Dr Debra Lilley

Pronouns: She/her
  • Senior Lecturer in Design

Research groups and centres

Debra is a Senior Lecturer in Design at Loughborough Design School, Loughborough University. Debra has an MRes in Innovative Manufacturing, Sustainability and Design and completed the 1st UK PhD in Design for Sustainable Behaviour, an emerging field of research seeking to reduce the environmental and social impacts of products by moderating users’ interaction with them. Debra’s research focuses on the intersection of material change (how materials change through time and use) and design for behaviour change (how we can influence people's relationships with products, and the materials embodied within them) in the context of the circular economy.

Debra's research focuses on the intersection of material change and behaviour change within the context of the circular economy. She was Co-Investigator on ENDURE: ENabling Designers to Understand mateRial change, CLEVER: Closed Loop Emotionally Valuable E-waste Recovery EP/K026380/1) and CORE: Creative Outreach for Resource Efficiency (EP/K026429/1). All of which were funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC, UK). Debra is currently exploring the nexus between human and material ageing and the resulting impacts on well-being and consumption in collaboration with the London College of Fashion, UAL (Objects of Ageing), consumers perceptions of novel bio-based materials with Newcastle University (Biomaterial Interactions) and Design for Sustainable Behaviour with Electrolux and the Federal University of Parana, Brazil.

Debra is a fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA). Debra leads teaching on design research, sustainable design and design for behaviour change on the MA User Experience and Service Design, MSc User Experience, MSc Integrated Industrial Design and BA Design programmes.

Debra also leads our Industry Project module in which our masters students work collectively on a business-oriented challenge with an industrial collaborator.

Debra is the Outreach and Engagement Officer for the School of Design and Creative Arts. This role involves working directly with schools and museums to provide talks, workshops, learning activities and teaching materials. Debra supports the annual Athena STEM and Realising Opportunities events and has produced 'Subject in a Box' resources for use in schools. You can view these resources here.

Debra mainly supervises PhD's in the areas of: design for behaviour change / design for sustainable behaviour (applied in a range of contexts including food, energy, waste and transport) and material change.