Conceptual design skills for engineers: Led by Oliver Broadbent

Course / dates tbc

3 x 2 hour evening sessions:

Dates tbc

Times: 6.00 – 8.00pm






'Something that every Engineer could benefit from and I would highly recommend these sessions. Oliver had a fantastic ability to plant the seeds of understanding during our sessions and supply us with the tools to grow and nurture the foliage of creativity, allowing us to develop a crop of fantastic skills before saddling up the solution rhinoceros and taking him out to pasture’

Fred Hagley, Buro Happold



A new condensed version of the course which runs for three weeks instead of four. The workshop sessions are packed with fun and effective techniques that participants can take away and apply immediately in their work.


Each session provides a model for understanding a different part of the design process.


The course 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. Participants will practice techniques for developing and responding to design briefs through role-play, to understand the thinking of the client. We also look at the purpose of the design brief. The course will introduce practical techniques for ideas generation and how these can be used in response to the design brief. Finally 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 understand our personal approaches to design.


People attending this course will:

  • Understand 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
  • Recognise the characteristics of a good design brief, and be able to use these to write their own briefs.
  • Use techniques for working with a client to understand their underlying needs
  • Discover and use techniques for ideas generation.
  • Describe and use techniques for modelling and testing their ideas.
  • Understand their own preferences for how to carry out design and 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