Professor Bill Ion

Design, Manufacturing and Engineering Management

Personal statement

Prof. William Ion is currently Deputy Head of the Department of Design, Manufacture and Engineering Management (DMEM) and was Head of Department from 2002 to 2008.  He is also Vice Dean (Knowledge Exchange) for the Faculty of Engineering. 

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.


Optimization of cutting parameters and surface deformation during thin steel sheets plasma processing using Taguchi approach
Gani Adel, Ion William, Yang Erfu
Advances in Mechanical Engineering Vol 13 (2021)
Experimental investigation of plasma cutting two separate thin steel sheets simultaneously and parameters optimisation using Taguchi approach
Gani Adel, Ion William, Yang Erfu
Journal of Manufacturing Processes Vol 64, pp. 1013-1023 (2021)
The exploration of collaborative supply chain factors in the oil and gas industry
Olisah Moses Chijioke, Nwankpa Chigozie, Whitfield Ian, Ion William
BAM 2020: 34th Annual Conference of the British Academy of Management (2020)
Developing the Skills System for the National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland (NMIS)
Anderson Pauline, Hawthorne Margaret, Findlay Patricia, Ion William, Morrison Douglas, Morrison Douglas Hamilton, Millar Stuart, Viza Evi
Low cost three-dimensional virtual model construction for remanufacturing industry
Siddiqi Muftooh U R, Ijomah Winifred L, Dobie Gordon I, Hafeez Muthair, Pierce S Gareth, Ion William, Mineo Carmelo, MacLeod Charles N
Journal of Remanufacturing (2018)
Using linkography to compare creative methods for group ideation
Hatcher G, Ion W, MacLachlan R, Marlow M, Simpson B, Wilson N, Wodehouse A
Design Studies Vol 58, pp. 127-152 (2018)

More publications

Professional activities

Scottish Science Advisory Council (External organisation)
20th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education: Diversity or Conformity?
Faculty Robotics and Automation Users Group Discussion
Design Society (External organisation)
Invited to present at Auril 2012, Sheffield
15th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education

More professional activities


Online Delivery of Digital Manufacturing and Leadership Skills Training
Ion, William (Principal Investigator) Campbell, Andrew John (Co-investigator) Hernandez, Jose Luis (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2020 - 31-Jan-2022
Developing the skills system for the National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland (NMIS)
Anderson, Pauline (Principal Investigator) Findlay, Patricia (Co-investigator) Ion, William (Co-investigator)
23-Jan-2019 - 22-Jan-2019
Strathclyde CDT in Lightweighting and Design in Advanced Materials
Blackwell, Paul (Principal Investigator) Ion, William (Co-investigator) Evans, Dorothy (Administrator)
SCDT in Lightweighting that is funding 7 PhD students
01-Jan-2019 - 30-Jan-2022
Ion, William (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2018 - 30-Jan-2022
Fast-tracking Health Innovation for NHS Scotland. MRC Confidence in Concept / R180246-102
Ion, William (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2018 - 28-Jan-2020
Pierce, Gareth (Principal Investigator) Gachagan, Anthony (Co-investigator) Ion, William (Co-investigator) MacLeod, Charles Norman (Co-investigator) Mineo, Carmelo (Co-investigator) Ridgway, Keith (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2017 - 23-Jan-2020

More projects


Design, Manufacturing and Engineering Management
James Weir Building

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