Supervising Thomas Empson’s Ph.D. Research

thomas-empsonI just had my bi-monthly supervisory meeting with my Ph.D. student from London South Bank University, Thomas Empson. I really enjoy these meetings because Thomas is firing all cylinders and his work in sustainable production is moving full speed ahead.

Today, we discussed three of his current projects.

His Ph.D. thesis/dissertation study is the first, and foremost, of these projects. He’s just received his formal approval to proceed from the university’s ethics committee, so one of the most tedious (but nevertheless crucial) parts of the Ph.D. work is behind him! Two high-profile companies have just agreed to participate in his project–allowing him to study in great detail their cases of sustainable design and production.

Secondly, we discussed a conference abstract that we submitted and got accepted for development into a full paper and presentation at the upcoming the 21st International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (EPDE) conference, run each year by the Design Society. Our full paper is due March 4 and the conference will be held at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, September 12 & 13, 2019.

Our paper draws together parts of Thomas’ Ph.D. literature review and ties this background research on existing theories and models of sustainability to a project he’s running for the Design Museum, called The Great Competition, which is the third big project we discussed.

“The Great Competition is a new national design challenge for undergraduates for the 2018-19 academic year. It aims to promote greater industrial innovation and multi-disciplinary collaboration between design and engineering, encouraging students to develop innovative solutions to today’s most pressing social and environmental issues.

This year, undergraduate students are invited to respond to an industry-led live brief on sustainable manufacturing, inspired by the UK Government’s Industrial Society. A judging panel of leading experts across design, engineering and related fields will select the short-listed and winning submissions. Short-listed submissions will have the opportunity to take part in a designer-led masterclass and Awards ceremony in May 2019. The winning submission will also receive a cash prize of up to £3000. The Great Competition is delivered through the generous support of The Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851”.  —The Great Competition webpage

Thomas’ work for The Great Competition was just featured on LSBU’s website, and I hope you’ll take a look at the article:

Branching out: LSBU research fellow tours universities UK-wide to promote The Great Competition

I’ve uploaded screenshots of the web page here, and you can view the original with live links at http://www.lsbu.ac.uk/about-us/news/the-great-competition

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