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Dr Iestyn Jowers

Profile summary

Professional biography

Iestyn Jowers is a Senior Lecturer in Design and Engineering in the School of Engineering and Innovation. He initially joined the school in 2013 as a research fellow, after a series of PDRA appointments in world-leading research centres, inclduing the Institute of Product Development at TU Munich, the Institute of Engineering Systems & Design at the University of Leeds, and the Engineering Design Centre at the University of Cambridge.

Iestyn has a PhD in Computational Design from the Open University, an MSc in Applied Mathematics and Fluid Mechanics, and a BSc in Mathematics, both from the University of Manchester.

He also has a PGCE in Secondary Mathematics from Oxford Brookes University.

Research interests

Iestyn's research is concerned with digital and physical representations used in design and manufacturing processes. His interests include:

- design computation and shape grammars
- generative design
- interaction between geometry and mechanical properties
- the role of making in supporting design, and in supporting learning through design
- additive manufacturing
- engineering design processes

Teaching interests

Iestyn's teaching is varied and multidisciplinary, and he has worked on a broad range of modules, across the School of Engineering and Innovation. He is currently presentation chair for T276 'Engineering: professions, practice and skills', and a member of the presentation teams for T176 ‘Engineering: professions, practice and skills 2’ and 'T317 Innovation: desiging for change'. ​Previously, he was qualification lead for the MSc in Technology Management.

Iestyn is currently on the production team for T229 'Mechanical engineering', and has previously worked on the production teams for T848 'Managing technological innovation', T194 'Engineering: techniques, maths, application', T276 ‘Engineering: professions, practice and skills 2’, and T317 ‘Innovation: designing for change’ 

He is the author of the OpenLearn unit 'Innovation through representation'

Externally funded projects

Novel superior materials based on aperiodic tilings
RoleStart dateEnd dateFunding source
Co-investigator01 May 202130 Apr 2023EPSRC Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

The proposed research aims at laying the mathematical foundations for aperiodic tiling - inspired structures to be used for additive manufacturing of novel cellular materials.

Makespaces and distributed design education: a feasibility study for the RCA Future Makespaces Level 1 Challenge call
RoleStart dateEnd dateFunding source
Co-investigator01 Jun 201530 Nov 2015EPSRC Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

RE:FORM (‘Reimagining Education for the Future of Redistributed Manufacturing’) has been awarded £25K by the Royal College of Art to carry out a feasibility study as part of the larger RCA EPSRC funded project on ‘Future Makespaces in Distributed Manufacturing’ ( ). The project is a collaboration between the Open University and MAKLab, a makerspace in Glasgow. The project aims to (1) Understand the key challenges faced by makespaces in providing effective and relevant education and training for redistributed manufacturing in the UK (2) to explore the potential of university- makespace collaborations to fulfil the education and training requirements for effective distributed manufacturing in the UK; and (3) Investigate the role of accreditation in supporting career trajectories in redistributed manufacturing. This will be achieved through (a) a series of workshops bringing together participants from education, makerspaces, and industry; (b) a ‘summer school’ pairing Open University design students with vocational learners at MAKlab to collaboratively design and fabricate furniture prototypes, communicating via the internet, and (c) a number of interviews with industry representatives.


A class of aperiodic honeycombs with tuneable mechanical properties (2024-04)
Moat, Richard J; Clarke, Daniel John; Carter, Francesca; Rust, Dan and Jowers, Iestyn
Applied Materials Today, 37, Article 102127

Identification of mechanically representative samples for aperiodic honeycombs (2024-03-05)
Clarke, Daniel John; Moat, Richard and Jowers, Iestyn
Materials Today Communications, 38, Article 108505

An isotropic zero Poisson's ratio metamaterial based on the aperiodic ‘hat’ monotile (2023-12)
Clarke, Daniel John; Carter, Francesca; Jowers, Iestyn and Moat, Richard James
Applied Materials Today, 35, Article 101959

A systematic numerical and experimental study into the mechanical properties of five honeycombs (2023-09)
Clarke, Daniel John; Imediegwu, Chikwesiri; Moat, Richard and Jowers, Iestyn
Composites Part B: Engineering, 264, Article 110895

Mechanical characterisation of novel aperiodic lattice structures (2023-05)
Imediegwu, Chikwesiri; Clarke, Daniel; Carter, Francesca; Grimm, Uwe; Jowers, Iestyn and Moat, Richard
Materials & Design, 229, Article 111922

A computational method for determining the linear elastic properties of 2D aperiodic lattice structures (2023)
Imediegwu, Chikwesiri; Grimm, Uwe; Moat, Richard and Jowers, Iestyn
The Journal of Strain Analysis for Engineering Design, 58(7) (pp. 590-602)

Compressive behaviour of cellular structures with aperiodic order (2022-09)
Moat, R. J.; Muyupa, E.; Imediegwu, C.; Clarke, D. J.; Jowers, I. and Grimm, U. G.
Results in Materials, 15, Article 100293

Shapes, structures and shape grammar implementation (2019-06-01)
Jowers, Iestyn; Earl, Chris and Stiny, George
Computer-Aided Design, 111 (pp. 80-92)

A case study in online formal/informal learning: was it collaborative or cooperative learning? (2017-05-24)
Jowers, Iestyn; Gaved, Mark; Dallison, Delphine; Elliott-Cirigottis, Gary; Rochead, Alan and Craig, Mark
Design and Technology Education: an International Journal, 22(1)

Exploration of multi-material surfaces as weighted shapes (2016-01-31)
MacLachlan, Lynne and Jowers, Iestyn
Graphical Models, 83 (pp. 28-36)

Extending the algebras of design (2015-12-31)
Jowers, Iestyn and Earl, Christopher
Nexus Network Journal, 17(3) (pp. 947-962)

Pinwheel patterns: from 2D to 3D schemas (2015-12-01)
Earl, Christopher F. and Jowers, Iestyn
Nexus Network Journal, 17(3) (pp. 899-912)

Evaluating an eye tracking interface for a two-dimensional sketch editor (2013)
Jowers, Iestyn; Prats, Miquel; McKay, Alison and Garner, Steve
Computer-Aided Design, 45(5) (pp. 923-936)

Implementation of curved shape grammars (2011)
Jowers, Iestyn and Earl, Christopher
Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, 38(4) (pp. 616-635)

Computer-aided design synthesis: an application of shape grammars (2011)
McKay, Alison; Jowers, Iestyn; Chau, Hau Hing; De Pennington, Alan and Hogg, David C.
International Journal of Product Development, 13(1) (pp. 4-15)

The construction of curved shapes (2010)
Jowers, Iestyn and Earl, Christopher
Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, 37(1) (pp. 42-58)

Shape detection with vision: implementing shape grammars in conceptual design (2010)
Jowers, Iestyn; Hogg, David C.; McKay, Alison; Chau, Hau Hing and de Pennington, Alan
Research in Engineering Design, 21(4) (pp. 235-247)

Transforming shape in design: observations from studies of sketching (2009-09)
Prats, Miquel; Lim, Sungwoo; Jowers, Iestyn; Garner, Steve W. and Chase, Scott
Design Studies, 30(5) (pp. 503-520)

Shape exploration in design: formalising and supporting a transformational process (2008)
Lim, Sungwoo; Prats, Miquel; Jowers, Iestyn; Chase, Scott; Garner, Steven and McKay, Alison
International Journal of Architectural Computing (IJAC), 6(4) (pp. 415-433)

Shape exploration of designs in a style: toward generation of product designs (2006-06)
Prats, M.; Earl, C.; Garner, S. and Jowers, Iestyn
Artificial Intelligence for Engineering Design, Analysis and Manufacturing, 20(3) (pp. 201-215)

Square-based honeycombs: a study of shape and performance (2024-07)
Jowers, Iestyn; Clarke, Daniel John and Moat, Richard J
In: Gero, John ed. Design Computing and Cognition’24
Publisher : Springer

Visual Structures of Embedded Shapes (2018)
Jowers, Iestyn and Earl, Chris
In: Lee, Ji-Hyun ed. Computational Studies on Cultural Variation and Heredity. KAIST Research Series (pp. 175-187)
ISBN : 978-981-10-8189-7 | Publisher : Springer

Shape computations without compositions (2017)
Jowers, Iestyn; Earl, Chris and Stiny, George
In: Çağdaş, G.; Özkar, M.; Gül, L. F. and Gürer, E. eds. Computer-Aided Architectural Design. Future Trajectories. 17th International Conference, CAAD Futures 2017, Istanbul, Turkey, July 12-14, 2017, Selected Papers (pp. 348-365)
ISBN : 978-981-10-5197-5 | Publisher : Springer

RE:FORM - Reimagining Education for the Future Of Redistributed Manufacturing (2016-09)
Gaved, Mark; Dallison, Delphine; Jowers, Iestyn; Elliott-Cirigottis, Gary; Craig, Mark and Rochead, Alan
In: Papadimitriou, Irini; Prescott, Andrew and Rogers, Jon eds. Engineering the Future: as part of the V&A Digital Design Weekend 2016 (pp. 49-53)
ISBN : 978-0-9576868-7-8 | Publisher : Uniform Communications Limited | Published : United Kingdom

Formal descriptions of material manipulations: an exploration with cuts and shadows (2015-06-16)
Gürsoy, Benay; Jowers, Iestyn and Özkar, Mine
In: Celani, Gabriela; Sperling, David Moreno and Franco, Juarez Moara Santos eds. Computer-Aided Architectural Design Futures. The Next City - New Technologies and the Future of the Built Environment. Communications in Computer and Information Science (527) (pp. 439-457)
ISBN : 978-3-662-47385-6 | Publisher : Springer

Development of cognitive products via interpretation of system boundaries (2013)
Metzler, Torsten; Jowers, Iestyn; Kain, Andreas and Lindemann, Udo
In: Chakrabarti, Amaresh and Prakash, Raghu V. eds. ICoRD'13: Global Product Development. Lecture Notes in Mechanical Engineering (pp. 163-174)
ISBN : 978-81-322-1049-8 | Publisher : Springer India | Published : New Delhi

Design synthesis and shape generation (2010-01)
McKay, Alison; Chase, Scott; Garner, Steven; Jowers, Iestyn; Prats, Miquel; Hogg, David; Chau, Hau Hing; de Pennington, Alan; Earl, Christopher and Lim, Sungwoo
In: Inns, Tom ed. Designing for the 21st Century (pp. 304-321)
ISBN : 978-1-4094-0240-4 | Publisher : Ashgate Publishing Ltd

A study of emergence in the generation of Islamic geometric patterns’ (2010)
Jowers, Iestyn; Prats, Miquel; Eissa, Hesham and Lee, Ji-Hyun
In: Dave, B.; Li, A. I.; Gu, N. and Park, H.-J. eds. New Frontiers: Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Computer-Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia CAADRIA 2010 (pp. 39-48)
Publisher : CAADRIA | Published : Hong Kong

Computer aided design: an early shape synthesis system (2008)
McKay, Alison; Jowers, Iestyn; Chau, Hau Hing; De Pennington, Alan and Hogg, David C.
In: Yan, Xiu-Tian; Eynard, Benoit and Ion, William J. eds. Global Design to Gain a Competitive Edge: An Holistic and Collaborative Design Approach based on Computational Tools (pp. 3-12)
ISBN : 978-1-84800-238-8 | Publisher : Springer | Published : London

Industrial Perspectives on the Adoption of Virtual Testing (2023)
Tahera, Khadija; Jowers, Iestyn; Loureiro-Koechlin, Cecilia; Eckert, Claudia and Lockett, Helen
In : 24th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 2023) (24-28 Jul 2023, Bordeaux, France) (pp. 2305-2314)

A hybrid piezoelectric and electrostatic energy harvester for scavenging arterial pulsations (2022-07-05)
Sobianin, Ihor; Psoma, Sotiria; Johnson, Jeffrey; Jowers, Iestyn and Tourlidakis, Antonios
In : 19th International Conference on Nanosciences & Nanotechnologie (NN22) (5-8 Jul 2022, Thessaloniki, Greece)

Defining Rules for Kinematic Shapes with Variable Spatial Relations (2019-05-21)
Harrison, Laura; Jowers, Iestyn and Earl, Christopher
In : 18th International Conference on Computer-Aided Architectural Design Futures 2019 (26-28 Jun 2019, Daejeon, Republic of Korea) (pp. 444-458)

Structures in shapes: a perspective from rules and embedding (2017)
Jowers, Iestyn and Earl, Christopher
In : Cultural DNA Workshop 2017 (13 Jan 2017, KAIST Graduate School of Culture Technology)

Incommensurable design descriptions (2017)
Jowers, Iestyn and Earl, Christopher
In : Creative Design and Advanced Manufacturing: An emerging application area for Signals and Systems (2 Sep 2017, 2017 25th European Signal Processing Conference (EUSIPCO), Kos, Greece)

Communication is not collaboration: observations from a case study in collaborative learning (2016-06-27)
Jowers, Iestyn; Gaved, Mark; Elliott-Cirigottis, Gary; Dallison, Delphine; Rochead, Alan and Craig, Mark
In : Proceedings of DRS 2016, Design Research Society 50th Anniversary Conference (27-30 Jun 2016, Brighton, UK) (pp. 609-624)

Online distributed prototyping through a university-makerspace collaboration (2016-06-19)
Gaved, Mark; Jowers, Iestyn; Dallison, Delphine; Elliott-Cirigottis, Gary; Rochead, Alan and Craig, Mark
In : FabLearn Europe 2016 (19-20 Jun 2016, Preston, Lancashire, UK)

Towards product platform introduction: optimising commonality of components (2015-07-27)
Zapico, Miguel; Eckert, Claudia; Jowers, Iestyn and Earl, Christopher
In : 20th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 2015) (27-30 Jul 2015, Milan)

Formalising flexible multi-material surfaces as weighted shapes (2014-12)
Maclachlan, Lynne and Jowers, Iestyn
In : SA '14 SIGGRAPH Asia 2014 Creative Shape Modeling and Design (3 Dec 2014, Shenzhen, China)

Design and emotional expressiveness of Gertie (an open hardware robotic desk lamp) (2012)
Gerlinghaus, Fabian; Pierce, Brennand; Metzler, Torsten; Jowers, Iestyn; Shea, Kristina and Cheng, Gordon
In : 2012 IEEE RO-MAN: The 21st IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (9-13 Sep 2012, Paris, France) (pp. 1129-1134)

Shape interpretation with design computing (2012)
Jowers, Iestyn and Earl, Chris
In : Fifth International Conference on Design Computing and Cognition (DDC'12): Bringing Artificial Intelligence, Cognitive Science and Computational Theories to Design Research (7-9 Jun 2012, Bryan, TX, USA)

Design exploration with useless rules and eye tracking (2011-08)
Jowers, Iestyn; Prats, Miquel; McKay, Alison and Garner, Steven
In : 18th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED11) (15-18 Aug 2011, Copenhagen, Denmark)

Supporting shape reinterpretation with eye tracking (2011)
Jowers, Iestyn; Prats, Miquel; Pedreira, Nieves; McKay, Alison and Garner, Steven
In : 'Circuit bending, breaking and mending', the 16th conference of Computer Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia (CAADRIA) (27-30 Apr 2011, Newcastle, Australia)

Interpretation of geometric shapes – an eye movement study (2010)
Prats, Miquel; Garner, Steve; Jowers, Iestyn; McKay, Alison and Pedreira, Nieves
In : Symposium on Eye Tracking Research and Applications (22-24 Mar 2010, Austin, Texas) (pp. 243-250)

Supporting reinterpretation in computer-aided conceptual design (2008-06-11)
Jowers, I.; Prats, M.; Lim, S.; Mckay, A.; Garner, S. and Chase, S.
In : Fifth Eurographics Workshop on Sketch-Based Interfaces and Modeling (11-13 Jun 2008, Annecy, France) (pp. 151-158)

Describing shape transformations in design sketches (2008)
Prats, Miquel; Lim, Sungwoo and Jowers, Iestyn
In : Design Computing and Cognition DCC’08 workshop on Informing computational support for conceptual design: lessons learned from sketching studies (21 Jun 2008, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA) (pp. 5-8)

Knowledge requirements over long product lifecycles (2007)
Eckert, C. M.; Jowers, I. and Clarkson, P. J.
In : Proceedings of the 16th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED'07) (28-31 Aug 2007, Paris, France)

On curves and computation with shapes (2004)
Jowers, Iestyn; Prats, Miquel; Earl, Christopher and Garner, Steven
In : Generative CAD Systems Symposium: G-CADS 2004 (12-14 Jul 2004, Pittsburgh, PA) (pp. 439-457)

Computation with Curved Shapes: Towards Freeform Shape Generation in Design (2007-01-10)
Jowers, Iestyn
PhD thesis The Open University

Innovating Pedagogy 2019: Open University Innovation Report 7 (2019-01-02)
Ferguson, Rebecca; Coughlan, Tim; Egelandsdal, Kjetil; Gaved, Mark; Herodotou, Christothea; Hillaire, Garron; Jones, Derek; Jowers, Iestyn; Kukulska-Hulme, Agnes; McAndrew, Patrick; Misiejuk, Kamila; Ness, Ingun Johanna; Rienties, Bart; Scanlon, Eileen; Sharples, Mike; Wasson, Barbara; Weller, Martin and Whitelock, Denise
The Open University, Milton Keynes.