Professor, Director of DIGIT Lab
Saeema was the Head of Design Products and a Chair of Engineering Design at the Royal College of Art. Prior to this, she was Deputy Head and Prof of Design Engineering at the Dyson School of Design Engineering, Imperial College London.
Her role at Imperial included the Head of Global Innovation Design (MA/MSc) programme, which was delivered jointly with the Royal College of Art. She spent thirteen years with the Technical University of Denmark and led the Design Engineering and Innovation section. She completed her PhD in the Engineering Design Centre, University of Cambridge and then held a fellowship with Murray Edwards College.
She has a funding portfolio of approximately or £16.51 million, and led two large research projects, Global Product Development, and Growth Opportunities of Danish Small and Medium-sized Enterprises and New Ventures in Emerging Market funded by the Danish Industry Fund (£1.1m). In addition to generating academic knowledge, these led to tools and guides to support Manufacturing Industry. She has held invited keynotes for leading Engineering Design conferences (CIRP, NordDesign, DESIGN), 100 full peer reviewed publications. She has graduated 14 PhDs.
Saeema’s research focuses on design engineering including the impact and integration of digital technologies on: creativity and cognition, data and knowledge structuring, data-driven design process to customise products and quantifying and predicting user experiences. She works closely with a range of industries; complex product, aerospace (Rolls-Royce, BAE Systems); oil (AK MH); consumer (GN Netcom); medical (Novo Nordisk), and across disciplines of psychology, computing and design, for example leading to approaches to auto-index aerospace reports, through an ontology based on design cognition and Natural Language Processing.
Her research was one of the first to use a human-centred approach to structuring and automating indexing of knowledge, and; to develop approaches to quantify user experiences, leading to a data driven-approach to assess comfort in headsets (now embedded within GN Netcom Product development processes and leading to awards for comfort).
She works closely with a range of industries; complex product, aerospace (Rolls-Royce, BAE Systems); oil (AK MH); consumer (GN Netcom); medical (Novo Nordisk), and across disciplines of psychology, computing and design, for example leading to approaches to auto-index aerospace reports, through an ontology based on design cognition and Natural Language Processing.
Saeema's research portfolio includes:
• DIGIT EP/T022566/1 (Mar 2021-26) is a five year next stage Digital Economy research centre with £12.6m funding from three sources, EPSRC (£3.7M), industry and three partner universities. The focus of DIGIT is digital transformation in Large Established Organisations (LEOs). Co-Investigator, Deputy-director of Centre and Work Package lead – taking over as PI and director from September 2022.
• Scoping study of the under-stencil cleaning process innovation at ASM Assembly Systems. (Funded by ASM Assembly Systems). £20K
• GN NETCOM – £100,000 (2015-7) (post doctorial researcher) Modelling wellbeing in office environments. Sensor-based data for modelling stress.
• Rolls-Royce £60,000 (2016-17) Complex Decision Making. Leeds University and Rolls-Royce
• Danish Council – Industrial PhD fund application – 800,000 DKK, Awarded December 2008: Integration of New Technology Knowledge.
• Danish Council FTP – Technical University of Denmark – 800,000 DKK 2007 Understanding the Impact of the Service Phase of One-off Machinery in Complex Engineering design
• New Hall College Engineering College lectureship and Fellowship 2001-04, 3-years fellowship
• DTU, Dept. Research Grant – 1,600,000 DKK – PhD Idea management in engineering design
• Danish Council for Strategic Research-Centre for Performing temporary spaces for user driven innovation – Main Applicant U. Jorgensen DTU, Copenhagen University, Danish Design school 1,640,000M DKK. SA is one of around 15 applicants on the grant
• Industriens fond – Globalisation of Product Development 388,364 DKK. 2011 Main applicant
• Industriens fond. – Tools and Innovation models for Global Product development 6M DKK (aprprox £700,000) 2012
• Industriens fond. – Design for emerging markets 4M DKK 2013
• Universe fond: Design for Value 0.5M DKK 2014.
• International networking fond Exploratory Approaches in Knowledge Approaches to facilitate innovation in bio-engineering 312,912 DKK. 2011
• EU Marie Currie Staff Exchange. Total. 6M DKK (SAK Share 1.8M DKK) High value Engineering Networks: Shaping Engineering Sectors in Europe and China – Partners University of Cambridge, and Dr University of Birmingham, (Harbin Institute of Technology, Tsinghua University, Zhejiang University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University).
• CAPAS Agency Fully funded PhD 1.8M DKK (2008)
• DONG Energy – 800,000 DKK (€107,000) 2008 PhD Integration of New Technology Knowledge.
• Aker Solutions – 800,000 DKK (€107,000) 2007 PhD Understanding the Impact of the Service Phase of One-off Machinery in Complex Engineering design
• GN NETCOM – 1,200,000 DKK 2011 (PhD) Comfort assessment of headsets for Engineering Design