Design School

School staff

Dr George Torrens

Photo of Dr George Torrens

Senior Lecturer

George Torrens has been a practicing Industrial designer for the last 30 years. He had undertaken a four year course in Design For Industry at Newcastle Polytechnic (now known as the University of Northumbria), prior to which he served a four-year apprenticeship at Bristish Nuclear Fuels Limted, Windscale and a one year arts and crafts foundation course at Carlisle College of Art and Design.

He has undertaken research and design development projects for charitable and commercial organisations, as well as the United Kingdom Government. George has been the named inventor on four patent applications, with two GB and one US patents granted. He has been an invited speaker to present on issues relating to Inclusive design and design ergonomics at National and International Conferences. He has also been a panellist reviewing short listed proposals for the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council as well as the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council. George regularly reviews papers for eight academic journals.

George was the founding member of a University spin-out Company, Dexterity Research Limited, which was the first University spin-out company to win a DTI SMART Award. He was a Director and shareholder between 2000-2003. George currently advises inventors on their designs through the East Midlands Development Agency and The Nottinghamshire Business Venture Trust. In 2009 he was awarded funding by the Audi Design Foundation to develop the his patented fit-splint, an innovative new method of fracture support for the wrist.

Module Leader

  • DTA109 Industrial design studies 1
  • DTB002 Universal design
  • DTC013 Universal design
  • DTP853 Inclusive design

Support tutor

  • DTA003 Design context
  • DTC003 Industrial design studies 3
  • DTC015 Final year design practice
  • SAP101 Visual thinking and communication
  • DTZ001 2D and 3D Visualisation

PhD Supervisor

  • Department co-ordinator DANS
  • Personal Tutor

Research group: Design Practice.

  • Member of the Design Research Society
  • Founding member of the British Institute for Design and Disability
  • Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce
  • Member of the European Academy of Design
  • Associate member of the Ergonomics Society
  • Associate member of the Society for Research in Rehabilitation

Principle research interests and activities

  • Development of design methods and design for manufacture leading to enhanced innovation within the field universal and inclusive design
  • Development of methods and tools for user-centred research and the validation of product design within inclusive and universal design
  • Enhancing knowledge of the physical interaction between people and objects
  • A better understanding of human responses to external stimuli and their application within product design
  • Torrens GE, Newton H, Getting the Most from Working with Higher Education: A review of methods used within a participatory design activity involving KS3 special school pupils and undergraduate and post-graduate industrial design students. Design and Technology Education: an international journal, Volume 18, Issue 1, Pp. 58-71, Publication date 15 Feb 2013, eISSN 2040-8633

  • Torrens GE, Smith NCS, Evaluation of an assistive technology product design using a paired comparisons method within a mixed methods approach: a case study evaluating preferences for four types of cutlery with 34 upper limb impaired participants, Journal Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, Volume 8, Issue 1, Pp. 8 pages, Publication date 15 Nov 2012, DOI 10.3109/17483107.2012.735746, ISSN 1748-3107, eISSN 1748-3115

  • Torrens GE, Campbell RI, Tutton W, Design issues in military footwear and handwear, Editors Sparks E, Chapter number 7, Book title Advances in Military Textiles and Personal Equipment, Pp. 139-164, Publication date 26 Jul 2012

  • Torrens, G.E., Black, K., 2010, Chapter 6, Equipment design in Inclusive physical activity and sport, Design for Sport, Gower Press, London

  • Black, K., Williamson, D., Torrens, G.E., 2010, Chapter 7, Inclusive game design: Case study, Participatory design: describing an undergraduate interactive inclusive design project, Design for Sport, Gower Press, London

  • Torrens, G.E., 2004, Future Concepts in Hand wear and Footwear (FCHF), Final Report for the Defence Logistics Organisation, MOD, Loughborough University, Loughborough

  • Torrens G.E., 2001, Hand Data Deployment, Final Report for the Defence Logistics Organisation, MOD, Loughborough University, Loughborough