The Value of Engineering Design Research
UK Study

Year: 2024
Author: Edgecomb, Ian M.; Brisco, Ross
Page(s): 26
DOI number: 10.35199/report.valueEDR


The research presented within this paper was first envisioned at the Design Society Rigi Meeting 2023 in Paris, France. During Science Day, where attendees include the Design Society Board of Management, Advisory Board, Special Interest Groups and ChaptersLeaders and other invited guests including representatives of SNCF Research (host of the meeting), it was identified that Design Society members can face the challenge of justifying the value of engineering design. This value has been harder to justify in recent years with a lack of visibility of the impact of engineering design. This value is important to state to increase the chances of securing research funding for design society members, and toinfluence policy and strategy on funding of engineering design research in the future as is an aim of the charitable company.


An opportunity was identified to analyse the outcomes of the UK Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 data to identify key examples of the value of engineering design and use this to create case studies that can be used by all Design Society members in the future. A future goal of this research is to use this small research project as a preliminary study to identify if this method of enquiry was appropriate and valuable. Future research projects may include using other databases as identified by Design Society members, or to create a database using the Special Interest Groups to create a database of worldwide case study examples.

Due to the nature of this research enquiry. This study is only focused on impactful research provided by engineering design researchers and therefore does not represent the DesignSociety community in whole at this time. The outcomes of this research do not intend to exclude any individual or institutional contribution or to purposefully exclude recognition for their efforts.
This research is the first of its kind, directly funded by the Design Society Special Interest Group Fund and we hope that the value of the outcomes will encourage others to apply to this fund to conduct similar research for the benefit of Design Society members worldwide.

Keywords: Value, Engineering Design, Design Research, United Kingdom, REF

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