Personal profile

Personal Statement

Laura is a Lecturer in Product Design, with expertise spanning both product and engineering design. Her research explores the neurocognitive basis of design, with a long term vision focused on integrating the imagination with technology to provide more effective and intuitive tools for designers.

She has applied fMRI to study brain activity in design ideation, and investigates design cognition using a variety of quantitative and qualitative approaches. She currently supervises four PhD students working in the design cognition area. She collaborates closely with psychologists and cognitive neuroscientists, and leads an international Special Interest Group on Cognitive Design Science within the Design Society. She co-founded and edits the Research Notes collection on design research quality, is on the editorial advisory board at the International Journal of Design Creativity and Innovation, and is on the scientific committee for four international design conferences. In addition to design cognition and neural processing, she has interests in systems design and sustainability stemming from her PhD research.

Laura is a member of the EPSRC Early Career Forum in Manufacturing Research, and is passionate about raising the profile of Scottish and UK design internationally. She is committed to equipping the next generation of designers with the skills and mindset needed to tackle complex societal challenges. She teaches foundational product design, emotional design, form and aesthetics, and systems thinking, and has supervised over 50 student design and Masters research projects. She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Research Interests

Laura's main research interests include: 

  • design cognition
  • neuroscience in design
  • creativity
  • design theory and ontology
  • systems design
  • sustainable design

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Generic models of technical systems sustainability

1 Oct 201113 Jun 2015

Award Date: 13 Jun 2015

Bachelor of Engineering, Product Design Engineering, University Of Strathclyde

27 Sept 20096 Jul 2011

Award Date: 6 Jul 2011


  • design cognition
  • creativity
  • design neurocognition
  • design theory
  • design ontology
  • systems modelling
  • sustainability
  • sustainable design
  • design for sustainability
  • neuroscience
  • neuroimaging
  • fMRI
  • functional magnetic resonance imaging
  • product design
  • engineering design
  • design


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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