Department of Engineering / Profiles / Dr Digby Symons

Department of Engineering

Dr Digby Symons


Digby Symons

University Senior Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering

Academic Division: Mechanics, Materials and Design

Research group: Engineering Design

Telephone: +44 1223 7 60502


Personal website


Research interests

Dr Symons is interested in the appropriate application of engineering science in the design of products. His technical areas of work have included solid/structural, fluid and particulate mechanics, including multi-phase flows. He particular enjoys collaborations with industry and has carried out research aiming to improve design processes in the fields of: centrifugal separators, medical devices (e.g. drug inhalers and injectors), timber construction, renewable energy, lattice materials and sports engineering.

Strategic themes

Energy, transport and urban infrastructure

Process equipment; Structural timber

Manufacturing, design and materials

Collaborations with industry including: Thomas Broadbent & Sons Ltd., Nordson Dage Ltd., Ramboll UK, Vestas Wind Energy Systems.


Medical devices

Research projects

Design of dry powder inhalers; Design of centrifugal separators

Teaching activity

Current teaching includes: Structural steelwork, Wind turbine design, Lego Mindstorms, Integrated Design Project (mobile robot).

Research opportunities

PhD projects available in a range of product design areas.

Other positions

  • Chartered Engineer
  • Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers


After graduation from the University of Cambridge in 1994, Dr Symons was first employed as a structural engineer by Buro Happold Consulting Engineers. He moved to the University of Oxford to carry out research supported by Rolls-Royce Plc. and was awarded a D.Phil. in 1998 for work on composite materials. He returned to industry to work for Cambridge Consultants Ltd., and later Weston Medical Plc., on the design and development of medical devices before becoming a University Lecturer in 2002.