Conceptual design skills for engineers: Led by Oliver Broadbent

Course / Starts 17 April 2018

3 x 2 hour evening sessions:

Dates: 17 April, 24 April and 01 May 2018

Times: 6.00 – 8.00pm






'Learn to understand and practice the thought process and actions behind great conceptual design’

John Gerrard, Expedition Engineering



Each session provides a model for understanding a different part of the design process together with practical strategies for application back at work.


In the first session we will introduce a common language for describing the design process and look at how this manifests itself in different work contexts and in our daily lives. In session two we will practice techniques for developing and responding to design briefs. In this workshop we will role-play the role of designer and client to get into the mind set of these two roles. We also introduce the design brief the participants will collaborate on in groups. In session three we introduce practical techniques for idea generation and use these in response to the group design brief. This workshop is packed with fun and effective techniques that participants can take away and apply immediately in their work. In the final session we look at the importance of effective modelling and testing for developing appropriate responses to a design brief and use these techniques to hone the group responses to the design brief. We will conclude with an exercise to help us understand our personal approaches to design.


People attending this course will:

  • Explain the design process as a series of discrete steps
  • Describe the characteristics of each of these stages, and how these are characterised in the conceptual design phase of a design project
  • Describe the characteristics of a good design brief, and be able to use these to write their own brief.
  • Describe and use techniques for working with a client to understand their underlying needs
  • Describe and use techniques for idea generation.
  • Describe and use techniques for modelling and testing their ideas.
  • Describe their own preferences for how they carry out design and explain how to make the most of these in a design context.


This course is designed for engineers and other professionals working in the design and construction of the built environment.


Think Up is a design education consultancy specialising in teaching design thinking to students and practising engineers. Think Up’s model for teaching design thinking dates back to the creation of the creative design course at Imperial College in 1999. Since then we have been iteratively developing the approach, with UCL, Yale, Cambridge, Expedition, Arup and now back at Imperial.


Oliver Broadbent is Director of Think Up. Oliver is an expert facilitator in design thinking and training. With a background in civil engineering and teaching, he specialises in design high-impact training that has a lasting effect on the learner. Oliver led the delivery of Think Up’s collaboration with Arup, the Conceptual Design Mastery programme, and he is now working with Imperial College to develop their design teaching thread. Oliver also publishes articles around the themes of effective engineering education, high-impact learning and sustainability.




Engineering Club Members £190.00

non-members £245



If you would like to reserve a place on the new course please contact