Department of Engineering / Profiles / Prof. Aylmer Johnson

Department of Engineering

Prof. Aylmer Johnson


Aylmer Johnson

Emeritus Staff

Academic Division: Mechanics, Materials and Design

Research group: Engineering Design


Personal website

Research interests

Knowledge management
The capture, retention and retrieval of design knowledge within an engineering organization whose design knowledge base may otherwise be largely vested in its employees.

Functional modelling
Analogous to solid modelling, this technique captures the functional intent of parts and features within a design, in addition to their geometric shape.  This allows the computer to check that a design will function as intended, and even to alter geometry of a design so as to achieve this without compromising other aspects of its functionality.  It also greatly speeds up preliminary embodiment generation – see below.

Embodiment generation
If different conceptual designs can be rapidly and inexpensively embodied, this greatly increases the chance that the concept which is eventually selected will function as intended, without any unforeseen snags arising during the subsequent design stages.

Research projects

Involved with several EDC projects.

Teaching activity

Mechanical drawing, Kinematics, Satellite dynamics, Structural and Mechanical design, Surveying and Geodesy.

Other positions

  • Fellow of Clare College
  • Member of the British Computing Society


Mr Johnson graduated from Magdalene College in 1973, and worked in the Chemical Engineering Contracting Industry before returning to Cambridge to help create the DUCT Surface Modelling Package (subsequently marketed by Delcam Ltd). Joined the Teaching Staff of the Department in 1980, and became a Senior Lecturer in 2002.