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 £4.6 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).