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Dr Ahmad Beltagui - Aston University. Birmingham, , GB

Dr Ahmad Beltagui Dr Ahmad Beltagui

Senior Lecturer | Aston University


Dr Beltagui is an experienced researcher with expertise in Advanced Services, Innovation & Design Management and 3D Printing.




Dr Ahmad Beltagui's research focuses on design, services and digital technology. He has experience of research with and about businesses in relation to three main topics:

1. Design-driven innovation and human-centred design applied to social and business challenges.

2. Services, including service experience design and the transformation of manufacturing through Advanced Services.

3. 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing, including how these technologies are applied by designers, businesses and ordinary members of the public as well as their integration with other digital technologies (such as AI and blockchain).

Dr Beltagui is available to comment on any current events that relate to these topics, or more general aspects related to operations management, innovation and supply chains.

He has contributed to both written and broadcast media, including BBC World Service, Free Radio Birmingham, Huffington Post and The Conversation.

His research has been funded by UK and European sources, including the British Academy, Marie Sklodowska Curie (FP7) and Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

Areas of Expertise (7)




3d Printing


Supply Chain


Education (3)

University of Strathclyde: MEng, Product Design Engineerin

University of Nottingham: PhD, Manufacturing Engineering and Operations Management 2011

University of Wolverhampton: PGCert, Professional Practice in Higher Education

Media Appearances (5)

Coronavirus: How AI, 3D printing and blockchain can help overcome supply problems in a crisis

The Conversation  online


What seemed like science fiction a few short weeks ago is now very real. Movies such as Outbreak, Contagion and Virus are looking more like documentaries every day. As we battle COVID-19, a major issue that will only increase is disruption to supply chains.

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Why freemium video games should embrace players who want to play for free

The Conversation  online


The video games industry is worth more than movies and music combined, with more than 2.5 billion players around the world. Freemium games have driven much of the success, ever since titles like Angry Birds, Farmville and Candy Crush emerged in the late 2000s and early 2010s.

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Five 3D printing myths

The Conversation  online


The first conviction for 3D printing a firearm was recently reported in London, not long after 3D printed masks were used to trick face recognition. Should we be afraid?

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The Future of (Field) Service is 3D Printed

Field Service News  online


Picture this scenario: a field service engineer is called out to repair a grounded aeroplane at a remote airport. He finds the problem, but realises that repairing it will mean waiting a week for spare parts to arrive, when the client needs the plane airborne, so the contract, and perhaps his job, is on the line. Could 3D printing provide a faster solution to the problem? Today, it very likely could.

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Why Hygge Is The Word That Sums Up 2016

HuffPost  online


In the list of new words to enter the dictionary in 2016 - Trumpism, Brexit, post-truth - hygge seems somewhat out of place. Or does it? Like Trump and Brexit, hygge is definitely not just for Christmas. And like all of those words, a cute and friendly exterior hides unpleasant truths.

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Research Grants (4)

Development of a digital twin prototype for DEAS value delivery system

EPSRC £99,899


Democratisation or Mass Customisation? Exploring the nature of the 3D Printing revolution

British Academy/Leverhulme £9,955


Marie Curie Industry Academia Pathways and Partnerships

European Commission £726,962

2010 - 2013


EPSRC £309,443

2007 - 2008

Articles (5)

Digital twin for Advanced Service delivery systems: Opportunities and challenges

EurOMA Conference 2020

Implementing an Advanced Services strategy may bring economic, social and environmental sustainability, but requires orchestration of a complex system of interdependent actors. Customers, suppliers, contractors and other intermediaries must be co-ordinated effectively for mutual benefit. Doing so requires appropriate data not only related to products, but also service delivery and (customers’) use environment. This research proposes a Digital Twin approach to capturing and processing real-time data from each of these three levels, in order to orchestrate successful value creation.

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The potential of emergent disruptive technologies for humanitarian supply chains: the integration of blockchain, Artificial Intelligence and 3D printing

International Journal of Production Research

The growing importance of humanitarian operations has created an imperative to overcome the complications currently recorded in the field. Challenges such as delays, congestion, poor communication and lack of accountability may represent opportunities to test the reported advantages of emergent disruptive technologies. Meanwhile, the literature on humanitarian supply chains looks at isolated applications of technology and lacks a framework for understanding challenges and solutions, a gap that this article aims to fill.

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The role of 3D printing and open design on adoption of socially sustainable supply chain innovation

International Journal of Production Economics

Social sustainability is a growing concern for supply chain management, but questionable practices endure due to insufficient stakeholder pressure on the market leading firms. Meanwhile small, socially oriented firms may have the will but lack the means to change dominant practices when entering a market. In this context 3D printing may offer a solution, by leveraging the voluntary effort of individuals through open design and distributed production.

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Exaptation in a digital innovation ecosystem: The disruptive impacts of 3D printing

Research Policy

This research investigates disruptive innovation through the under-explored relationship between two ecological concepts, exaptation and ecosystems. Exaptation-driven innovation involves exploiting unintended latent functions of pre-existing technologies. Digital innovation ecosystems account for industry-spanning co-operative and competitive dynamics among firms related to innovations that combine physical and digital elements, such as 3D printing.

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Cultivating students’ digital literacy

Learning and Teaching in Higher Education

Digital literacy is vital for business students, but cultivating it is difficult when technical tasks such as computer programming are viewed as insurmountable challenges. In this chapter, we argue that teaching technical skills to students should begin with teaching them how to think. We outline an approach to design thinking, which entails framing problems from the perspective of users (or customers), envisioning possible solutions by creatively developing, then iteratively testing, ideas, before finally implementing.

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