Dr Steve Summerskill

  • Senior Lecturer
  • Programme Director for Product Design & Technology

Research groups and centres

Steve Summerskill holds a BSc in Industrial Design and Technology, an MSc in Ergonomics and a PhD in Vehicle HMI design, all from Loughborough University. He is a member of Design Ergonomics Research Group.

Following his MSc Steve was a Design Ergonomics Consultant for three years, working with Wincor Nixdorf, Lloyds Bank, and the Dept. of Trade and Industry on various design ergonomics projects. Steve accepted a post as a Research Associate, working with the late Prof. Mark Porter for a period of seven years on projects that applied the combined industrial design and ergonomics skill sets for Honda R&D, Jaguar Landrover and New Balance shoes among others. Steve became a lecturer in 2008 and was promoted to senior lecturer in 2013.

Steve is also the principle design consultant for SAMMIE CAD, applying digital human modelling software to the design of road and rail vehicles, including recent research projects with Nissan TCE, Transport for London and the UK government Department for Transport.

Research Group: Design Ergonomics Group

Since becoming a lecturer Steve has been Principal Investigator and Co-Investigator on the projects with over a million pounds of combined funding. Recent projects include;

  • Principal Investigator. 2014-2015 Transport for London: Modelling HGV blind spots and safety features
  • Principal Investigator. 2013-2014 Transport for London: The design of category N3 vehicles for improved driver direct vision
  • Co- Investigator. 2012-2015 Innovate UK and NISSAN NTCE: Driving Ergonomics for Energy Efficient Light Commercial Vehicles
  • Co-Investigator. 2012-2013 Medical research Council: Improving Safety for Older Public Transport Users

The research projects that Steve has been involved in are focused upon the design and assessment of vehicles, including the design of vehicle occupant packaging (Nissan and SAIC), the design of in vehicle Human Machine interface (Jaguar Landrover, Nissan NTCE and Honda R&D UK) the design of future vehicle concepts (Transport for London) and the assessment of vehicle blind spots to improve vulnerable road user safety. The later has been a focus of research effort since 2010, with an initial project performed with the UK Government Department for Transport. This project led to the identification of a vehicle blind spot that is consistent across Category N3 HGV’s. Steve presented the outcomes of the research project to United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) general safety committee acting as the UK expert, and supported the DfT in proposing the revision to UNECE regulation 46. The revision suggested the redesign of the ‘Class V’ mirror. The revision was made in July of 2015 with all new vehicles in Europe being required to meet the new standard. This work directly led to Steve and Dr Russell Marshall being commissioned by Transport for London to examine the potential for future vehicles to be redesigned to avoid blind spots, and to quantify the size and location of blind spots in existing vehicles for the top selling manufacturers. This resulted in 19 vehicles being modelled in the SAMMIE DHM system, with the analysis results being used to influence the configuration and design of vehicles which are used in London.

The skill sets and LDS facilities that enable the research projects performed by Steve include;

  • SAMMIE CAD Digital Human Modelling developed at Loughborough University
  • STISIM – driving simulator owned and operated by the LDS Design Ergonomics Research Group
  • SMI iView X Eye tracking goggles
  • Teck scan pressure measurement system

Steve is the principal consultant of SAMMIE CAD Ltd, the spin out company that manages the SAMMIE digital human modelling system. Initially developed by Professor Keith Case at Nottingham University and then at Loughborough in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering. Since 1999 development and exploitation has been performed in collaboration with Dr Russell Marshall in the Design School.

SAMMIE is the embodiment of ongoing research into anthropometry, digital human modelling, ergonomics, workplace and product design, biomechanical analysis, vision assessment, and universal design. SAMMIE research includes specific support for a number of research projects performed with the DfT, TfL, RSSB and others.

SAMMIE has been used in over 100 commercial ergonomics projects by SAMMIE CAD Ltd alone. SAMMIE has also been purchased and used by International companies such as CCD Ergonomics, TRL, TfL RSSB, Rolls Royce, Institute of Naval Medicine, National Air Traffic Services, and the Indian Defence Institute. It has also been used for research and teaching at Universities in Loughborough, Warsaw, Lisbon, Botswana, Ryerson - Toronto, California, NTUST - Taiwan, and UCS Brazil.


Automotive Human Machine Interface design and evaluation; Digital human modelling in the design and assessment of vehicles; Computer Aided Design; Qualitative and quantitative research methods; Eye tracking techniques; The use of driving simulation in product testing.

Programme Director for BSc Design Ergonomics (in collaboration with Dr Russell Marshall).

  • DSC017 Computer Aided Ergonomics - Module Leader
  • DSC026 Final Year Design Practice - Module Leader
  • DSB018 Design Ergonomics Practice - Module Leader
  • DSC005 Live Projects - Module Leader
  • 15DSC029 Final Year Design Ergonomics Practice: Prototyping and Evaluation - Module Leader
  • Erasmus Final Year Project - Module Leader