Dr Leon Williams
Lecturer in Product and Service Design
Location: Building 82, Cranfield campus
T: +44 (0)1234 750111 x2141
Manufacturing and Materials Department
Dr Leon Williams is the Design Programme Director for Manufacturing and Materials Department, School of Applied Sciences at Cranfield University. He is the Course Tutor for the Innovation and Creativity in Industry Masters of Design (MDes/PDip/PGCert) and also a lecturer in Product and Services for the Product and Service Centre and Centre for Competitive Creative Design.
He is Module Leader for:
- Smart Materials and Processes
- Design Thinking Practice
- Technology and Prototyping
- Management of Innovation and Technology.
Dr Leon B.M.Williams (PhD) is an established lecturer with product and service expertise in open-innovation strategies and new product development practices. His current research focuses on the exchange of knowledge between practitioners from different fields of art and design, applied sciences, health, engineering and management disciplines.
His research team are actively publishing design-thinking strategies and technology-enablers to enhance and promote business leader activities that bring game-changing innovation, whilst exploring opportunity spaces for businesses to develop new and exciting opportunities that influence consumer behaviour.
Dr Williams has a wide knowledge base in 'technology development' but focuses his attention on the ever-changing disciplines that yield high impact for technological change and creative innovation. For this reason, precision engineering, novel materials, craftsmanship techniques and new technology development take high priority within his current research. However, most of his professional consultancy engagement focuses on problem solving for the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) sectors, as his research and development processes are valued for being rapid and pragmatic. Developing design-led strategic tools, creative insight and working solutions to large and small enterprises, simulating ideas whilst bringing them to reality using proven R&D methodologies combined with new rapid development mechanisms.
Specialised areas include:
- Rapid-innovation toolkits (theory and practice)
- Technology readiness level pipelines
- Open innovation workflows
- Design for manufacture innovation management best practice
- Digital technology development (concept-to-creation)
- Reverse engineering systems for rapid manufacture
- Design-led insight mechanisms (empathic data collection)
- Client-driven innovation processes
- Craftsmanship and practitioner knowledge exchange
- Innovation strategy and creative business management mechanism
- Precision engineering and rapid technology development
- Creative systems and product optimisation pathways
- Game changing innovation strategies for business growth.
For the past 10 years, Dr Williams has been approached to help develop 'principles of concept' or 'turn key solutions' underpinned by academic rigour. Even building the disruptive technologies and machines to optimise the manufacturing process - this makes his research unique and valuable for business that demand results. Trusted as a dedicated expert in design for manufacture pathways and technology readiness levels, he brings new emergent technologies to those that require rapid, safe and reliable innovative solutions.
Dr Leon B.M.Williams is respected amongst his peers for his ability to enable and/or enhance creativity in people, 'making-easy' what is typically regarded as 'complex' operating procedures to bring about the development of new innovation opportunities. Using various intensive yet highly practical learning experiences Dr Williams has helped tutor postgraduates and doctorates for the past decade. He looks to build a new trans-disciplinary MSC by research/MPhil/PhD culture at Cranfield University, to contribute new knowledge in the popularly emerging discipline of bespoke innovation and creativity for Industry. His previous experience extends to building rapid innovation workshop/labs with supporting practitioner communities, bridging gaps between academia and business in fulfilment of developing people with industry-ready skills such as; Open Innovation practices, FMCG compliance procedures for new product development throughput techniques and strategic creativity. Since his initial involvement with industry, Dr Williams has helped more than 127 sole-traders/SME's/ and Blue chip businesses in the UK/EU/ and Overseas luxury goods industries.
- Design Orchard
- Wind Power Ltd (Grimshaw Architects London HQ)
- P&G prestige sector (UK and Cologne)
- Welding Alloy Group
- Marant Jewellery
- Inspire Measurement
- Housing 21 in conjunction with IVHM
- Links of London UK
- LOCOG in conjunction with Hornby
- Benney Watches Ltd in conjunction with Faberge
- Theo Fernell
- London Tap Water
- Bombay Sapphire
- Royal Mint
- V&A - (goldsmiths)
- Liam Reeves Bespoke Glass Maker
- Medic Alert Foundation
- Shadow Robotic
- Rapid-Form Royal College of Art
- Guys Hospital various sectors.
Dr Leon B.M.Williams has been a principle investigator, co-investigator or sub-consultant for more than 44 highly sensitive Industry and government funded projects. These have led to the initiation of more than 53 patents. Over the last decade Dr Williams has worked with leading luxury product design industries and global FMCG companies with Global reach. Some of which include; P&G; Housing21; Shadow Robotics; Links of London; Royal Mint; Garrard and Co; Theo Fennell PLC; MedicAlert Foundation, London; London Tap Water.
His own PhD was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council - specialising in the thematic area of ‘Dimensional Design – Medical Adornments’. His key supervisors being the renowned goldsmith Professor David Watkins, Royal College of Art, London, Victoria and Albert Museum Exhibition Curator Dr Beatriz Chadour Sampson, and Advisor/Mentor Dr Ian Thompson from Guy's Hospital/Imperial College, London.
Some of his private works have been showcased in international locations from Universidade do Porto, Portugal, Galerie Ra, Amsterdam, Milan and Hong Kong and Private collections in Canada and London.
Dr Williams has lectured at leading UK/EU design Universities, presented papers or seminars at prestigious centres of excellence and globally acclaimed exhibitions, such as the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, London; London Metropolitan University; Universidade do Porto, Portugal; V&A Museum, London; Herbert Museum, Coventry; The Dana Centre, Science Museum and Design London. He is also a member of the Central Bedfordshire University Technical College initiative in the capacity as a UTC delegate. Recent accolades include the invention of a new slim-line steroid/long-acting Beta2 agonist combination Inhaler; awards from the Helen Hamlyn Foundation (2002); Mobility Choice Award (2003); Nichole Stober Award (2004); Design for our Future Selves Award (2006); and Theo Fernell (2008).