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Prof Bill Ion

Design, Manufacture and Engineering Management

Personal statement

Prof. William Ion is currently Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange in the Department of Design, Manufacture and Engineering Management (DMEM) and was Head of Department from 2002 to 2008.  He is also Projects Director within the Department’s Advanced Forming Research Centre, a part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult. 

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 is also Director of the EPSRC supported Industrial Doctorate Centre in Advanced Forming and Forging and a member of the The Design Society Advisory Board.


New methods for automatic quantification of microstructural features using digital image processing
Campbell Andrew, Murray Paul, Yakushina Evgenia, Marshall Stephen, Ion William
Materials and Design Vol 141, pp. 395-406, (2018)
Evolving improvised ideation from humour constructs: a new method for collaborative divergence
Hatcher Gillian, Ion William, MacLachlan Ross, Sheridan Marion, Simpson Barbara, Wodehouse Andrew
Creativity and Innovation Management, (2017)
Validation of a finite element model of the cold roll forming process on the basis of 3D geometric accuracy
Tsang Kwun Sing, Ion William, Blackwell Paul, English Martin
Procedia Engineering Vol 207, pp. 1278-1283, (2017)
Low cost three-dimensional virtual model construction for remanufacturing industry
Siddiqi Muftooh UR, Ijomah Winifred L., Dobie Gordon I., Hafeez Muthair, Pierce S. Gareth, Ion William, Mineo Carmelo, MacLeod Charles N.
International Conference on Remanufacturing, (2017)
Workshop session : collaborative design education
Brisco Ross, Howell Bryan, Whitfield Robert, Thomson Avril, Evans Dorothy, Ion William
ICED17, 21st International Conference on Engineering Design, (2017)
In-process monitoring and quality control of hot forging processes towards Industry 4.0
Onyeiwu Chimaeze , Yang Erfu, Rodden Tony, Yan Xiu-Tian, Zante Remi C, Ion William
Industrial Systems in the Digital Age Conference 2017, pp. 1, (2017)

more publications

Professional activities

Design Society (External organisation)
Invited to present at Auril 2012, Sheffield
15th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education
High Value Manufacturing Catapult (External organisation)
14th Engineering and Product Design Education Conference 2012
SAMULET conference 2011
Member of programme committee

more professional activities


Development of Digital Readiness Level tool
Hird, Abigail (Principal Investigator) Ion, William (Co-investigator) Whitfield, Robert (Co-investigator)
Period 27-Feb-2017 - 30-Jun-2017
Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP 2016-2017 University of Strathclyde) | Arshed, Farhan
Xirouchakis, Paul (Principal Investigator) Ion, William (Co-investigator) Ion, William (Co-investigator) Arshed, Farhan (Research Co-investigator)
Period 01-Apr-2017 - 01-Apr-2020
Pierce, Stephen (Principal Investigator) Gachagan, Anthony (Co-investigator) Ion, William (Co-investigator) MacLeod, Charles Norman (Co-investigator) Mineo, Carmelo (Co-investigator) Ridgway, Keith (Co-investigator)
Period 01-Jul-2017 - 30-Jun-2019
Digital Manufacturing Readiness Level tool development
Hird, Abigail (Principal Investigator) Ion, William (Co-investigator) Whitfield, Robert (Co-investigator)
Period 01-Mar-2017 - 30-Jun-2017
Route to Impact: Beyond Smart Factories
Hird, Abigail (Principal Investigator) Ion, William (Co-investigator) Anderson, Robert William (Researcher)
Period 01-Oct-2016 - 30-Mar-2017
Digital Readiness Level: diagnostic tool development
Hird, Abigail (Principal Investigator) Ion, William (Principal Investigator) Whitfield, Robert (Principal Investigator)
Period 06-Mar-2017 - 30-Jun-2017

more projects


Design, Manufacture and Engineering Management
James Weir Building

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