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Research interests

Reserach Themes: Design+Business and Publics

Scholarly Interests:

Digital Design Technology, Smart Product and Service Design, Design Optimization, Digital Manufacturing, Smart Cities, Design for Emotion, Crowdsouring Product and Service Design and Development


Professor Qin joined Northumbria School of Design in 2014. He was 2019 Newton Prize recipient based on his collaborative research work with Professor Cuixia Ma at the Institute of Software of Chinese Academy of Sciences on Transforming Service Design and Big Data Technologies into Sustainable Urbanisation.

Prior to this appointment, he worked as a Senior/Lecturer in Department of Design at Brunel University (2001- 2013), a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow (2000-2001) at University of Loughborough, a Research Assistant in the School of Product Design of Cardiff Metropolitan University (1998-1999). He was an Academic Visitor at the University of Birmingham (1996-1997) from East China Jiaotong University.

His research interest is broadly in digital design and manufacturing methods and technology for product-service systems. Early work includes design optimization, Computer Aided Design and Manufacturing (CAD/CAM), sketch-based modelling and interfacing, gesture-based modelling and interfacing, design process and team management.

At Northumbria University, Professor Qin has established the Smart Design Lab (SDL), leading design research into future smart products, services and interconnected systems design by applying cutting edge smart technologies and smart multi-disciplinary design research methods/tools. 

Recent research is focused on planet/impact centred design theory, AI and Data-driven smart design methods, design for the product life cycle, design for ecosystem, crowdsourcing and digital twin-based design methods for smart manufacturing, railway, city, product, service, and well-being system.

Recent research projects are funded by UKRI, China Scholarship Council (CSC), British Council, British Academy, industry and charities, including

Professor  Qin is currently the Director for our MA Design Programme, teaching research principles and methods for this programme.

He is the Editor-in-Chief for  International Journal of Rapid manufacturing, and an Associate Editor for International Journal of Design Engineering.

Prof. Qin has published more than 200 papers in journals and conferences and 2 books. His publication profile can be found on Google Scholar and his ORCID.

Further Information

Professor Qin is an associate member of The Design Lab at UC San Diego since his visit to the Design Lab in 2016-2017 under the Leverhulme International Fellowship. 

Profsessor Qin is also a Visiting Professor to Southwest Jiaotong University of China on Digital Design and Manufacturing (2014-) and a Co-Coordinator of the Joint Design Innovation Lab with Northwestern Polytechnical University of China (2017-).

Professor Qin is an Associate Editor of International Journal of Design Engineering (Inderscience Publishers) and Journal of Systems Science & Control Engineering (Taylor & Francis Online).


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 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities

Education/Academic qualification

Craft, Design andTechnology, PhD, Interpretation of 2D Freehand Sketching for 3D Product Design Modelling, University of Wales

1 Sept 199728 Feb 2000

Award Date: 29 Feb 2000

Computer Aided Engineering, Structural Optimisation design for 3D steel structures , Southwest Jiaotong University

Award Date: 1 May 1988

Manufacturing Engineering, BEng (Hons), Design of Combinational Machine Tools, Anhui Polytechnic University

1 Sept 19791 Jul 1983

Award Date: 1 Jul 1983


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