project issues

Design Management Group

Dr James Moultrie

Managing design to create better products

A design team brainstorming in a creative office

Intelligent Interactive Systems Group

Professor Per Ola Kristensson

Designing, building and studying interactive systems

Aeronautical engineering effects all aspects of aircraft design

Aeronautical Design Group

Dr Jerome Jarrett

Faster, cleaner, safer flight

Latest news

Dr Tariq Masood awarded the IfM Postdoctoral Award 2020 in Teaching Excellence. September 2020.

Journal of Mechanical Design Editors' Choice Award for Managing Sociotechnical Complexity in Engineering Design Projects, co-authored by John Clarkson (see below). June 2020.

John Clarkson is welcomed as a part-time full professor to the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering at TU Delft. May 2020.

The Improving Improvement team has developed a rapid start version of their toolkit for immediate use. April 2020.

Per Ola Kristensson's paper receives a best paper award at CHI 2020 conference.

Slawomir Tadeja is a finalist for the best student paper and a winner of the best paper presentation in a session -award at the AIAA SciTech Forum and Exposition, the largest event for aerospace research, development and technology in the world.

EDC's healthcare research wins Health Foundation's Q Exchange competition with Improving Improvement idea. December 2020.

Best Paper Award at the ISMAR 2019 for paper on dynamic reconfiguration of physical keyboards for VR, co-authored by Per Ola Kristensson. October 2019.

Per Ola Kristensson participated in the BBC radio show The Naked Scientists. October 2019.

Per Ola Kristensson is interviewed in the New York Times. October 2019.

Best Paper Honourable Mention at the MobileHCI2019 for paper on collecting and analysing mobile typing behaviour with 37,000 volunteers, co-authored by Per Ola Kristensson. October 2019.

Selected publications 

Skrypchuk, L., Langdon, P., Sawyer, B.D. & Clarkson, P.J. (2020). Unconstrained design: improving multitasking with in-vehicle information systems through enhanced situation awarenessTheoretical issues in ergonomics science21(2), 183-219. 

Ma, X., Park, C. & Moultrie, J. (2020). Factors for eliminating plastic in packaging: The European FMCG experts’ viewJournal of Cleaner Production256, 120492. 

Gross, J.C., Seshadri, P. & Parks, G. (2020). Optimisation with Intrinsic Dimension Reduction: A Ridge Informed Trust-Region MethodAIAA Scitech 2020 Forum, 0157.

Cook, L.W., Willcox, K.E. & Jarrett, J.P. (2020). Design optimization using multiple dominance relationsInternational Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering121(11), 2481-2502.

Crilly, N. & Moro┼čanu Firth, R. (2019). Creativity and fixation in the real world: Three case studies of invention, design and innovationDesign Studies64, 169–212.

Hassannezhad, M., Cantamessa, M., Montagna, F. & Clarkson, P.J. (2019). Managing Sociotechnical Complexity in Engineering Design Projects. Journal of Mechanical Design141(8): 081101.