Ian de Vere



Dr Ian de Vere is Head of Design.

He is an industrial designer whose focus is the development of curricula that responds to new patterns of professional design practice.

He joined Brunel in August 2013 from Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia where he was Program Coordinator of Industrial Design and Product Design Engineering. 

Ian has a Bachelor of Industrial Design and a BAppSci in Environmental Design from the University of Canberra, and a Diploma of Sustainability and PhD (in engineering education) from Swinburne University of Technology.  He is an award winning designer with extensive industry experience in new product development (including biomedical, electronic, and consumer products and industrial equipment), design for the public domain, commercial furniture design and educational museum design for children.

He has been involved in design education since 2002, having also taught at University of Technology, Sydney, University of Canberra, Monash University in Melbourne, Limkokwing University of Creative Technology in Malaysia, and the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. Coming into academia with a proven track record in commercial design practice, Ian combines a passion for design with a commitment to developing industry-relevant graduate attributes with an emphasis on creativity and innovation, user-centred design, ethical and sustainable practice, technical expertise and design entrepreneurship. He is conscious of not only limiting the impact of our professional activities on both environment and society, but also developing the capacity for designers and engineers to contribute positively to global communities through socially responsible and appropriate design.


Professional societies/committees

  • Design Institute of Australia (DIA) Design Education Practice Group (Victoria) – inaugural member
  • Industrial Design Educators Network (IDEN) – founding member
  • International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED) – member of International Review Committee (since 2009) and session chair
  • International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE) – member of Scientific Review Committee (since 2008) and annual session chair
  • European Journal of Engineering Education - international reviewer (since 2010)
  • Journal of Engineering Design - international reviewer (since 2009)
  • Swinburne Product Design Engineering Alumni network – founding director

Design Awards (industry)

  • 2002   Australian Design Award finalist (\'Mojo\' commercial seating for Sebel Furniture)
  • 1997   Australian Design Mark (for Banksia SP56k \'Wave\' modem)
  • 1992   Australian Design Award (for the range of Haan domestic electric heaters)

Academic Awards

  • 2011  Swinburne Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Internationalisation
    awarded in recognition of the internationalisation of the Product Design Engineering curriculum (including global collaborative curricula, implementation of international student mobility programs and engagement with international agencies).
  • 2011   ICED11 Reviewers’ Favourite Award
    awarded for a paper rated in the top 5% of papers (based on reviewers scores) at the International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED11), Technical University of Denmark.
  • 2010 Swinburne Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Sustainability
    awarded in recognition of the successful integration of sustainability and socially responsible design concepts and practices into Industrial Design and Product Design Engineering curricula.
  • 2009   Erasmus Mundus Academic Fellowship
    EU scholarship enabling teaching and research at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow  (including contribution to the MSc. Global Innovation Management program)
  • 2008   Swinburne Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Community Engagement
    awarded for developing a socially responsible design teaching initiative which engages students in live humanitarian aid projects, through collaboration with World Vision.
  • 2008  Best Presentation Prize at the E&PDE conference, “New Perspectives in Design Education” at UniversitatPolitecnica de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain.

Invited Lectures

  • 2011  Keynote and guest lecturer/tutor, TungHai University, Taichung City, Taiwan. Sustainability Workshop “Symbiotic environment-human product design”
  • 2010  External Assessor, final year Industrial Design projects, University of New South Wales
  • 2009  Guest Tutor, University of Malta, Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • 2009  Visiting Lecturer (Erasmus Mundus fellow), University of Strathclyde, Glasgow.
  • 2009  Guest Lecturer/Tutor, Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, Malaysia. Furniture Design workshop
  • 2009  Guest Juror at the BraunPrize forum, Knonberg, Germany
  • 2008  Guest Lecturer/Tutor, Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, Malaysia. Furniture Design workshop
  • 2007  Keynote presentation to Victorian Woodworking Association, Melbourne. “Furniture Design Education”
  • 2007  Presentation at the Professional Learning Projects, Placements, Predicaments Showcase, Melbourne -“Professional projects in an interdisciplinary program: design and engineering”
  • 2006  Guest Lecturer/Tutor, Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, Malaysia. Industrial design workshop

Conference presentations

  • 2013   Design Education – Growing Our Future. The 15th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE2013), Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland
  • 2012  Design education for future wellbeing. The 14th International Conference on Engineering   and Product Design Education (E&PDE2012).Artesis University College Antwerp, Belgium
  • 2011   New Directions in Engineering Education, International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED11, Technical University of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 2010   When Design Education and Design Research Meet, the 12th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE10), Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway
  • 2010   The 2nd ConnectED International Conference on Design Education, Sydney,Australia
  • 2009   Creating a Better World, the 11th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE09), University of Brighton, UK
  • 2008   New Perspectives in Design Education, the 10th Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE08) Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain

Curriculum development

  • 2010 – 2011: new Swinburne Bachelor of Design (Industrial Design) program
  • 2009 – 2010: new Swinburne Master of Design (Industrial Design) curricula
  • 2008: Swinburne Product Design Engineering - external reaccreditation Engineers Australia
  • 2005: revision to Product Design Engineering program - internal reaccreditation

Design Industry employment

  • 1998-2002: Commercial furniture design, Sebel Furniture, Sydney
  • 1998-2000: Interactive design / educational museum design for children, Melbourne Museum
  • 1998: Point of Sale Merchandising design, consultant to Advantage Line, Sydney
  • 1997-1998: Retail furniture and display design, consultant to Centre Stage Expo, Sydney
  • 1996-1997: Interaction design, Powerhouse Science and Design Museum, Sydney
  • 1995-1996: Design consultant to Banksia Electronics, Machine Art and Australian Technology Park,
  • 1994-1995: Electronic and consumer product design, D3 Product Design, Sydney
  • 1994: Transport design, consumer product and infrastructure design, Design Resource, Sydney
  • 1990-1994: Medical, product, and interior design, Christopher Collins & Associates, Melbourne
  • 1989-1990: Special effects, exhibition design, and industrial equipment, Design Count, Melbourne

Research area(s)

Key words: socially responsible design, creativity and innovation, curricula and pedagogy, advanced manufacturing technologies, social innovation, open design and participatory culture, design entrepreneurship.


Module Leader for Design Process 1, specialising in practice-based design education, new product development, design entrepreneurship, user-centred design, creativity and innovation, socially responsible design and curriculum innovation.


Research project(s) and grant(s)

Ian’s doctoral research involved investigation into new directions for engineering education with emphasis on creative, human-centred and responsible practice and the integration of design curricula into the engineering curricula. He has published extensively on multidisciplinary pedagogy and curriculum innovation in regard to creativity, user-centred design, sustainability and social responsibility.

Currently Ian is exploring the influence of social media and new manufacturing technologies (such as additive manufacturing) as enablers of design entrepreneurship; a research area he hopes to develop further. He is particularly interested in the changing roles for product designers and increasing consumer engagement in the design and manufacturing processes. Contributing to Brunel Design research hubs:

  • Open Design and Digital Economy
  • Sustainable Design



  • Module Leader for M1315 Design Process 1
  • Module teaching contributor on DM2316 Design Process 2
  • Supervision level 3 BA/BSc Major Projects
  • Leading a curriculum review of BA Industrial Design, BSc Product Design and Product Design Engineering programs

Selected Publications

Journal articles

Ceschin, F. , Rakowski, R.  and de Vere, I.   (2017)   'The Influence Of Work Placement On The Academic Achievement Of Undergraduate Design Students'. Design Journal, 20 (2).  pp. 259 - 278. doi: 10.1080/14606925.2016.1220146 Download publication 

de Vere, I.   (2011)   'Using furniture design to convey a rigorous design education process'. Journal of Design Research, 9 (2).  pp. 146 - 158. doi: 10.1504/JDR.2011.040591 

Melles, G. , de Vere, I.  and Misic, V.   (2011)   'Socially responsible design: Thinking beyond the triple bottom line to socially responsive and sustainable product design'. CoDesign, 7 (3-4).  pp. 143 - 154. doi: 10.1080/15710882.2011.630473 

Melles, G. , de Vere, I. , Bissett Johnson, K.  and Strachan, M.   (2010)   'Sustainable product design: Balancing local techniques and holistic constraints through innovative curricula'. Journal of Design Strategies, 4 (1).  pp. 42 - 51. 

de Vere, I. , Melles, G.  and Kapoor, A.   (2010)   'Product design engineering - a global education trend in multidisciplinary training for creative product design'. European Journal of Engineering Education, 35 (1).  pp. 33 - 43. doi: 10.1080/03043790903312154 

Book chapters

de Vere, I.  and Melles, G.  (2012)   'Integrating ‘Designerly’ Ways with Engineering Science: A Catalyst for Change within Product Design and Development', in Information Resources Management Association. (ed.) Industrial Engineering: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications.  Business Science References, IGI Global, pp. 56 - 78. 

de Vere, I.  and Melles, G.  (2010)   'Integrating 'designerly' ways with engineering science: a catalyst for change within product design and development', in Silva, A.  and Simões, R. (eds.) Handbook of Research on Trends in Product Design and Development: Technological and Organisational Perspectives.  IGI Global Snippet pp. . 

Conference papers

de Vere, I.  and Phillips, R.   (2015)   'Using Social Engagement to Inspire Design Learning' , Great Expectations: Design Teaching, Research & Enterprise, the 17th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education. Loughborough University, Design School, Loughborough, UK. - 4 September. Design Society and the Institute of Engineering Designers, pp. 304 - 309. Download publication 

de Vere, I.   (2014)   'A new consumerism: the influence of social technologies on product design' , INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON ENGINEERING AND PRODUCT DESIGN EDUCATION. UNIVERSITY OF TWENTE, THE NETHERLANDS. - 5 September. Design Society and the Institute of Engineering Designers, pp. 530 - 536. Download publication 

de Vere, I.   (2013)   'Industrial Design 2.0: A Renaissance' , 15th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE2013), Design Education - Growing Our Future. Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland. - 6 September. The Design Society, Institution of Engineering Designers, pp. 824 - 829. 

de Vere, I. , Melles, G.  and Kapoor, A.   (2012)   'Sketchfest: Emphasising sketching skills in engineering learning' . 

de Vere, I. , Melles, G.  and Kapoor, A.   (2011)   'Developing a drawing culture: New directions in engineering education' . 

de Vere, I. , Kapoor, A.  and Melles, G.   (2011)   'An ethical stance: Engineering curricula designed for social responsibility' . 

Kuys, B.  and de Vere, I.   (2010)   'Measuring differing approaches in design between engineering disciplines' , ConnectED2010: 2nd International Conference on Design Education. Sydney, Australia. - 1 July. 

de Vere, I.  and Gill, C.   (2010)   'Global design: developing global understanding though innovative curricula' , ConnectED2010: 2nd International Conference on Design Education. Sydney, Australia. - 1 July. 

de Vere, I. , Melles, G.  and Kapoor, A.   (2010)   'Product design engineering: multidisciplinary pedagogy integrating ‘designerly ways’ with engineering science to enhance the product design and development environment.' , ConnectED2010: 2nd International Conference on Design Education. Sydney, Australia. - 1 July. 

de Vere, I. , Kuys, B.  and Melles, G.   (2010)   'The Importance of Design: A comparative evaluation of aptitude in problem solving in engineering education' . 

de Vere, I. , Bissett Johnson, K.  and Thong, C.   (2009)   'Educating the responsible engineer: Socially responsible design and sustainability in the curriculum' . 

de Vere, I.   (2009)   'Developing creative engineers: A design approach to engineering education' . 

de Vere, I.   (2008)   'Trends and technology; Using furniture design to inform a rigorous design education process' . 

de Vere, I.   (2008)   'Managing industry collaboration: Providing an educational model in a client-led project' . 

Wodehouse, A. , Grierson, H. , Ion, W. , Breslin, C. , et al.   (2008)   'A task-based approach to global design education' . 

Page last updated: Thursday 16 March 2017