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Dr Helen Lockett

Profile summary

Professional biography

Dr Helen Lockett is a Senior Lecturer in Engineering and undertakes teaching and research in engineering design and design for manufcture. She was the Director of The OpenSTEM Labs ,the Open University's remote and online laboratories, from 2019 - 23. Helen joined the Open University in April 2017 having perviously spent 20 years working in the Centre for Aeronautics at Cranfield University. Helen has a PhD in knowledge based design for manufacture from Cranfield University and a BSc in Electronic Engineering from the University of Sussex.

Helen is a Chartered Engineer and Member of the Royal Aeronautical Society. She is also a STEM Ambassador and has worked with local schools and businesses to encourage young people to consider careers in Engineering.

Research interests

Helen has more than 20 years research experience in engineering design and design for manufacture .  She has a particular interest in designing for additive manufacture, and has worked closely with the Aerospace industry on design for additive manufacture of high value aircraft parts.   Helen has participated in many Innovate UK, EPSRC and EU Framework projects over the last 20 years and also undertaken industry funded research projects for BAE SYSTEMS, Bombardier Aerospace and Aircraft Research Association.

Recent Research Activities include:

  • Co-author of ASTM and ISO design guides for Directed Energy Deposition Additive Manfuacturing
  • Design project leader for WAAMMat programme to increase the maturity of Wire+Arc Additive Manufacture ( 
  • Co-investigator for Airbus/ ATI funded project “Future of Aircraft Factory” (FOAF), leading a design work package to ease the aircraft systems installation process
  • Co-investigator for EPSRC funded project “Ready to Use Additive Manufacture” (RUAM) investigating the design capabilities of Wire + Arc Additive Manufacture. 
  • Co-investigator for EPSRC funded project “Assessing the value created by Product Service Systems” which developed a methodology to help industry to assess the value of products and services to their customers
  • Co-investigator for EPSRC funded project “Capability based PSS conceptual design” which developed a framework to inform Product Service Systems conceptual design through capturing and analysing data collected from products and services in-use.

I welcome applications from PhD students in engineering design, design for manufacture, computer aided design and additive manufacture.

You can view my recent TEDx talk on Additive Manufacturing here:

and my blog posts on the Design@Open blog here:


Teaching interests

Helen's has broad teaching interests in engineering design, manufacturing, computer aided design and stress analysis. Open University teaching activities include:

Module team chair for T805 Manufacture Materials Design

Module team member and author for T272 Core Engineering B

Tutor for T276 Engineering: Professions, Practice and Skills 2

Member ASTM Committee F42 on Additive Manufacturing Technologies (F42.04 Design)


Experimental investigation into aircraft system manual assembly performance under varying structural component orientations (2020-03-01)
Judt, David; Lawson, Craig and Lockett, Helen
Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part B: Journal of Engineering Manufacture, 234(4) (pp. 840-855)

Using requirement-functional-logical-physical models to support early assembly process planning for complex aircraft systems integration (2020-01)
Li, Tao; Lockett, Helen and Lawson, Craig
Journal of Manufacturing Systems, 54 (pp. 242-257)

A modular path planning solution for Wire + Arc Additive Manufacturing (2019-12)
Michel, Florent; Lockett, Helen; Ding, Jialuo; Martina, Filomeno; Marinelli, Gianrocco and Williams, Stewart
Robotics and Computer-Integrated Manufacturing, 60 (pp. 1-11)

Design for Wire + Arc Additive Manufacture: design rules and build orientation selection (2017-10-01)
Lockett, Helen; Ding, Jialuo; Williams, Stewart and Martina, Filomeno
Journal of Engineering Design, 28(7-9) (pp. 568-598)

An Automated Maintainability Prediction Tool Integrated with Computer Aided Design (2017-05-09)
Lockett, H.L. and Arvanitopoulos-Darginis, K.
Procedia CIRP, 60 (pp. 440-445)

An Investigation into the Interrelationship between Aircraft Systems and Final Assembly Process Design (2017)
Li, Tao and Lockett, Helen
Procedia CIRP, 60 (pp. 62-67)

Aircraft Wing Build Philosophy Change through System Pre-Equipping of Major Components (2016-09-27)
Judt, D.; Forster, K.; Lockett, H.; Lawson, C. and Webb, P.
SAE International Journal of Aerospace, 9(1) (pp. 190-197)

Design study for wire and arc additive manufacture (2014)
Mehnen, Jorn; Ding, Jialuo; Lockett, Helen and Kazanas, Panos
International Journal of Product Development, 19(1/2/3) (pp. 2-20)

Applying Design for Assembly Principles in Computer Aided Design to Make Small Changes that Improve the Efficiency of Manual Aircraft Systems Installations (2014)
Lockett, Helen; Fletcher, Sarah and Luquet, Nicolas
SAE International Journal of Aerospace, 7(2) (284 - 291)

Assessing the value dimensions of outsourced maintenance services (2013)
Toossi, Amir; Lockett, Helen Louise; Raja, Jawwad Z and Martinez, Veronica
Journal of Quality in Maintenance Engineering, 19(4) (348 -363)

A framework to inform PSS Conceptual Design by using system-in-use data (2012-05)
Hussain, Romana; Lockett, Helen and Annamalai Vasantha, Gokula Vijaykumar
Computers in Industry, 63(4) (pp. 319-327)

Fabrication of geometrical features using wire and arc additive manufacture (2012)
Kazanas, Panagiotis; Deherkar, Preetam; Almeida, Pedro; Lockett, Helen and Williams, Stewart
Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part B, Journal of Engineering Manufacture, 226(6) (pp. 1042-1051)

Product Service Systems and supply network relationships: an exploratory case study (2011)
Lockett, Helen; Johnson, Mark; Evans, Steve and Bastl, Marko
Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, 22(3) (pp. 293-313)

Similarity measures for mid-surface quality evaluation (2008-03)
Lockett, Helen and Guenov, Marin
Computer-Aided Design, 40(3) (pp. 368-380)

State-of-the-art in product-service systems (2007)
Baines, T. S.; Lightfoot, H. W.; Evans, S.; Neely, A.; Greenough, R.; Peppard, J.; Roy, R.; Shehab, E.; Braganza, A.; Tiwari, A.; Alcock, J. R.; Angus, J. P.; Bastl, M.; Cousens, A.; Irving, P.; Johnson, M.; Kingston, J.; Lockett, H.; Martinez, V.; Michele, P.; Tranfield, D.; Walton, I. M. and Wilson, H.
Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part B, Journal of Engineering Manufacture, 221(10) (pp. 1543-1552)

Graph-based feature recognition for injection moulding based on a mid-surface approach (2005-02)
Lockett, Helen L. and Guenov, Marin D.
Computer-Aided Design, 37(2) (pp. 251-262)

The Management of Product Data in an Integrated Aircraft Analysis Environment (2004-12)
Lockett, Helen; Bartholomew, Peter and Gallop, Julian
Journal of computing and information science in engineering, 4(4) (pp. 359-364)

Enhancing Student Learning in OpenSTEM Labs Through Live Support: The Lab Assist Project (2024)
Kbaier, Dhouha; Kear, Karen; Lockett, Helen; Sykes, Peter and Long, Steve
In : 18th International conference on computer science and education (ICCSE 2023)) (01-07 Dec 2023, Sepang, Malaysia) (pp. 327-339)

A Systems Engineering Framework that Integrates Aircraft Final Assembly Design Activities (2023-10-30)
Li, Tao; Ding, Xiao; Lockett, Helen; He, Lei; Ye, Bo and Li, Shangqiang
In : Complex System Design and Management” (CSD&M) (30-31 Oct 2023, Beijing, China.) (pp. 47-58)

Industrial Perspectives on the Adoption of Virtual Testing (2023)
Tahera, Khadija; Jowers, Iestyn; Loureiro-Koechlin, Cecilia; Eckert, Claudia and Lockett, Helen
In : 24th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 2023) (24-28 Jul 2023, Bordeaux, France) (pp. 2305-2314)

Analysis of functional reference architecture through an industry lens (2021-08)
Mactaggart, Ivan Mervyn; Eckert, Claudia and Lockett, Helen
In : 23rd International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED 2021 (16-20 Aug 2021, GOTHENBURG, SWEDEN) (pp. 467-476)

A classification scheme for OpenSTEM Labs experiments (2021-07-01)
Lockett, Helen; Bromley, Kay; Gowans, Kevin; Richardson, Claire and Smith, James
In : The 10th eSTEeM Annual Conference - Scholarship for a Changing World – Disruption, Innovation and Impact (30 Jun - 1 Jul 2021, Online)

Using remote laboratory experiments to develop learning outcomes in engineering practice (2020-07-01)
Lockett, Helen
In : Horizons in STEM Higher Education Conference: Making Connections, Innovating and Sharing Pedagogy (1-2 Jul 2020, University of Nottingham – virtual)

The application of knowledge based engineering to design for Wire+Arc Additive Manufacture (WAAM) (2018-10-12)
Lockett, Helen; Emms, Robert; Williams, Stewart; Ding, Jialuo and Martina, Filomeno
In : 6th Aircraft Structural Design Conference (9-11 Oct 2018, Bristol, UK)

Design for Wire and Arc Additive Layer Manufacture (2011)
Mehnen, J.; Ding, J.; Lockett, H. and Kazanas, P.
In : Global Product Development - Proceedings of the 20th CIRP Design Conference (19-21 Apr 2010, Ecole Centrale de Nantes, Nantes, France) (pp. 721-727)

Understanding the use value dimensions of outsourced maintenance services (2010)
Toossi, Amir; Lockett, Helen; Raja, Jawwad and Martinez, Veronica
In : International Conference on Advances in Production Management Systems (11-13 Oct 2010, Cernobbio, Italy)

ISIR: Informed sensitised intelligent response - A PSS conceptual design framework using service characteristics (2010)
Hussain, Romana Salmah; Lockett, Helen; Kingston, Jenny; Alcock, Jeff and Vasantha, Gokula
In : Advances in Production Management Systems (11-13 Oct 2010, Cernobbio, Italy)

A knowledge based expert system for moulded part design (2007)
Lockett, Helen and Guenov, Marin
In : 16th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 2007) (28-31 Aug 2007, Paris, France)

Computational design process modeling (2006)
Guenov, Marin D.; , Libish; Tang, Dunbing and Lockett, Helen
In : ICAS-Secretariat - 25th Congress of the International Council of the Aeronautical Sciences (2006, Hamburg, Germany)

The Development of the MOB data and product management system (2002)
Bartholomew, Peter; Lockett, Helen and Gallop, Julian
In : 9th AIAA/ISSMO Symposium on Multidisciplinary Analysis and Optimization (4-6 Sep 2002, Atlanta, Georgia)

An Intelligent Manufacturing Advisor for Casting and Injection-Moulding Based on a Mid-Surface Approach (2002)
Lockett, Helen L. and Guenov, Marin D.
In : Proceedings of the ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference (29 Sep - 2 Oct 2002, Montreal, Canada)