- +44 1223 748247
Professor P John Clarkson FREng
Professor of Engineering Design
Director, Cambridge Engineering Design Centre
- B.A., Engineering (Electrical Sciences), University of Cambridge, 1984
- Ph.D., Engineering (Electrical Machines), University of Cambridge, 1988
- Doctor Honoris Causa (Engineering Design), KU Leuven, 2012
John Clarkson returned to the department in 1995 following a seven-year spell with PA Consulting Group's Technology Division where he was Manager of the Advanced Process Group. He was appointed director of the Engineering Design Centre in 1997 and a University Professor in 2004. John is directly involved in the teaching of design at all levels of the undergraduate course.
At PA John gained wide experience of product development with a particular focus on the design of medical equipment and high-integrity systems, where clients required a risk-based systems approach to design to ensure timely delivery of safe systems.
His research interests are in the general area of engineering design, particularly the development of design methodologies to address specific design issues, for example, process management, change management, healthcare design and inclusive design. As well as publishing over 500 papers, he has written and edited a number of books on medical equipment design, inclusive design and process management.
Some of John's publications are grouped by research group below. Click here for a full publication list ordered by date.
LE, H.N., WYNN, D.C. and CLARKSON, P.J. (2012) Impacts of concurrency, iteration, design review, and problem complexity on design project lead time and error generation, Concurrent Engineering Research and Applications, 20(1), 55-67. Available from Sage
An analysis of the effects of management levers on the lead time and design errors generated in an engineering process, where the levers represent iteration, degree of process concurrency and timing of design reviews.
WYNN, D.C., GREBICI, K. and CLARKSON, P.J. (2011) Modelling the evolution of uncertainty levels during design, International Journal on Interactive Design and Manufacturing, 5(3), 187-202. Available from Springer
An analysis of the influences of evolving uncertainty levels on the design process with a focus on uncertainties associated with choosing the values of design parameters.
JARRETT, J.P., DAWES, W.N. and CLARKSON, P.J. (2007) An approach to integrated multi-disciplinary turbomachinery design, ASME Journal of Turbomachinery, 129(3), 488-494. Available from ASME
Design process execution is improved through the combination of an open data architecture and the dynamic 'Signposting' design process management system.
MAIER, A.M., ECKERT, C.M. and CLARKSON, P.J. (2006) Identifying requirements for communication support: A maturity grid-inspired approach, Expert Systems with Applications, 31(4), 663-672. Available from Elsevier
A description of a maturity grid-inspired approach to audit communication practices in design, focusing on the social and cognitive processes by which information is selected, messages are exchanged, and meaning is created.
CLARKSON, P.J. and HAMILTON, J.R. (2000) Signposting: a parameter-driven task-based model of the design process, Research in Engineering Design, 12(1), 18-38, 2000. Available from Springer
A model of design is proposed, based on the assumption that a design process can be constructed from a set of tasks in which the confidence in key design parameters is used as a basis for 'signposting' the next task.
GIFFIN, M.L., DE WECK, O.L., BUONOVA, G., KELLER, R., ECKERT, C.M. and CLARKSON, P.J. (2009) Change propagation analysis in complex technical systems, ASME Journal of Mechanical Design, 131(5). Available from ASME
Examination of a large data set from industry including 41,500 change requests that were generated during the design of a complex sensor system. The data confirms the "ripple" change pattern previously proposed.
CLARKSON, P.J., SIMONS, C.S. and ECKERT, C.M. (2004) Predicting change propagation in complex design, ASME Journal of Mechanical Design, 126(5), 788-797. Available from ASME
An quantitative investigation of change propagation in helicopter design leading to a proposed method for predicting change paths in complex systems.
ECKERT, C.M., CLARKSON, P.J. and ZANKER, W. (2004) Change and customisation in complex engineering domains, Research in Engineering Design, 15(1), 1-21. Available from Springer
An qualitative investigation of change propagation in helicopter design leading to a proposed framework for describing patterns of change in complex systems.
JUN, G.T., WARD, J.R. and CLARKSON, P.J. (2010) Systems modelling approaches to the design of safe healthcare delivery, Ergonomics, 53(7), 829-847. Available from Taylor & Francis
An investigation to identify healthcare professionals' preferences for the use of different process modelling approaches in describing treatment pathways.
WARD, J.R., BUCKLE, P. and CLARKSON, P.J. (2010) Designing packaging to support the safe use of medicines at home, Applied Ergonomics, 41, 682-694. Available from Elsevier
The results of a project for the National Patient Safety Agency to evaluate the value of improved design of medication packaging.
CLARKSON, P.J., BUCKLE, P., COLEMAN, R., STUBBS, D., WARD, J., JARRETT, J., LANE, R. and BOUND, J. (2004) Design for patient safety: a review of the effectiveness of design in the UK health service, Journal of Engineering Design, 15(2), 123-140. Available from Taylor & Francis
The results of a project for the UK Department of Health and the Design Council to evaluate the value of design in improving patient safety.
CLARKSON, P.J., WALLER, S.D. and CARDOSO, C. (2010) Approaches to estimating user exclusion, Applied Ergonomics, doi 10.1016/j.apergo.2013.03.001. Available from Elsevier
A description of methods developed to estimate levels of user exclusion and reasons for such exclusion when using products.
WALLER, S.D., LANGDON, P.M. and CLARKSON, P.J. (2010) Using disability data to estimate design exclusion, Universal Access in the Information Society, 9(3), 195-207. Available from Springer
The ONS disability data source is explained in detail, and a method is presented that uses this data to estimate the exclusion associated with several tasks that occur in series or in parallel.
LANGDON, P., LEWIS, T. and CLARKSON, P.J. (2007) The effects of prior experience on the use of consumer products, Universal Access in the Information Society, 6(2), 179-191. Available from Springer
Addresses the issue of what features of products make them easy to use and whether and in what way individual prior experience affect the learning and use of a product design.
PERSAD, U., LANGDON, P.M. and CLARKSON, P.J. (2007) Characterising user capabilities to support inclusive design evaluation, Universal Access in the Information Society, 6(2), 119-135. Available from Springer
Addresses designers' needs for user data by setting out the sensory, cognitive and motor dimensions of user capability that are important for product interaction.
CRILLY, N., MOULTRIE, J. and CLARKSON, P.J. (2009) Shaping things: intended consumer response and the other determinants of product form, Design Studies, 30(3), 224-254. Available from Elsevier
A discussion of designer intentions to elicit specific responses to product visual form within the context of an integrated conceptual framework.
CRILLY, N., MOULTRIE, J. and CLARKSON, P.J. (2004) Seeing things: consumer response to the visual domain in product design, Design Studies, 25(6), 547-577. Available from Elsevier
A discussion of consumer response to product visual form within the context of an integrated conceptual framework, with a particular emphasis on the aesthetic, semantic and symbolic aspects of a cognitive response to design.
MOULTRIE, J., CLARKSON, P.J. and PROBERT, D. (2006) Development of a design audit tool, Journal of Product Innovation Management, 220(B7), 1157-1174. Available from Wiley
A description of a design audit tool that captures good design principles in a form accessible to industry. The tool is based on process maturity principles and explicitly targets the design related activities in small firms.
The University of Cambridge,
Department of Engineering,
Phone: +44 1223 748247
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