Professor Dirk Schaefer holds the Chair in Industrial Design at the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom (UK). He is an international thought leader in Cloud-Based Design and Technology for Digital Manufacturing, spearheading research on Cloud-based Design and Manufacturing (CBDM) and Social Product Development (SPD) in the context of Industry 4.0.
Previously, Professor Schaefer held academic positions at the University of Bath (UK), the Georgia Institute of Technology (United States), and the University of Durham (UK). He earned a PhD in Computer Science (Dr. rer. nat.) with a focus on Computer-aided Product Development Systems from the University of Stuttgart (Germany), a MS in Mathematics (Dipl.-Math.) with a focus on Computer-Aided Geometric Design from the University of Duisburg (Germany), and an Advanced College Certificate in Mechanical Engineering. Professor Schaefer started his career as a toolmaker with one of Germany’s leading metal forming companies, where he specialised in CNC machining and the design and manufacture of compound tool sets for knuckle joint presses. In addition, he worked as a Software Engineer developing CAD technology for an international Civil Engineering company and as a consultant to industry.
Professor Schaefer is the Director of the Systems Realization Laboratory at the University of Liverpool (SRL@UoL), which is part of a larger International Systems Realization Partnership (ISRP) that also comprises the Systems Realization Laboratory at the University of Oklahoma (USA), the Systems Realization Laboratory at the University of Buffalo (USA), the Institute for Industrial Engineering at Beijing Institute of Technology (China), and the Design Engineering Laboratory at Purdue University (USA). The ISRP network partners focus on fundamental research on knowledge-based platforms for decision support in the design of engineering systems.
Prof. Schaefer has served as a reviewer for more than 50 international academic journals and many national and international funding organisations. His accomplishments comprise more than 175 technical publications, including ten books. He has delivered more than 110 talks at events all over the world and supervised more than 125 students on PhD, MS, BS and other research and development projects.
Prof. Schaefer is a registered Professional Engineer in Europe (Eur Ing), a Chartered Engineer (CEng), Chartered Technological Product Designer (CTPD), Chartered Scientist (CSci), and a Chartered IT-Professional (CITP) in the UK. He is a Fellow of the British Computer Society (FBCS), the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (FIMA), and the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (FRSA). In addition, he is a professional member of the Institution of Engineering Designers (IED), the Design Society (DS), the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE).
Prizes or Honours
- Best Paper Award (The Journal of Manufacturing Systems (JMS), SME, and Elsevier, 2020)
- Best Paper Award (Reviewers Favourite), 2019 International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED) (The Design Society, 2019)
- Excellent Presentation Award, 10th International Conference on Systematic Innovation (ICIS) (International Society of Innovation, 2019)
- Distinguished Visiting Scholar, School of Mechanical Engineering (Beijing Institute of Technology, China, 2019)
- 2017/18 Faculty Learning and Teaching Award “for leadership in planning, orchestrating and delivering excellence in design education” (Faculty of Science and Engineering, University of Liverpool, UK, 2018)
- 2017/18 School of Engineering Recognition Award “for contributions to teaching and learning." (School of Engineering, University of Liverpool, UK, 2018)
- Distinguished Visiting Scholar (June 2018) (Beijing Institute of Technology (BIT), School of Mechanical Engineering, China, 2018)
- Outstanding Contribution in Reviewing Award: Journal of Manufacturing Systems (Elsevier, 2017)
- Outstanding Contribution in Reviewing Award: Journal of Advanced Engineering Infromatics (Elsevier, 2016)
- Outstanding Contribution in Reviewing Award: Journal of Advanced Engineering Informatics (Elsevier, 2014)
- Thank a Teacher Program Award "in appreciation of your advising style and dedication to helping students learn" (Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA, 2013)
- Mechanical Engineer of the Year Award (Atlanta Section) (American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), USA, 2013)
- Excellence in Reviewing Award: Journal of Advanced Engineering Informatics (Elsevier, 2013)
- SAIC Award "for advisement that contributed to student achievement in the SAIC - Georgia Institute of Technology Student Paper Competition for the Paper entitled: A Semantic Association Hardware Acceleration System for Integrated Product Data Management" (Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), Atlanta, GA, USA, 2012)
- Thank a Teacher Program Award "in appreciation of your teaching style and dedication to helping students learn in Mechanical Engineering 6101 and 6102" (Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA, 2012)
- ASEE Annual Conference Best Paper Award (PIC V) (American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), 2010)
- SAIC Award "ffor advisement that contributed to student achievement in the SAIC - Georgia Institute of Technology Student Paper Competition for the Paper entitled: A Framework for Developing a Cohesive Set of Remote Laboratories for Distributed Distance Learning Settings" (Science Application International Corporation, Atlanta, GA, USA, 2009)
- Frontiers of Engineering Education (FOEE) Invited Participant (National Academy of Engineering (NAE), Arlington, VA, USA, 2009)