The manufacturing research theme focuses on the interface between design and manufacturing. We undertake research into product development processes, digital manufacturing and design for manufacture. We also undertake research into additive manufacturing technologies. We work closely with colleagues in the Design Group and Materials Engineering groups to develop innovative solutions to the challenges facing the world today.
Our research interests include:
- Product development processes: product lifecycle management and digital manufacturing tools, Systems Engineering
- Design margins in engineering design and manufacture
- Design for additive manufacturing including: design guidelines and standards, design optimisation, increasing manufacturing sustainability
- Laminated Objection Manufacturing (LOM) using diffusion bonding.
- Makerspaces and redistributed manufacturing
- Aircraft manufacturing and assembly: early stage assembly line planning, systems installation simulation and planning.
Image: Aircraft Assembly line https://academic-eb-com.libezproxy.open.ac.uk/levels/collegiate/assembly/view/221761 (From Britannica Academic - Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0 (Generic))
For detailed information on current fees visit Fees and funding
Minimum 2:1 (or equivalent) in an engineering or manufacturing related subject
Potential research projects
If you are interested in undertaking a PhD in any area related to the topics above, please get in touch with one of the listed supervisors. You can find out more about the research interests of each academic by clicking on their profile link below.
Before submitting an application you will need to do some background reading around your topic and develop a research proposal. We can provide assistance with identifying funding sources and occasionally offer funded PhD projects. We welcome mature students and are open to applications for part-time and full-time study.
Current/recent research projects
- Managing design margins through the product development process
- Additive manufacturing for functional prototyping as part of the design and development process Complexity and process change in engineering design: Comparison of historic whole aircraft design and production with contemporary practice
- Making Rules, Making Tools: How Can Shape Grammar Support Creative Making?
- Rules for making: kinematic design, shape and structure.
If you have an enquiry specific to this research area please contact:
- Dr Helen Lockett
For general enquiries please contact the Research Degrees Team via the link
under 'Your Questions' on the right of the page.