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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 thirteen distinct groups, addressing a broad range of methodological approaches, professional practices and industry sectors:

Significant prior knowledge is required to design a jet engine

Knowledge Management Group

Aylmer Johnson

Capture, storage and retrieval of engineering knowledge

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

A phychiatrist's hands holding the palm of her patient

Healthcare Design Group

Professor P John Clarkson

Design for quality and safety

A designer at work

Design Practice Group

Dr Nathan Crilly

Relating designers, artefacts and users

A design team discussing project issues

Design Managment Group

Dr James Moultrie

Managing design to create better products

A design team brainstorming in a creative office

Intelligent Interactive Systems Group

Dr 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

Extreme mountain biking demands expert mechanical design

Product Design Group

Dr Digby Symons

Innovative mechanical design

Latest news

EDC seminar list for 2016/2017 is available at

Healthcare Design featured in thebmj (p6-7) and presented at the inaugural Health Foundation conference. January 2017.

Laurence Cook wins Student Paper Award at major AIAA conference. January 2017.

Inclusive Design impacts online shopping, the new hero image beats conventional pack shots. October 2016.

The EDC celebrates 25 years with the launch of a new book. September 2016.

The Design Practice Group publishes a 'primer' on the design and science of complex systems. September 2016.

Recent publications

Vasconcelos, L. A., Cardoso, C. C., Sääksjärvi, M., Chen, C.-C., & Crilly, N. (2017). Inspiration and fixation: the influences of example designs and system properties in idea generation, Journal of Mechanical Design, 139 (3) 031101.

Maier, J.F., Eckert, C.M. & Clarkson, P.J. (2017). Model granularity in engineering design - concepts and framework, Design Science, 10.1017/dsj.2016.16.

Yaping Ju, Y., Qin, R., Kipouros, T., Parks, G. & Zhang, C. (2016) A high-dimensional design optimisation method for centrifugal impellers, Proc IMechE Part A: Journal of Power and Energy, 230(3), 272–288.

Liu, Y., Srai, J. S. & Evans, S. (2016). Environmental management: the role of supply chain capabilities in the auto sector, Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, 21(1), 1–19. 

Caddy, O., Fitton, W., Symons, D., Purnell, A. & Gordon, D. (2015) The effects of forward rotation of posture on computer-simulated 4-km track cycling: Implications of Union Cycliste Internationale rule 1.3.013., Proc IMechE Part P: Journal of Sports Engineering and Technology, 1–11.

Jarrett, J. P. & Ghisu, T. (2015) Balancing Configuration and Refinement in the Design of Two-Spool Multistage Compression Systems, Journal of Turbomachinery, 137(9), 091008.