Ben Hicks BEng PhD CEng
Ben leads the Engineering Systems and Design group whose research activities necessitate close collaboration with industry to research, develop, implement and evaluate new tools, methods and technologies. Ben has worked closely with more than 100 organisations from the creative, design, high value manufacturing and construction sectors. Prior to joining Bristol he worked initially as a machine design consultant, entrepreneur and then academic at the Universities of Sydney and Bath. While at the University of Bath he was a founding member and later director of the (£10M) EPSRC-funded innovative manufacturing research centre. The Centre had a particular focus on machine design, design/manufacturing informatics, advanced manufacturing processes and verification.
In addition to his academic roles, Ben is a Chartered Engineer and has been involved in a number of science and education startups. He presently holds non-executive roles for a design SME and charity. Ben has also worked closely with professional organisations and research councils through a variety of strategic advisory roles.
Ben’s research concerns tools and methods to support the design and improvement of products, machines and manufacturing systems. His research has resulted in the creation of new processes and methods for design management, methods for computer-based design and optimisation, approaches for managing manufacturing information and knowledge discovery, and techniques for modelling machine-material interaction.
In addition to leading the ES&D group, Ben heads up the Design & Manufacturing Futures Laboratory which undertakes cutting edge research into how emerging ICT tools and technologies can deliver a transformative change in the way high-value products are designed, developed, manufactured and commissioned. The focus of the lab is on product modelling (e.g. constraint-based and topological optimisation), process improvement (such as engineeirng project health monitoring and artefact-based information management) and prototyping methods (tangible interfaces, augmented reality and fabricative, additive and subtractive technologies).
Ben is the Director of the EPSRC-funded Language of Collaborative Manufacturing Programme Grant and PI of the PhysiCAD project.
- Manufacturing Informatics
- Manufacturing Systems
- Manufacturing Processes
- Machine-Material Interaction
- Design Methods
- Design Thinking
- Constraint-Based Modelling and Optimisation
- Machine Design
- 3D Fabrication
Accelerating product prototyping through hybrid methods: Coupling 3D printing and LEGO
Engineering Project Health Monitoring: Application of automatic, real-time analytics to PDM systems
Mixed Reality tools as an enabler for improving Operation and Maintenance in Small and Medium Enterprises
Investigating the Evolving Knowledge Structures in New Technology Development
Investigating the effect of scale and scheduling strategies on the productivity of 3D managed print services
Engineering Project Health Management: A Computational Approach for Project Management Support Through Analytics of Digital Engineering Activity
From orthographic drawings to editable models of simple solid using “Reconstruction-Recomposition” coupled with feature recognition
Orthographic drawings minting: testing for indeterminate solid models caused by underrepresentation
Characterising Conveyor Belt System Usage from Drive Motor Power Consumption and Rotational Speed: A Feasibility Study
Using finite element analysis to influence the infill design of fused deposition modelled parts