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John Clarkson

Professor, University of Cambridge : UK

Engineering / Education

John Clarkson returned to the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge 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 medical equipment design and projects for the Ministry of Defence. In both cases, clients required a risk-based systems approach to design to ensure timely delivery of safe equipment. He also undertook risk assessments for a wide variety of clients in other industry sectors.

His research interests are in the general area of engineering design, particularly the development of design methodologies to address specific design issues, for example, complex systems design, medical equipment design, inclusive design and the use of knowledge-based systems in design. As well as publishing over 250 papers, he has written a number of books on medical equipment design and inclusive design.

John has been actively researching in the area of inclusive design, with Professor Coleman at the Royal College of Art, for nearly eight years. His team have proposed a novel framework for inclusive design that promotes consideration of the users’ sensory, cognitive and motion capabilities, along with methods for accessing product inclusivity that can identify the number of users who are unable to use a given product. This has provoked much interest from academia and industry alike. The results of this work have been widely published and formed the basis of a number of successful projects with industry.

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