Industry Engagement Activities

Industrial Projects

Industrial Projects

Working closely with industry is an important part of what differentiates Brunel Design. We integrate collaborative projects with industry throughout all three years of our undergraduate courses as well as projects with postgraduate design students. For example our second year students carry out an intense one week project for a high profile organisation. Recent collaborations have included: BBC Worldwide, the Bentley Motor Company, the Boeing Corporation, British Airways plc, Fisher Price Toys (Mattel), IMI Vision, LEGO, Mercedes-Benz (UK), Proctor & Gamble, and Gillette advanced Technology Centre, SAB Miller and TomTom. These projects are important additions to individual CVs, but also provide invaluable experience of real life design challenges and can lead directly to work placement and employment opportunities.

Designplus is an organisation within Brunel Design which works to facilitate and develop all our vital connections with industry

Our list of collaborators is included at the end of this page.

Featured Project | Marks and Spencer and PBFA

M&SAnnually, since 2005, second year design students have the opportunity to generate concept ideas which can lead to products being manufactured and sold by Marks and Spencer.  Oliver Simpson’s witty ‘Nut-Cracker’ concept made it all the way through numerous selection processes and manufacturing development to be sold in the M&S 2010 Christmas collection. 

PBFAPBFA are one of M&S’s leading suppliers and work closely with Brunel and M&S to brief the students to come up with original ideas for products to be sold by M&S.  Important considerations for the students include considering the M&S customer, manufacturing and costs and most importantly; eye catching innovative ideas.  Communicating the concepts effectively in visual presentations is important as the next step involves PBFA and M&S buying teams reviewing the large numbers of ideas presented.  Following this initial review vital feedback to the students provides real-world experience of how ideas are judged and the reasons behind what makes potential winners and losers.

The students also gain invaluable insights into new product development as PBFA provide feedback on the process of reviewing initial shortlisted ideas with manufacturing companies in China and then gradual X-factor style attrition as ideas may get dropped for reasons of cost, complexity, compatibility with existing products or simple lack of sufficient appeal.  Students also learn about the value of their design ideas and how concepts can be protected.

Oliver’s original design was selected from over 200, was prototyped and refined and had related packaging designed before receiving the final green light from M&S and a bulk order for manufacture, shipping and distribution.  All the students who take part in the project end up with work for M&S they can show in their professional portfolio and CV.  Oliver had the additional bonus of receiving a fee for his design and the indisputable pride of having a product he has designed on sale in shops around the country.



Our complete list of collaborators includes companies where our Graduates now work, companies who regularly employ placement students and companies with whom we work on collaborative projects. They include the following:

Alloy Design K6 Design Group RNID
Bentley Motor Cars Kinnier Dufort Samsung
The Boeing Corporation LBi Schefenacker Vision Systems
British Airways LEGO Schlumberger Oilfield Services
Cambridge Consultants Lovegrove Seymour Powell
Chanel Europe Microsoft Shadow Robot Company
Chemistry (Singapore) Morphy Richards Shanghai Marco Stationery
Coca Cola Motivation Siemens Design
Croydex Motorola Sony Design
Daimler Chrysler Native Design Sowden Associati, Milan
DCA Design Consultants Nokia Strategically
Dyson Ogilvie & Mather Therefore Design
Factory Design PA Management Tsunami-Axis
Gillette Advanced Technology Paperdog VAG Audi
Hasbro UK Pashley Virgin Atlantic
IDC Design PDD Systems
IDEO, Chicago Pearson Matthews Walt Disney Company
IMI Vision Philips Webexpectations
Innovia Technology Precision Lighting Williams F1
Integrity Design Management Reading Room YELL Group
J-me Renishaw Engineering

Industrial Advisory Panel

Brunel Design Industrial Advisory Panel:

  • Jim Reeves - Therefore Product Design
  • Joe Ferry - Inter-Continental Hotels
  • Nick Gray - Design Bridge Ltd.
  • Pete Matthews - FrogDesign
  • Andrew Molyneux - Precision Lighting
  • Andy Patsalides - The Boeing Company
  • Professor Dale Russell Russell Studio Ltd
  • Leslie Wynn - Xerox Ltd
  • Graham Brett - Therefore Product Design
  • Roger Crabtree - fwdesign Limited
  • Ben Griffin - The Alloy
  • Paul King - Vivid Brand Ltd
  • Nick Tyrell - Rocket Medical Plc

Work Placements

Work Placements

Our students have undertaken placements in all sectors of the design industry with hundreds of companies as diverse as Dyson Appliances, Panasonic UK, Coca Cola, Pentagram, DCA Design Consultants, Rolls-Royce, Audi, Motorola (Singapore), Sony and Philips.

My name is Yuanyuan Yin, a third-year PhD Design Research student, School of Engineering and Design. My research focuses on design performance measurement during the product development process. In order to gain an experience from “live” projects, I undertook a work placement at Design Bridge, a successful international branding agency, which is well-known for its expertise in design strategy, innovation, brand identity, and packaging design. I received a full support and constructive suggestions from my supervisors and other academic staff in applying this work placement. Established for more than 20 years, the Design Bridge has 160 employees, three offices in major cities (London, Amsterdam, Singapore) and clients in over 40 countries (e.g. Tiger Beer, Nescafe, Müller, and Innocent Kids). During the two-month placement, I was working as a design coordinator and involved in five projects. My job was to assist a design manager in creating design strategies and strategic plans, as well as support every team member on day-to-day design works. I benefited from this experience enormously. By observing how design projects are operated, and how principles of Design Management are used in practice, I managed to find out how design performance measurement been implemented. Moreover, current requirements and suggestions on how to improve design performance measurement system were collected.

Exchange programmes

Exchange programmes (International & ERAMUS Opportunities)

The Design department has a long outstanding exchange arrangement with various institutes across the world, including College of Creative Arts, San Francisco State University (SFSU), USA, School of Design, Politecnico di Milano, Italy, Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), the Netherlands, and Artesis, Hogeschool Antwerpen, College of Design Sciences, Belgium,. These programmes provide students an opportunity to pursue their personal and academic targets within an international context. The majority of students undertaking exchange programmes view their experience as a worthwhile opportunity to enhance their employability portfolios and reinforce their individual strengths, skills and knowledge within and outside the field of their subject areas. It is a cross-cultural experience where students not only learn about a professional practice but also broaden their horizons.

Page last updated: Monday 15 April 2013