Dr Abby Paterson

  • Senior Lecturer in Industrial Design and Technology

Abby specialises in 3D scanning, Computer Aided Design (CAD, particularly Computational Design) and digital, automated fabrication (including CNC milling and Additive Manufacture). She is a module leader on a number of modules in the School which focus on digital data acquisition, design and digital fabrication. In addition to this, Abby has a number of PhD researchers, some industrially sponsored, exploring a wide range of disciplines, from design rules for Additive Manufacture, through to sustainability and product repair using Additive Manufacture.

Having graduated in 2008 in Product Design and Technology (BSc) at Loughborough University, Abby continued her academic career by pursuing a PhD in 3D Scanning, CAD and Additive Manufacture for medical applications, specifically for the fabrication of custom-fitted wrist splints using Additive Manufacture. Upon completion of her PhD research at Loughborough University, she was appointed as a lecturer at the University of Manchester in the School of Materials. There, she gained an appreciation for materials science and metrology, specifically high accuracy imaging of Additive Manufactured materials. She continued her research interests in digital design and fabrication for customisation of consumer and medical devices and returned to the School of Design and Creative Arts as a lecturer in 2014.

In 2017, she successfully secured funding for an industrial fellowship, funded by the Royal Academy of Engineering. Topics of the fellowship drew together Abby’s previous knowledge/skillsets in 3D scanning, CAD, Additive Manufacture and metrology in an industrial context to give industrially relevant teaching material in the School’s undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

In addition to her Fellowship, Abby has received funding from Versus Arthritis to advance her PhD research; the original project focused on the development of specialised 3D CAD software, specifically developed for hand therapists to design splints quickly and efficiently in preparation for Additive Manufacture. The funding has helped accelerate the development of this software, previously a low-fidelity visual prototype, into a fully functional software plugin (available via the University’s Institutional Repository). The project has been evaluated by a number of hand therapists across the UK, demonstrating effective translation of traditional fabrication processes into a digital process.

In addition to Abby’s research interests, she is also passionate about teaching, student engagement, and student/researcher support. Abby is currently the Deputy Director of Doctoral Programmes, and supports the PhD researcher community in the School. In 2015, Abby was awarded A Loughborough university Teaching Innovation Award to explore the use of eye tracking to understand students’ engagement with online learning resources.

Abby also engages with consultancy work through Loughborough University Enterprises Ltd. She has developed a number of algorithms using Computational Design software (specifically Rhinoceros/Grasshopper) to automate complex, iterative and repetitive actions which have helped secure subsequent follow-on consultancy projects with organisations such as Transport for London.


Computational Design; Design for Additive Manufacturing / 3D Printing; advanced Computer-Aided Design; design rules for Additive Manufacturing; specialised modelling strategies; medical applications of Additive Manufacturing; digital design for wearable and custom fitting products; 3D laser scanning; generative algorithms; open-sourcing; Computer Numerical Control (CNC) milling; medical product design.
  • Programme Director for the Design for Additive Manufacture Postgraduate course
  • Module leader for Computer Aided Modelling and Manufacture (DSC025)
  • Module leader for Industrial Design Workshop Skills (DSP855)
  • Tutor on Design Manufacturing Technologies (DSB015/DSB016)
  • Tutor on Design Research (DSC021)
  • Tutor on Final Year Design Practice (DSC026)
  • Tutor for Industrial Design Major Project (DSP859)