• School of Engineering and Applied Science, Aston University

      B4 7ET Birmingham

      United Kingdom

    Accepting PhD Students

    PhD projects

    Design for International Development
    Industrial Design and Design Practice

    Personal profile


    Dr Timothy Whitehead is a Senior Lecturer in Product Design and Senior Fellow of HEA with a research interest in developing tools and approaches to improve the design of products distributed in low-income countries. He has developed a unique research area which has consisted of several projects funded through the Global Challenges Research Fund, which utilises design methods and new technology to improve the livelihood of those living on less than $1 a day. 


    See personal website: www.timothywhitehead.com


    Funding Applications and Awards

    Selected Funding Awarded. 

    • 2021 - Principal Investigator. Title: Inclusive Innovation: Supporting people with disabilities through design and entrepreneurship. British Council. £120,000 (www.inclusive-innovation.co.uk)
    • 2020 – Principal Investigator. Title: Circular Plastic: Utilising frontier technology and user-centred design to add value to plastic waste, facilitating entrepreneurship. EPSRC - GCRF. £150,000 (www.circularplastic.net)
    • 2020 – Co-Investigator. Title: Digital Innovations for Transitioning to a Circular plastic Economy - (DITCh Plastic). EPSRC - GCRF. £148,738 (www.ditch-plastic.org)
    • 2018 – Principal Investigator. Title; Circular Digital Manufacturing: A toolkit to disseminate a circular economy approach to 3D Printing with plastic waste in Kenya and surrounding African countries. Funded by GCRF Institutional Block Grant. £42,333 (www.3dp-guide.co.uk)
    • 2018 – Co-Investigator. Title: Wealth from Waste: Value-added products for Chennai waste pickers. Funded by Royal Academy of Engineers GCRF Frontiers Scheme 4. £30,000
    • 2018 - Co-Investigator. Title; Raising awareness of inclusive crafts: building capacity and self-sufficiency of communication within the Charity SAFOD and the Countries of SA. Funded by AHRC GCRF Follow-on Funding. £71,244


    • 2022 International Design Excellence Award (IDEA): Silver
    • 2019 Research with Impact - Environmental Association for Universities & Colleges: Finalist
    • 2018 International Design Excellence Award (IDEA): Finalist
    • 2011 INDEX Design to Improve Life Award: Finalist, Highly Commended
    • 2011 International Design Excellence Award (IDEA): Sliver
    • 2010 James Dyson Award: UK Winner

    Membership of Professional Bodies

    • Member of the Institute of Engineering Designers
    • Member of the Royal Society of Arts

    Teaching Activity

    Programme Director:

    • BSc Product Design and Technology
    • BSc Product Design and Management

    Module Leadership: 

    • Design Fundamentals                       
    • Industrial Design
    • Advanced Industrial Design
    • Digital Design Skills
    • Final Year Design Project

    PhD Supervision

    • Hikima Jewu. Title: Barriers to Sustainable NGO WaSH
      Projects in Low-Middle Income SubSaharan Africa  -2021

    Contact Details

    Phone number: 0121 204 4663
    Email: [email protected] 
    Room number: MB153E

    PhD Supervision

    Open to PhD applicants in areas of Design for International Development, Industrial Design & Design Practice 

    Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

    In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

    • SDG 1 - No Poverty
    • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
    • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
    • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
    • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
    • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
    • SDG 13 - Climate Action

    Education/Academic qualification

    PhD, Facilitating New Product Development in Low Income Countries , Loughborough University

    Award Date: 1 Jul 2015

    BA, Industrial Design and Technology, Loughborough University

    Award Date: 1 Jul 2010

    External positions

    External Examiner - Product Design Engineering, Canterbury Christ Church University

    External Examiner - Product Design, Portsmouth University


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