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Professor Christopher Francis Earl

Profile summary

  • Other Visitor Type
  • Emeritus Professor
  • Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics
  • School of Engineering & Innovation
  • c.f.earl

Professional biography

Professor of Design, Open University 2000-Present (Emeritus from 2015)

Newcastle University, Engineering Design Centre and Faculty of Engineering 1991-2000

Bristol Polytechnic, Faculty of Engineering 1985-1990

PhD Open University, Design 1981

Research in Design, CAD, Robotics and Manufacturing Systems (with RC and EC funding) and currently in Design Computation and Design Processes.

Teaching in Design, Manufacturing Systems and Engineering, developing UG degree and MSc programmes including Production chair T317 Innovation: design for change.

Administrative duties included Head of Department Design and Innovation (2003-06), and Dean Faculty of Mathematics, Computing and Technology (2006-10), member of Senate and Council, Chair of OU REF 2014 submission in Art and Design.

Research interests

Current research projects focus on shape and design descriptions, especially issues of computability.

Recent projects include CoI on EPRSC, 'Embedding design descriptions', 2015-17 at Leeds University (Schools of Mechanical Engineering, Computing and Business), continuing EPSRC funding ('Ensuring the quality of design descriptions', £1.1M) at Leeds 2018-2021 

Associated work includes research and PhD supervisions  in Design Processes (based on industry cases in engineering design), Design Computation (including computational rules as tools in jewellery design and making schemas for design exploration of kinematic designs) and wider issues in design including  policy and power.

Research Activity

Research groups

NameTypeParent Unit
Design Group: Design InnovationGroupFaculty of Mathematics, Computing and Technology
Design Group: Design TransformationsGroupFaculty of Mathematics, Computing and Technology

Publications

Testing in the incremental design and development of complex products (2018-08-06)
Tahera, Khadija; Wynn, David C.; Earl, Chris and Eckert, Claudia M.
Research in Engineering Design ((Early Access))
[Obituary] Lionel March: Sharing ideas through research (2018-07-01)
Earl, Chris
Environment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science, 45(4) (598 -600)
Exploiting lattice structures in shape grammar implementations (2018-05)
Chau, Hau Hing; McKay, Alison; Earl, Christopher F.; Behera, Amar Kumar and de Pennington, Alan
Artificial Intelligence for Engineering Design, Analysis and Manufacturing, 32(2) (pp. 147-161)
A Method for Improving Overlapping of Testing and Design (2017-05)
Tahera, Khadija; Earl, Chris and Eckert, Claudia
IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, 64(2) (pp. 179-192)
[Book Review] Adam Sharr and Stephen Thornton, Demolishing Whitehall: Leslie Martin, Harold Wilson and the architecture of white heat. Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate, 2013 (2017)
Earl, Chris
Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, 44(1) (pp. 180-181)
Pinwheel patterns: from 2D to 3D schemas (2015-12-01)
Earl, Christopher F. and Jowers, Iestyn
Nexus Network Journal, 17(3) (pp. 899-912)
Extending the algebras of design (2015-12)
Jowers, Iestyn and Earl, Christopher
Nexus Network Journal, 17(3) (pp. 947-962)
Exploratory making: Shape, structure and motion (2015-11-01)
Harrison, Laura; Earl, Christopher and Eckert, Claudia
Design Studies, 41(A) (pp. 51-78)
Integrating virtual and physical testing to accelerate the engineering product development process (2014)
Tahera, Khadija; Earl, Christopher and Eckert, Claudia
International Journal of Information Technology and Management, 13(2/3) (pp. 154-175)
Formality in design communication (2013-05)
Eckert, Claudia; Stacey, Martin and Earl, Christopher
Artificial Intelligence for Engineering Design, Analysis and Manufacturing, 27(2) (pp. 91-103)
Sketching across design domains: roles and formalities (2012-08)
Eckert, Claudia; Blackwell, Alan; Stacey, Martin; Earl, Christopher and Church, Luke
Artificial Intelligence for Engineering Design, Analysis and Manufacturing, 26(3) (pp. 245-266)
Implementation of curved shape grammars (2011)
Jowers, Iestyn and Earl, Christopher
Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, 38(4) (pp. 616-635)
Shared conversations across design (2010)
Eckert, C. M.; Blackwell, A. F.; Bucciarelli, L. L. and Earl, C. F.
Design Issues, 26(3) (pp. 27-39)
The construction of curved shapes (2010)
Jowers, Iestyn and Earl, Christopher
Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, 37(1) (pp. 42-58)
Witnesses to design: A phenomenology of comparative design (2009-02)
Blackwell, A. D; Eckert, C. M.; Bucciarelli, L. L and Earl, C. F.
Design Issues, 25(1) (pp. 36-47)
Optimal empty vehicle repositioning and fleet-sizing for two-depot service systems (2008)
Song, Dong-Ping and Earl, Christopher F.
European Journal of Operational Research, 185(2) (pp. 760-777)
Dynamic scheduling for complex engineer-to-order products (2007-08)
Hicks, C.; Song, D. P. and Earl, C. F.
International Journal of Production Research, 45(15) (pp. 3477-3503)
Supporting change processes in design: Complexity, prediction and reliability (2006-12)
Eckert, Claudia M.; Keller, Rene; Earl, Chris and Clarkson, P. John
Reliability Engineering and System Safety, 91(12) (pp. 1521-1534)
An ordinal optimization based evolution strategy to schedule complex make-to-order products (2006-11-15)
Hicks, Christian; Song, Dong-Ping and Earl, Christopher F.
International Journal of Production Research, 44(22) (pp. 4877-4895)
Shape exploration of designs in a style: toward generation of product designs (2006-06)
Prats, M.; Earl, C.; Garner, S. and Jowers, Iestyn
Artificial Intelligence for Engineering Design, Analysis and Manufacturing, 20(3) (pp. 201-215)
Product due date assignment for complex assemblies (2002-04-11)
Song, D.P.; Hicks, C. and Earl, C.F.
International Journal of Production Economics, 76(3) (pp. 243-256)
Stage due date planning for multistage assembly systems (2001-06-15)
Song, D.P.; Earl, C.F. and Hicks, C.
International Journal of Production Research, 39(9) (pp. 1943-1954)
Setting planned job release times in stochastic assembly systems with resource constraints (2001-04-15)
Song, Dongping; Hicks, C. and Earl, C.F.
International Journal of Production Research, 39(6) (pp. 1289-1301)
A Typology of UK Engineer-to-Order Companies (2001-04-01)
Hicks, Chris; McGovern, Tom and Earl, Chris F.
International Journal of Logistics: research and applications, 4(1) (pp. 43-56)
Visual Structures of Embedded Shapes (2018)
Jowers, Iestyn and Earl, Chris
In: Lee, Ji-Hyun ed. Computational Studies on Cultural Variation and Heredity. KAIST Research Series (pp. 175-187)
ISBN : 978-981-10-8189-7 | Publisher : Springer
Shape computations without compositions (2017)
Jowers, Iestyn; Earl, Chris and Stiny, George
In: Çağdaş, G.; Özkar, M.; Gül, L. F. and Gürer, E. eds. Computer-Aided Architectural Design. Future Trajectories. 17th International Conference, CAAD Futures 2017, Istanbul, Turkey, July 12-14, 2017, Selected Papers (pp. 348-365)
ISBN : 978-981-10-5197-5 | Publisher : Springer
Design synthesis and shape generation (2010-01)
McKay, Alison; Chase, Scott; Garner, Steven; Jowers, Iestyn; Prats, Miquel; Hogg, David; Chau, Hau Hing; de Pennington, Alan; Earl, Christopher and Lim, Sungwoo
In: Inns, Tom ed. Designing for the 21st Century (pp. 304-321)
ISBN : 978-1-4094-0240-4 | Publisher : Ashgate Publishing Ltd
From Ronchamp by sledge: on the pragmatics of object references (2009-06-24)
Stavey, M.K.; Eckert, Claudia and Earl, Christopher
In: McDonnell, Janet and Lloyd, Peter eds. About designing: analysing design meetings (pp. 360-379)
ISBN : 9780415440585 | Publisher : CRC Press | Published : London
Exploration through drawings in the conceptual stages of product design (2006)
Prats, Miquel and Earl, C.F.
In: Gero, J. ed. Design Computing and Cognition (pp. 83-102)
ISBN : 9781402051302 | Publisher : Springer
References to past designs (2005-10)
Eckert, Claudia; Stacey, Martin and Earl, Christopher
In: Gero, J. S. and Bonnardel, N. eds. Studying Designers '05 (pp. 3-21)
ISBN : 1 86487 743 X | Publisher : Key Centre of Design Computing and Cognition | Published : Sydney, Australia
Complexity (2005)
Earl, Chris; Johnson, Jeffrey and Eckert, Claudia
In: Clarkson, John and Eckert, Claudia eds. Design Process Improvement: A Review Of Current Practice (pp. 174-197)
ISBN : 185233701X | Publisher : Springer Science + Business Media | Published : London, U.K.
Complexity (2005)
Earl, Chris; Johnson, Jeffrey and Eckert, Claudia
In: Clarkson, John and Eckert, Claudia eds. Design process improvement: a review of current practice. Springer Science+Business (pp. 174-197)
ISBN : 1-85233-701-X | Publisher : Springer Verlag | Published : London, UK
Predictability of change in engineering: A complexity view (2005)
Eckert, C.M.; Earl, C.E. and Clarkson, P.J.
In: Design Engineering Division, ASME and Computers and Information in Engineering Division, ASME eds. 17th International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology (pp. 341-350)
ISBN : 9780791847428 | Publisher : American Society of Mechanical Engineers | Published : New York
Complexity of planning in design (2005)
Earl, Christopher; Eckert, Claudia and Johnson, Jeffrey
In: Tumer, Irem Y.; Hayes, Caroline and Gupta, S. K. eds. Proceedings of the 2001 ASME Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
ISBN : 9780791847381 | Publisher : American Society of Mechanical Engineers | Published : New York
Planning complex engineer-to-order products (2003-03-01)
Earl, Christopher; Song, Dong Ping and Hicks, Christian
In: Gogu, Grigore; Coutellier, Daniel; Chedmail, Patrick and Ray, Pascal eds. Recent Advances in Integrated Design and Manufacturing in Mechanical Engineering (pp. 463-472)
ISBN : 1402011636 | Publisher : Kluwer | Published : Dordecht, Netherlands
Structures in shapes: a perspective from rules and embedding (2017)
Jowers, Iestyn and Earl, Christopher
In : Cultural DNA Workshop 2017 (13 Jan 2017, KAIST Graduate School of Culture Technology)
Incommensurable design descriptions (2017)
Jowers, Iestyn and Earl, Christopher
In : Creative Design and Advanced Manufacturing: An emerging application area for Signals and Systems (2 Sep 2017, 2017 25th European Signal Processing Conference (EUSIPCO), Kos, Greece)
Don’t Look Back: The Paradoxical Role of Recording in the Fashion Design Process (2016-06)
McGilp, H.; Eckert, C. and Earl, C.
In : DRS2016: Design + Research + Society - Future-Focused Thinking (27-30 Jun 2016, Brighton) (pp. 2521-2534)
Design as analysis: examining the use of precedents in parliamentary debate (2016-06)
Umney, Darren; Earl, Christopher and Lloyd, Peter
In : DRS2016: Design + Research + Society - Future-Focused Thinking (27-30 Jun 2016, Brighton)
Understanding the relationship between design margins and trade-offs (2016-05-12)
Lebjioui, S.; Eckert, C. M. and Earl, C.
In : DESIGN 2016 14th International Design Conference (13-16 May 2016, Cavtat, Croatia) (pp. 1515-1522)
Towards product platform introduction: optimising commonality of components (2015-07-27)
Zapico, Miguel; Eckert, Claudia; Jowers, Iestyn and Earl, Christopher
In : 20th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 2015) (27-30 Jul 2015, Milan)
Highlighting the importance of testing in the product development process (2015-07-27)
Tahera, Khadija; Eckert, Claudia and Earl, Christopher
In : 20th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 2015) (27-30 Jul 2015, Milan)
Design margins as a key to understanding design iteration (2014-08-17)
Eckert, Claudia; Isaksson, Ola and Earl, Christopher
In : 2nd Biennial International Conference on Dynamics for Design; 26th International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology (IDETC/CIE 2014) (17-20 Aug 2014, Buffalo, New York, USA)
Improving overlapping between testing and design in engineering product development processes (2013-08)
Tahera, Khadija; Earl, Chris F. and Eckert, Claudia
In : ASME 2013 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences (IDETC) and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference (CIE) (4-7 Aug 2013, Portland, Oregon, USA)
Optimizing overlap between testing and design in engineering product development processes (2013-03-11)
Tahera, Khadija; Eckert, Claudia and Earl, Christopher
In : 23rd CIRP Design Conference (14-15 Mar 2013, Bochum, Germany) (pp. 201-210)
Components margins through the product lifecycle (2013)
Eckert, Claudia; Earl, Christopher; Lebjioui, Safaa and Isaksson, Ola
In : Product Lifecycle Management for Society (5-7 Jul 2013, Nantes) (pp. 39-47)
Integrating physical and virtual testing to improve confidence in product design (2012-11-29)
Tahera, K.; Earl, C. and Eckert, C.
In : Workshop on Modelling and Management of Engineering Processes (29-30 Nov 2012, Trinity College, University of Cambridge)
The role of testing in the engineering product development process (2012-05-07)
Tahera, Khadija; Earl, Christopher and Eckert, Claudia
In : Proceedings of TMCE 2012 (7-11 May 2012, Karlsruhe, Germany)
Product property margins: an underlying critical problem of engineering design (2012-05)
Eckert, Claudia; Isaksson, Ola and Earl, Christopher
In : 9th International Symposium on Tools and Methods of Competitive Engineering (TMCE 2012) (7-11 May 2012, Karlsruhe) (pp. 1027-1040)
Supply chain collaboration under uncertainty (2012)
Hasan, Saad; Eckert, Claudia and Earl, Chris
In : 21st Annual IPSERA Conference: Purchasing & Supply Management in a Changing World (1-4 Apr 2012, Naples, Italy)
Shape interpretation with design computing (2012)
Jowers, Iestyn and Earl, Chris
In : Fifth International Conference on Design Computing and Cognition (DDC'12): Bringing Artificial Intelligence, Cognitive Science and Computational Theories to Design Research (7-9 Jun 2012, Bryan, TX, USA)
Line and plane to solid: analyzing their use in design practice through shape rules (2011)
Paterson, Gareth and Earl, Chris
In : International Conference on Design Computing and Cognition (10-14 Jul 2010, Stuttgart) (pp. 251-267)
Strategic, tactical decisions and information in Rapid Manufacturing supply chain (2011)
Hasan, S.; Eckert, C. M. and Earl, C. F.
In : Twelfth National Conference on Rapid Design, Prototyping and Manufacturing (17 Jun 2011, Lancaster, UK)
From ronchamp by sledge: on the pragmatics of object references (2007)
Stacey, M. K.; Eckert, C. M. and Earl, C.
In : Proceedings of the Seventh Design Thinking Research Symposium (DTRS'07) (19-21 Sep 2007, London, UK)
Multimodality through physical digital design (2007)
Paterson, Gareth; Garner, Steven and Earl, Christopher
In : International Association of Societies of Design Research (12-15 Nov 2007, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University)
Comparative study of design: application to Engineering Design (2005-08-15)
Earl, C.; Eckert, C.; Bucciarelli, L.; Whitney, D.; Knight, T.; Stacey, M.; Blackwell, A.; Macmillan, S. and Clarkson, P. J.
In : 15th International Conference in Engineering Design, ICED 2005 (15-18 Aug, Melbourne, Australia)
Risk across design domains (2005)
Eckert, Claudia; Earl, Christopher; Stacey, Martin; Bucciarelli, Louis L. and Clarkson, P. John
In : 15th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED05) (15-18 Aug 2005, Melbourne, Australia)
Design change and complexity (2005)
Earl, Chris; Eckert, Claudia and Clarkson, John
In : 2nd Workshop on Complexity in Design and Engineering (Mar 2005, University of Glasgow, UK)
Complexity models in design (2004)
Earl, C.; Eckert, C. and Johnson, J.
In : International Design Conference - Design 2004 (18-21 May 2004, Dubrovnik, Croatia) (pp. 163-168)
What designers think we need to know about their processes: early results from a comparative study (2004)
Eckert, Claudia; Blackwell, B. D.; Bucciarelli, L. L.; Clarkson, P. J.; Earl, Christopher; Knight, T. W.; Macmillan, S.; Stacey, M. K and Whitney, D. E.
In : Proceedings of Design 2004, 8th International Design Conference (18-21 May 2004, Dubrovnik - Cavtat, Croatia)
Sketching across design domains (2004)
Eckert, Claudia; Blackwell, A. D.; Stacey, M. K. and Earl, Christopher
In : Visual and Spatial Reasoning in Design (22-23 Jul 2003, University of Sydney, Cambridge, MA, USA)
On curves and computation with shapes (2004)
Jowers, Iestyn; Prats, Miquel; Earl, Christopher and Garner, Steven
In : Generative CAD Systems Symposium: G-CADS 2004 (12-14 Jul 2004, Pittsburgh, PA) (pp. 439-457)
Ambiguity is a double-edged sword: similarity references in communication (2003-08)
Eckert, Claudia; Stacey, Martin and Earl, Christopher
In : Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED'03) (19-21 Aug 2003, Stockholm, Sweden)
A methodology for comparing design processes (2003)
Stacey, M. K.; Earl, Christopher; Eckert, Claudia and O'Donovan, B. D.
In : Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED'03) (19-21 Aug 2003, Stockholm, Sweden)
The structure of similarity in design (2002)
Earl, C. F. and Eckert, C. M.
In : Engineering Design Conference (EDC 2002) (9-11 Jul 2002, London, UK) (pp. 527-536)
Perspectives on similarity in design (2002)
Eckert, C. M. and Earl, C. F.
In : 7th International Design Conference (Design 2002) (14-17 May 2002, Dubrovnik, Croatia) (pp. 131-136)
Complexity in planning design processes (2001)
Earl, C. F.; Eckert, C. M. and Johnson, J.
In : Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Engineering Design: Design Research – Theories, Methodologies and Product Modelling (ICED'01) (21-23 Aug 2001, Glasgow, UK) (pp. 149-156)

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