Professor Peter Childs
School of Design
Joint Course Director (Imperial College London)
- Innovation Design Engineering
Peter Childs is Joint Head of the Innovation Design Engineering (IDE) programme run by the Royal College of Art and Imperial College London, and Head of the Dyson School of Design Engineering and the Professorial Lead in Engineering Design at Imperial. He was previously director of the Rolls-Royce supported University Technology Centre for Aero-Thermal Systems, director of InQbate and professor at the University of Sussex.
Peter Childs began his career as a locksmith. In 1984–87 he completed a BSc in Mechanical Engineering and then became a Research Officer and Research Fellow at the University of Sussex. From 1989 to 1995 he worked with Llama Linda Ltd in Peru. Peter Childs has been a Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Reader and Professor of Engineering Design from 1994 to 2008 at the University of Sussex, where he was also Director of the Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre in Aero-Thermal Systems and Director of InQbate, the Centre of Excellence in Creativity. He joined Imperial in 2008 as the Professorial Lead in Engineering Design in the Faculty of Engineering and became the first Head of School in the Dyson School of Design Engineering in 2015.Show more
He was the Chairman of the South Eastern Region of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers for three years. In 1999 he was the winner of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) International Gas Turbine Institute John P. Davis Award for exceptional contributions to the literature of gas turbine technology. More recently in 2004 Peter won an Institution of Mechanical Engineers best paper award and a ASME best paper award in 2010 and a Design 2014 Outstanding Paper Award. In 2007 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts and a Fellow of ASME in 2010 and is also a fellow of the IMechE. He has been appointed by the People's Republic of China under Programme 111 and is a regular keynote speaker at international conferences.
Peter Childs's general interests include: creativity tools and innovation; design process and design rationale; fluid flow and heat transfer, particularly rotating flow and flow system design for gas turbine engine applications; sustainable energy component, concept and system design. He has contributed to over 160 refereed papers since completion of his doctorate in 1991, several books including the handbook of mechanical design engineering and monographs on temperature measurement and rotating flow. He is a director at Q-Bot Ltd and several start-ups and SMEs.
Peter Childs has been involved in research and development contracts for Alstom, Ford, Rolls-Royce plc, Snecma, Daimler Chrysler, MTU, Volvo, Johnson Matthey, Siemens, Industriales Turbinas Propulsores, Fiat, Airbus, Ricardo Consulting Engineers, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the EU, as well as a number of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and has been Principal or Co-investigator on contracts totalling over £30 million.
Publications, exhibitions and other outcomes
Childs, P.R.N. (2011) Rotating Flow, ElsevierShow more
Childs, P.R.N. and Kai, S.K. (2010) ‘Creativity in the design process in the turbomachinery industry’, Journal of Design Research, 8, 145–64
Childs, P.R.N., McGlashan, N.R., Aurisicchio, M. and Gosling, G. (2010) ‘Linking design, analysis, manufacture and test in the engineering student experience’, in: C. Boks, C. McMahon, W. Ion and B. Parkison (eds), When Design Education and Design Research Meet: 12th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, Trondheim: Norwegian University of Science and Technology, 2–3 September 2010, 210–15
Childs, P.R.N., McGlashan, N.R. and Heyes, A.L. (2010) ‘Power generation with fluid phase chemical looping combustion’, in: The Future of Gas Turbine Technology, 5th International Conference, Brussels, 27–28 October 2010
Childs, P.R.N. and Robb, D.R. (2010) ‘Make, Test’, in: C. Boks, C. McMahon, W. Ion and B. Parkison (eds), When Design Education and Design Research Meet: 12th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, Trondheim: Norwegian University of Science and Technology, 2 –3 September 2010, 174–79
Coren, D., Turner, J., Eastwood, D., Davies, S., Atkins, N., Childs, P.R.N., Dixon, J. and Scanlon, T. (2010) ‘An Advanced Multi-Configuration Turbine Stator Well Cooling Test Facility’, in: ASME
McGlashan, N.R., Childs, P.R.N. and Heyes, A.L. (2010) ‘Chemical looping combustion using the direct combustion of liquid metal in a gas turbine based cycle’, in: ASME
McGlashan, N.R., Childs, P.R.N., Heyes, A.L. and Marquis, A.J. (2010) ‘Producing hydrogen and power using chemical looping combustion and water-gas shift’, Gas Turbines Power, 132, 1–10
Childs, P.R.N., McGlashan, N.R. and Heyes, A.L. (September 2010) ‘Accessing high thermal efficiency power generation using fluid phase chemical looping’, in: Proceedings of the 3rd International Symposium on Jet Propulsion and Power Engineering, Nanging, China
Regan, N., Peng, Z., Atkins, N., Long, C. and Childs, P.R.N. (September 2010) ‘An investigation to oil spray characteristics under cross flow environment of internal air system’, in: Proceedings of the 3rd International Symposium on Jet Propulsion and Power Engineering, Nanging, China
Adams, D., Beniston, L.J. and Childs, P.R.N. (2009) ‘Promoting creativity and innovation in biotechnology’, Trends in Biotechnology, 27, 445–47
Childs, P.R.N. (2009) Labyrinth Seal Flow
Cooke, A.O., Childs, P.R.N., Sayma, A. and Long, C.A. (2009) ‘A disc to air heat flux error and uncertainty analysis as part of the design of a new experimental rig’, Journal of Mechanical Engineering Science, 223 (C), 659–74
Coren, D., Childs, P.R.N. and Long, C.A. (2009) ‘Windage Sources in Smooth Walled Rotating Disc Systems’, Journal of Mechanical Engineering Science, 223, 873–88
Hall, A. and Childs, P.R.N. (2009) ‘Innovation design engineering: Non-linear progressive education for diverse intakes’, in: A. Clarke, B. Ion, C. McMahon and P. Hogarth (eds) Proceedings of the 11th Engineering and Product Design Education International Conference, 10–11 September 2009, 312–17
McGlaschan, N., Childs, P.R.N., Heyes, A.L. and Marquis, A.J. (2009) ‘Producing hydrogen and power using chemical looping combustion and water gas shift’, in: Proceedings of ASME Turbo Expo 2009: Power for Land, Sea and Air, 8–12 June 2009, selected by the Cycle Innovations Committee as a best paper award winner from ASME Turbo Expo 2009
Patounas, D.S., Long, C.A. and Childs, P.R.N. (2009) Disc Heat Transfer in Gas Turbine Compressor Internal Air Systems: 8th European Conference on Turbomachinery, Graz, Austria, 23–27 March 2009, 377–86
Regan, N.J., Atkins, N.R., Long, C.A., Childs, P.R.N., Hutchenson, P. and Hart, K. (2009) ‘An experimental study of sprays in cross flows representative of conditions within gas turbine engine secondary air system’, in: Proceedings of ASME Turbo Expo 2009: Power for Land, Sea and Air, 8–12 June 2009
Robb, D., Flora, H. and Childs, P.R.N. (2009) ‘Sketching to solid modelling skills for mechanical engineers’, in A. Clarke, B. Ion, C. McMahon and P. Hogarth (eds) Proceedings of the 11th Engineering and Product Design Education International Conference, 10–11 September 2009, 275–80
Tsai, S.K. and Childs, P.R.N. (January 2009) ‘TRIZ Incorporating the BRIGHT Process in Design’, The TRIZ Journal
Childs, P.R.N. (2008) ‘People metrics’ and ‘Ethics’, in P. Ball (ed) Assessing Creativity in Design: Emerging Themes for Engineering
Farahani, A. and Childs, P.R.N. (2008) ‘Validation and Comparison of Strip Seal Designs for Gas Turbine Engine Nozzle Guide Vanes’, in: ASME
Hounsam, S., Stobart, R.K., Cooke, A.O. and Childs, P.R.N. (2008) ‘Energy Recovery Systems for Engines’, SAE World Congress
Tsai, S.K. and Childs, P.R.N. (2008) ‘TRIZ incorporating the BRIGHT process in design’, in: 8th ETRIA World TRIZ Future Conference, Enschede, The Netherlands, 5–7 November 2008
Research interests include:
Creativity and creativity tools, especially their application in
industry including structured brainstorming, lateral thinking, six hats, boundary shifting, functional
analysis, TRIZ and morphological analysis; detailed design.
Sustainable energy concepts, their design and implementation including energy distribution systems, saturated vapour cycles and recuperation, solar collectors, energy audits and thermodynamics cycles.
Fluid flow, especially rotating applications in machinery and geophysical flows; heat transfer; temperature measurement; gas turbine engine technologies including turbomachinery design, internal air systems, labyrinth seals, rim seals, static seals, face seals, multi-element seals and active seals.
Current and recent research
Creativity Engine – development of algorithms for
creativity tools for generation of ideas in design in industry
Ubiquitous Computing Enabled Design
Design – development of innovation practice for SMEs and large
scale commercial ventures
Innovation Design and Sustainability – design of roll out of eco-technologies