Professor Saeema Ahmed-Kristensen
Professor of Design Engineering and Innovation
Prof Saeema Ahmed-Kristensen joined the INDEX Initiative for the Digital Economy, based in London’s South Bank, from the Royal College of Art, where she was the Head of Design Products and a Chair of Engineering Design. Prior to this she was Deputy Head and Prof of Design Engineering at the Dyson School of Design Engineering, Imperial College London. Her role at Imperial included the Head of Global Innovation Design (MA/MSc) programme, which was delivered jointly with Royal College of Art. She spent thirteen years with the Technical University of Denmark and led the Design Engineering and Innovation section. She completed her PhD in the Engineering Design Centre, University of Cambridge and then held a fellowship with Murray Edwards College.
She has a funding portfolio of approx £17 million, and is currently PI and Director for the £12.6M UKRI EPSRC Digital Economy Centre DIGITlab led two large research projects, Global Product Development, and Growth Opportunities of Danish Small and Medium-sized Enterprises and New Ventures in Emerging Market funded by the Danish Industry Fund (£1.1m). In addition to generating academic knowledge, these led to tools and guides to support Manufacturing Industry. She has held invited keynotes for leading Engineering Design conferences (CIRP, NordDesign, DESIGN), 100 full peer reviewed publications. She has graduated 14 PhDs.
Saeema’s research focuses on design engineering including the impact and integration of digital technologies on: creativity and cognition, data and knowledge structuring, data-driven design process to customise products and quantifying and predicting user experiences. She works closely with a range of industries; complex product, aerospace (Rolls-Royce, BAE Systems); oil (AK MH); consumer (GN Netcom); medical (Novo Nordisk), and across disciplines of psychology, computing and design, for example leading to approaches to auto-index aerospace reports, through an ontology based on design cognition and Natural Language Processing. Her research was one of the first to use a human centred approach to structuring and automating indexing of knowledge, and; to develop approaches to quantify user experiences, leading to a data driven-approach to assess comfort in headsets (now embedded within GN Netcom Product development processes and leading to awards for comfort).
- Ph.D. Engineering Design (Cambrdige)
- BSc (hons) Product Design (Brunel)
Research group links
- Experiences: Quantifying intangible aspects of design, for example user experiences, through using data and AI, to predicting or assess experiences such as comfort, emotional responses to a product.
- Knowledge and Data to value: developing knowledge structures for complex products and systems, for example to reduce complexity, increase patient safety or increase innovativeness. Developing data-driven approaches to customise products.
- Product Development processes: developing hybrid agile and planned approaches for manufacturing.
- Creativity and Cognition: Understanding creativity in design to develop new theories and the foundation of design tools
Saeema's research addresses long-term intellectual problems supporting the design and manufacture of complex products (including product service systems) and their enabling processes (creative, product development and innovation) through developing a scientific understanding. Research is often in close collaboration with the industrial or public sector., output includes advancing and developing research theories and impacting practice underpinning new design methods, tool, products and systems, experiences and products.
PhD Applications are welcome in any of these areas.
PhD supervision Data-driven approaches to customizing orthosis.
Current Funded Projects
- DIGIT EP/T022566/1 is a five year next stage Digital Economy research centre with £12.6m funding from three sources, EPSRC, industry and three partner universities. The focus of DIGIT is digital transformation in Large Established Organisations (LEOs).
- Scoping study of the under-stencil cleaning process innovation at ASM Assembly Systems. With Prof Ion Sucala and Dr Peter Melville-Shreeve (Funded by ASM Assembly Systems).
· GN NETCOM-£100,000 (2015-7) (post doctorial researcher) Modelling wellbeing in office environments. Sensor based- data for modelling stress.
· Rolls-Royce £60,000 (2016-17) Complex Decision Making. Leeds University and Rolls-Royce
· Danish Council- Industrial PhD fund application 800,000 dkk Awarded Dec 2008 Integration of New Technology Knowledge.
· Danish Council FTP- Technical University of Denmark – 800,000 dkk 2007 Understanding the Impact of the Service Phase of One-off Machinery in Complex Engineering design
· H.C. Orsteds fund- 300 000 dkk Post-doctoral Fellowship (awarded but not taken)
· New Hall College Engineering College lectureship and Fellowship 2001-04 3 years fellowship
· DTU, Dept. Research Grant 1,600,000Dkk PhD Idea management in engineering design
· Danish Council for Strategic Research-Centre for Performing temporary spaces for user driven innovation- Main Applicant U. Jorgensen DTU, Copenhagen University, Danish Design school 1,640,000MDkk SA is one of around 15 applicants on the grant
· Industriens fond- Globalisation of Product Development 388364 Dkr. 2011 Main applicant
· Industriens fond. - Tools and Innovation models for Global Product development 6MDK 2012
· Industriens fond. - Design for emerging markets 4MDK 2013
· Universe fond: Design for Value 0.5 MDK 2014.
· International networking fond Exploratory Approaches in Knowledge Approaches to facilitate innovation in bio-engineering 312912Dkr. 2011
· EU Marie Currie Staff Exchange. Total. 6MDkk (SAK Share 1.8 MDKK) High value Engineering Networks: Shaping Engineering Sectors in Europe and China-.Partners University of Cambridge, and Dr University of Birmingham, (Harbin Institute of Technology, Tsinghua University, Zhejiang University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University).
· CAPAS Agency Fully funded PhD 1.8MDKK (2008)
· DONG Energy -800,000 Dkk (€107,000) 2008 PhD Integration of New Technology Knowledge.
· Aker Solutions - 800,000 Dkk (€107,000) 2007 PhD Understanding the Impact of the Service Phase of One-off Machinery in Complex Engineering design
· GN NETCOM-1.200,000 DKK 2011 (PhD) Comfort assessment of headsets for Engineering Design
- 0 EPSRC
DIGIT UKRI EPSRC Next Generation Digital Economy Centre
External Engagement and Impact
Awards and Honours
- Numerous Best paper awards, ICED2013 (reviewer’s favourite), ICORD 2009, Design Conference 2006, TMCE Conference 2006, CIRP Conference 2004
- REF Research Excellence Framework 2020 Panel Member D32 (Design)
- EPSRC Strategic Advisory Team member (Digital EconomyvProgramme Advisory Board) 2021-22.
- EPSRC Strategic Advisory Team member (ICT theme)
- EPRSC peer review college Member
- Editorial Board, Journal of Design Science
- Associate Editor, Journal of Research in Engineering Design
- Trustee RADMA (Research and Development Management)
- External examiner: City Creativity and Leadership course
- Accreditation Panel 2019 Dutch Design Engineering Educations for TU Delft, University of Twente, and Technical University of Eindhoven
Numerous talks for Industry and Academia including:
- Ahmed-Kristensen S “(Wo)Man or machine: design in the future?” Keynote address, NordDesign Conference, Trondheim 2016
- Cirp Design 2017: Complex product and Systems. Keynote Panel.
- Disruptive Innovation Festival (Ellen Mcarthur foundation) 2015. Live webcast Panel: Using nature-inspired design strategies, TU Delft
- Ahmed-Kristensen S” Industry Needs and Engineering Design Research”, Keynote address, DESIGN 2014, Croatia, 2014
- Ahmed, S. (2000) 'Identifying differences between novice and experienced designers' Keynote address, Engineering Design Conference.
TeachingTeaching experience includes: the design and delivery of courses at undergraduate and postgraduate level, Executive Education or bespoke training for industry, leadership of master's program.
Subjects include engineering design (with project-based learning), design and creativity methods, user experience, product development and research methods for design researchers.
Supervision / Group
- Dimitris Batolas
- Jonathan Bird
- Boyeun Lee
- Hugh Williamson
- Charlotte Markey
- Nav Mustafee