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Dr Timothy Whitehead - Aston University. Birmingham, , GB

Dr Timothy Whitehead Dr Timothy Whitehead

Lecturer in Product Design, Mechanical Engineering & Design | Aston University


Timothy Whitehead's research interest is in developing approaches to improve the design of products distributed in low income countries.






7th Annual LCEDN Conference - Clean Cooking - 1 June 2pm session




Timothy Whitehead's research interest is in developing tools and approaches to improve the design of products distributed in low income countries. He has worked on a number of projects funded through the Global Challenges Research Fund which utilise design methods and new technology to improve the livelihood of those living on less than $1 a day. He also has an interest in supporting creative design practice by blending physical design outputs with digital experiences.

Areas of Expertise (5)

Industrial Design

Low Income Countries

3-D Printing

Product Design

Waste Plastic Filaments

Accomplishments (1)

DesRes: Best Research Presentation (professional)


Education (2)

Loughborough University: PhD 2015

Enhancing New Product Development in Low Income Economies

Loughborough University: BA, Industrial Design and Technology 2010

Affiliations (3)

  • Institute of Engineering Designers : Member
  • Design Research Society : Member
  • Royal Society of Arts : Member

Research Grants (3)

Circular Plastic: Utilising frontier technology and user-centred design to add value to plastic waste, facilitating entrepreneurship

EPSRC - GCRF $150,000


Digital Innovations for Transitioning to a Circular plastic Economy - (DITCh Plastic)

EPSRC - GCRF $148,738


Circular Digital Manufacturing: A toolkit to disseminate a circular economy approach to 3D Printing with plastic waste in Kenya and surrounding African countries

GCRF Institutional Block Grant $42,333


Articles (5)

Bottle house: utilising appreciative inquiry to develop a user acceptance model

Built Environment Project and Asset Management

This paper develops a novel user-acceptance model for circular solutions to housing design. The model has been systematically developed from a case study of an upcycled plastic bottle building in a low-income community in Nigeria. It is common practice to use participatory approaches to consult end users in communities, typically after design concepts have been proposed and conceptualised.

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Sustainable transformation of low-income communities: multidisciplinary approach to scalable solutions

World Journal of Science, Technology and Sustainable Development

These goals highlight the need for a radical transformation of low-income communities in the least developed countries. The issue extols the virtue of approaching the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) from the inter-and transdisciplinary perspectives approach for a holistic solution to sustainable development challenges in low-income countries.

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Local or Global? Approaches for New Product Development in Low Income Countries

The Design Journal

To increase opportunity and quality of life for people living in poverty, governments and non-government organizations (NGOs) sell products to low-income countries. These are typically products that can make fundamental changes to the quality of life such as water filters and solar lighting. However, there has been limited research to support the new product development (NPD) process for this unique category of products which has led to instances of sub-optimal solutions.

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Recycling of plastics for low cost construction


The impact of waste plastics has been a key part of the environmental discourse in recent years and prominent environmentalists/sustainable development scholars have called for urgent action. This article discusses some of the innovative ways plastics have been used in low cost construction in Low and Middle Income Countries (LMICs). It highlights the main benefits of using plastics in construction as well as identifies current gaps in the literature. Utilising plastics for low cost construction has implications for sustainable waste management and adequate housing in Low and Middle Income Communities of LMICs.

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Bottle house: A case study of transdisciplinary research for tackling global challenges

Habitat International

Globalisation has brought a number of challenges to the fore, particularly those problems which require collaboration, innovation and capability development between nations. There are some complex issues piquing the attention of researchers with respect to sustainable development, such as, waste management, climate change, and access to amenities, housing or education. Non-Governmental Organisations, Institutions, governments and others working in the field of international development have been grappling with these difficulties for decades.

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