Prof. William Ion was Head of the Department of Design, Manufacturing and Engineering Management from 2002 to 2008 and Deputy Head from 2012 to 2022. He was also Vice Dean (Knowledge Exchange) for the Faculty of Engineering from 2017 to 2022.
Following a period in industry Professor Ion joined the University in 1986 and throughout his academic career has focussed his research, knowledge exchange and teaching activities within the design and manufacturing field with a particular focus on forging and forming technologies, additive manufacture, design for manufacture and design processes. His portfolio of research projects includes funding from EPSRC, TSB, EU and industry addressing both fundamental and applied research as well as knowledge exchange, having been involved in and led projects totalling over £20m. He is the founding Director of the Advanced Forming Research Centre (established 2009) and was the Strathclyde lead on the UK wide team that secured the High Value Manufacturing Catapult (established 2011). He has been actively involved in the development of design and design management education at undergraduate and postgraduate levels since joining the University, having led the development and introduction of the Department's Product Design Engineering programmes (1991). He was chair of the of the Design Education Special Interest Group of the Design Society from 2002 to 2013 and a member of the core organising committee of the International Engineering and Product Design Education conference series since its inception in 1999 (organising 14 conferences). He was also the lead academic and director of the Erasmus Mundus funded International Masters in Global Innovation Management (2008 - 20130), taught jointly with the Universities of Aalborg and Hamburg Harburg.
His research interests include: knowledge information management; collaborative design environments; rapid and virtual prototyping; design for manufacture, advanced manufacturing and engineering design education. He has been an investigator on research and development projects totalling over £20m including the following: the JISC/NSF funded project with Stanford University “Distributed Innovative Design, Education and Teamworking” (DIDET); the EPSRC Grand Challenge project “Knowledge and Information Management Through Life’ led by University of Bath IMRC; SAMULET (Strategic Affordable Manufacturing in the UK through leading Environmental Technologies) and over 20 Knowledge Transfer Partnerships since 1995. In recognition of his contribution to KTP he was given the 2013 UK Academic Ambassador award by the Technology Strategy Board. He was also Director of the EPSRC supported Industrial Doctorate Centre in Advanced Forming and Forging and was a member of the The Design Society Advisory Board.