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Personal profile

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.

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Projects 2005 2022

Strathclyde CDT in Lightweighting and Design in Advanced Materials

Blackwell, P., Ion, W. & Evans, D.


Project: Internally funded project


Ion, W.


Project: Research - Studentship

Research Output 2001 2019

Developing the Skills System for the National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland (NMIS)

Anderson, P., Hawthorne, M., Findlay, P., Ion, W., Morrison, D., Morrison, D. H., Millar, S. & Viza, E., 30 May 2019, Glasgow. 51 p.

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

Applied humour in creative product design

Hatcher, G., Ion, W., MacLachlan, R., Wodehouse, A., Simpson, B. & Marlow, M., 29 Aug 2018, Creativity and Humour. Luria, S. R., Baer, J. & Kaufman, J. C. (eds.). London, p. 157-182 6 p. (Explorations in Creativity Research).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Product design


An investigation on the mechanics of nanometric cutting for hard-brittle materials at elevated temperatures

Author: Zare Chavoshi, S., 1 Dec 2016

Supervisor: Luo, X. (Supervisor) & Ion, W. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

A novel meta-synthesis approach to technology maturity management for project risk control

Author: Zhang, G., 1 Nov 2010

Supervisor: Yan, X. (Supervisor) & Ion, W. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Best Poster (Application) Award

Chimaeze Onyeiwu (Recipient), Erfu Yang (Recipient), Tony Rodden (Recipient), Xiu Yan (Recipient), Remi Christophe Zante (Recipient) & William Ion (Recipient), 21 Jun 2017

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)


KTP Academic Ambassador of the year 2013

William Ion (Recipient), Jan 2013

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)


Activities 2003 2018

21st International Conference on Engineering & Product Design Education

Ian Whitfield (Chair), Dorothy Evans (Organiser), William Ion (Organiser), Hilary Grierson (Organiser), Ross Brisco (Organiser)
1 May 201813 Sep 2019

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganiser of major conference

Faculty Robotics and Automation Users Group Discussion

Gareth Pierce (Organiser), Alan Oakley (Participant), Dimitris Drikakis (Participant), Deepak Uttamchandani (Participant), William Ion (Participant), Xiu Yan (Participant), Erfu Yang (Participant), Massimiliano Vasile (Participant), Malcolm Macdonald (Participant), P J Rowe (Participant), Marcus Perry (Participant), Charles Norman MacLeod (Participant), Gordon Dobie (Participant), Daniel McMahon (Participant), Stephen Marshall (Participant), Mark Post (Participant), Lykourgos Petropoulakis (Participant), Carmelo Mineo (Participant), Gaetano Di Caterina (Participant), David Harle (Participant), Walter Michie (Participant), Robert Stewart (Participant), Janine de fence (Participant), Stephen McArthur (Participant), Alexander Galloway (Participant), Daryl Landeg (Participant), Atilla Incecik (Participant), Campbell Booth (Participant), Andrew Heyes (Participant), Alexander Duffy (Participant), Zoe Shipton (Participant), Anthony Gachagan (Participant), Remi Christophe Zante (Participant), Tony Rodden (Participant), Rahul Summan (Participant), Graham Wren (Participant)
10 Oct 2017

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course