Dirk Schaefer is a Professor and Chair in Industrial Design at the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom (UK). He previously held academic positions at the University of Bath (UK), the Georgia Institute of Technology (United States), and the University of Durham (UK).
Prof. Schaefer is spearheading internationally leading research on Cloud-based Design and Manufacturing (CBDM) and Social Product Development (SPD) in the context of Industry 4.0. His research group coined the term CBDM, and in 2014 he published the first two books on Cloud-based Design and Manufacturing and Product Development in the Socio-sphere. A third volume in Springer’s Advanced Manufacturing Series, Cybersecurity for Industry 4.0: Analysis for Design and Manufacturing, appeared in 2017.
Prof. Schaefer has more than twenty five years of experience in Computer-aided Engineering, Design and Manufacturing, both in industry and academia. 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) in 2003, a MS in Mathematics (Dipl.-Math.) with a focus on Computer-Aided Geometric Design from the University of Duisburg (Germany) in 1996, and an Advanced College Certificate in Mechanical Engineering in 1992. Prof. 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.
Prof. Schaefer has served as a reviewer for more than 50 international academic journals, national and international funding organisations, and frequently organises conferences in his field. His accomplishments include more than 150 publications in journals, books and conferences. He has delivered more than 100 talks at events all over the world and supervised more than 100 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) and Chartered Technological Product Designer (CTPD) in membership of the Institution of Engineering Designers (IED), a Chartered IT-Professional (CITP) and Fellow of the British Computer Society (FBCS), and a Chartered Scientist (CSci) and Fellow of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (FIMA) in the UK. He also is a member of 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).
Prof. Schaefer’s primary research programme is the Scholarship of Integration. Through his research on product modelling, variant design, design-with-manufacture integration, standardised product data exchange, as well as digital and virtual engineering conducted under this umbrella he has made many contributions to the advancement of Cross-disciplinary Integrated Design of Mechatronic Systems. Since 2011 he has been spearheading research on Cloud-based Design and Manufacturing (CBDM) and Social Product Development (SPD), which are high-impact areas in the context of Industry 4.0 and Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) for Product Creation and Production Engineering. CBDM and SPD are aimed at advancing the democratisation of innovation, design, and manufacture in the globalised interconnected world.
A passionate educator, Prof. Schaefer’s secondary research programme is the Scholarship of Education. Under this umbrella he conducts research on Design and Manufacture Education, Personalised Learning, Virtual and Computer-based Learning Environments for Distance Learning, as well as Professional Faculty Development, Certification and Recognition.
- 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)
- Invited Distinguished Lecture: Frontier Issues in Cloud-Based Design and Manufacturing (Invitation to Speak, Beijing Institute of Technology 2018)
- Invited Keynote: Cloud-Based Design and Manufacturing (CBDM) and Social Product Development (SPD) in the Context of Industry 4.0 (Keynote Speech, International Symposium on Platformization for Decision-Support in Digital Manufacturing, Beijing, China, 2018)
- Invited Keynote: Open Innovation and Sociel Product Development (Keynote Speech, 2018 Future Steel Forum: Industry 4.0 - The Continuing Story, Warsaw, Poland, June 2018 2018)
- Outstanding Contribution in Reviewing Award: Journal of Manufacturing Systems (Elsevier 2017)
- Invited Talk: Industry 4.0 - A Holistic Approach (Invitation to Speak, 2017 Future Steel Forum: Applying Industry 4.0 to the Steel Industry, Warsaw, Poland, June 2017 2017)
- Outstanding Contribution in Reviewing Award: Journal of Advanced Engineering Infromatics (Elsevier 2016)
- Invited Plenary: Cloud Based Design and Manufacturing (CBDM): A New Paradigm for Distributed Collaborative Product Development (Invitation to Speak, 2014 Digital Building Laboratory Symposium, Atlanta, GA, USA, MAy 2014 2014)
- Outstanding Contribution in Reviewing Award: Journal of Advanced Engineering Informatics (Elsevier 2014)
- Invited Talk: Fostering a Culture of Professional Faculty Development and Recognition of Engineering and Engineering Technology Educators (Invitation to Speak, American Society for Engineering International Forum, Atlanta, GA, USA, June 2013 2013)
- 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)
- Invited Distinguished Lecture: Professional Qualification and Recognition for Engineering Educators in the US (Invitation to Speak, American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference, Louisville, KY, USA, June 2010 2010)
- 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)
- Invited Keynote: Perspectives on Engineering Degree Courses in the UK (Keynote Speech, Symposium on the Design of Higher Education Degree Courses, FH Erfurth, Germany, April 2005 2005)
- Invited Talk: Variant Design in Electrical Engineering (Invitation to Speak, International Conference and Research Center for Computer Sciece, Schloss Dagstuhl, Wadern, Germany, November 1998 1998)
- Head of Division in Industrial Design
- Chair - Board of Studies in Industrial Design
- Chair - Curriculum Board and Programme Change Approvals Officer in Industrial Design
- Member: Staff-Student-Liaison Committee (SSLC), Member - Student Experience Committee (SSEC)
- Member - Board of Examiners (BoE), Member - School Scrutiny Panel (SSP)