Imperial College London

Founding Head of the Dyson School of Design Engineering finishes his term


Professor Peter Childs Founding Head of the Dyson School of Design Engineering

Renowned Design Engineer Professor Peter Childs recently completed his term as the Founding Head of the Dyson School of Design Engineering.

Professor Peter Childs, a newly elected Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, has been at the forefront of Design Engineering at Imperial since joining the Department of Mechanical Engineering in 2008. 

He was later instrumental in the establishment of the Dyson School of Design Engineering. In 2013, he pitched the idea to entrepreneur James Dyson and brought the Dyson Foundation on board to partner with Imperial in setting up the School.

Seven years later, the School now has over 550 students and staff, a state of the art building, research labs and workshop, and recently celebrated the graduation of the first cohort of MEng Design Engineering students.

Reflecting on his time as Head of the School, Professor Childs said: “The last six years have been incredible, from buying the old Post Office, getting planning permission and seeing the build through.”

“The highlights have to be moving in, making offers to the first applicants and staff and meeting the first cohort in 2015, seeing the MEng Design Engineering students go through every step of the new curriculum and graduating in October 2019, PhD student Pan Wang winning her Design Society distinguished paper award and of course seeing the incredible projects from the masters students.”

Professor Childs will continue his role as Professorial Lead in Engineering Design and Professor at Large on the Innovation Design Engineering double master’s programme (IDE), a joint degree ran in collaboration with the Royal College of Art.

“I’m looking forward to having more time to work on the emerging domain of Design Engineering, and engaging in research on new aircraft morphologies and associated mobility paradigms.”

“The School is going from strength to strength and each term you can see major improvements. The School is, in my view, just going to get better and better.”

“I am going to enjoy being part of the School going forward and know that the new Head of School Professor Peter Cheung, and colleagues are absolutely the right people, in the right place, at the right time.”

“Design is about the transformation of an existing state to a preferred state. While we know that design engineering cannot save the world, its practice can certainly make the world a better place.”

The Faculty would like to take the opportunity to thank Professor Childs for the leadership and vision he brought to the School during this crucial time.


Rachel Harvey

Rachel Harvey

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