Chris Snider

Chris Snider MEng PhD FHEA

Chris is a Lecturer in Engineering Design and Manufacture. His areas of interest include the physical / digital divide, deskilling the engineering design process, and the next generation of computational design systems.
Chris has been a member of the Design and Manufacturing Futures Lab since its inception, first as a post-doc researcher, and now as a Lecturer and Project Lead. His work areas have ranged from technical engineering design processes, to big-data analysis and real-time analytics of engineering progress and performance, computational design and interaction systems, effective global engineering management, and creativity and innovation in complex and constrained design scenarios.

This has given him expertise in how engineers can and should design in a world of ever more complex machines and systems, and how the next generation of processes and cutting-edge computational systems can enable them to produce outputs that meet the needs of the future.

He is particularly interested in how we can bridge the physical / digital divide in design, and use computation to increase capability while reducing the workload and skill requirements of engineering activities. Through his work he aims to enable engineers to work rapidly and effectively in both the digital and physical worlds, supported by cutting-edge systems that automatically analyse ideas and designs, suggest solutions, monitor progress, and perform simulations and tests, giving engineers the freedom, knowledge, and capability to explore the design space and generate innovative, high-performance outputs.


The Language of Collaborative Manufacture – Developing cutting-edge analytics for real-time, automatic monitoring of large-scale engineering processes and projects.

Digital – Physical Twinning – Creating a fully integrated digital / physical toolchain for engineering prototyping, enabling engineers to design, test, and evolve their ideas in any medium at any time.

Modular Prototyping – The PhD work of David Mathias, looking at mixed approaches for rapid manufacture of engineering prototypes.

Anarchic Manufacture – The PhD work of Andrew Ma, looking at using anarchy and agent-based modelling to control the factories of the future and enable efficient mass manufacture of bespoke products.

Artefact-Based Information Navigation – The PhD work of David Jones, looking at using 3D models as a medium for exploring engineering information in large and complex systems and machines.

Latest Publications

Recent Posts

  • Tracking 3D prototypes in real-time - Written by Michael Wyrley-Birch, one of our excellent summer interns. Over the past few weeks, I have been experimenting with different methods of real time 6D pose estimation for generic objects to allow for realistic digital versions of products to be mapped onto low fidelity prototypes. The different methods include:… Read More
  • What are Haptics? How do they work? - Written by Mike Wharton, one of our excellent summer interns. I’m now about a third of the way through my project, having dived head-first into the world of haptics. There were a number of interesting tangents and discoveries along the way, and unexpected links to psychology and audio equipment.  Haptic… Read More
  • The DMF at ICED 2023: Papers, papers, and more papers! - The DMF lab had their usual strong showing at the major conference for the research field last week, presenting 9 papers across topics ranging from prototyping to machine learning to neurocognition! This year the International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED) was held in beautiful Bordeaux, which blessed us with excellent… Read More
  • 21st Century Prototyping exhibit at ICED 2023 - Setting the stage to show the community our technical capabilities and upcoming research, this week the 21CP team exhibited a range of demos at the ICED 2023 conference! We had three sets of demos up and running for attendees to try: Design in VR: Aman led the charge with a… Read More
  • Welcome to our Summer Interns! - This year we're lucky enough to have three summer interns working with us on the 21st Century Prototyping project. They've got a great range of skills - one mechanical engineer, one computer scientist, and one engineering designer - and excellent past experience in a range of industries. They'll be working… Read More
  • 21st Century Prototyping at the ProSquared Network+ Launch - This week Chris and the team joined the launch event for the new ProSquared Network on the Democratisation of Digital Devices. This 5-year network aims to connect industry and academia to find new ways to overcome production barriers at lower volumes, by making design, prototyping, and manufacture faster and more… Read More
  • The DMF go to Design 2022! - This week the whole DMF gave a strong showing at one of our very favourite conference series - DESIGN 2022 - hosted by our friends at the University of Zagreb, Croatia. For the second (and hopefully final) time the conference was hosted virtually, but as always it was a great… Read More
  • Augmented Prototyping – Reconfigurable, functional interfaces for real-time user customisation - How can your users understand how a product will work before it's been made? How can they understand what it will feel like to use, and how can they tell you how they would like it to work? As part of our work on Augmented Prototyping - using immersive technologies… Read More
  • PCA in Teaching: Empowering the public with Lego-based solutions to real problems - Through the winter semester this year 2nd year students at the University have completed PCA projects as part of their core teaching. Focusing on developing designs that anyone can build at home to reduce their risk of transmission, Students were tasked to develop devices that removed the need for contact… Read More
  • Clean Access Challenge 7: Enabling Everyone - Problem Many people in the world face additional challenges created by limited mobility, physical, or mental impairment. These can make challenges of clean access under Covid-19 even more daunting. How do you avoid touching if you cannot see? How do you interact with the world in a covid-safe way, while… Read More