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Stuart Burgess

Adjunct Faculty for School of Engineering


Professor Stuart Burgess, BSc(Eng), Ph.D., CEng, FIMechE excels in mechanical engineering, both in man-made devices and God’s design in nature. His research interests include bio-inspired design, biomechanics, and design in nature. He has worked in the industry as a professional designer working on projects for the European Space Agency. He has published over 180 secular papers on the science of design and has been co-editor of the International Journal of Design & Nature. He has lectured at both Cambridge University and Bristol University in the UK. Now he is a visiting professor here at Liberty University, USA. From 2004 to 2011 he was head of the department of mechanical engineering at Bristol University.

Professor Stuart Burgess has taught engineering design at Cambridge University and Bristol University in the UK. He has won many national awards for engineering design including the Turners Gold Medal and a Mollins Design Prize. He has seven patents and carried out design projects for industry including designing parts of rockets and spacecraft for the European Space Agency. He is the author of the books Hallmarks of DesignHe Made the Stars Also, and Design and the Origin of Man. He has lectured in many countries including the USA, Australia, Singapore, and Japan. He is married to Jocelyn and they have five children.

National/International Design Awards:

  • 2021   Fellowship, Clare Hall College, Cambridge University
  • 2021   Designer of the transmission for Team GB bikes, Tokyo Olympics
  • 2019   IMechE James Clayton Prize (Biggest contribution to mechanical engineering science in the UK)
  • 2019   Designer of the SA deployment mechanism, ESA’s MetOp C satellite
  • 2017 – Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition (Olympic Bike Design)
  • 2017   IEOM Global Engineering Education Award
  • 2009   Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition – Biomimetics design
  • 2008 – Wessex Institute Scientific Medal (for bio-inspired design)
  •  2002   Designer of the SA deployment mechanism, ESA’s ENVISAT satellite
  • 1997 – Worshipful Company of Turner’s Bronze Medal (for spacecraft design)
  • 1993 – Worshipful Company of Turner’s Gold Medal (for spacecraft design) (Presented by Prof R. N. Franklin, Vice-Chancellor of City University)
  • 1993 – UK Mitutoyo Design Prize (for spacecraft design)
  • 1986 – UK Design Council Molins Prize (for mechanisms design) (Presented by the Right Hon Peter Morrison, Minister of State for Trade & Industry)
  • 1985 – IMechE National Queen’s Silver Jubilee Competition, Second Place


  • Boxerbaum, Alexander S., Matthew A. Klein, Jeffrey E. Kline, Stuart C. Burgess, Roger D. Quinn, Richard Harkins, and Ravi Vaidyanathan. “Design, Simulation, Fabrication and Testing of a Bio-Inspired Amphibious Robot with Multiple Modes of Mobility.” Journal of Robotics and Mechatronics 24, no. 4 (August 2012): 629–641.
  • Burgess, Stuart C. “A Backwards Design Process for Mechanical Design.” Journal of Mechanical Design 134, no. 3 (March 2012): 1–10.
  • Raabe, D., A. Harrison, A.J. Ireland, K. Alemzadeh, J. Sandy, S. Dogramadzi, C. Melhuish, and S.C. Burgess. “Improved Single- and Multi-contact Lifetime Testing of Dental Restorative Materials Using Key Characteristics of the Human Masticatory System and a Force/Position-controlled Robotic Dental Wear Simulator.” Bioinspiration & Biomimetics 7, no. 1 (2012): 1–17.
  • Araromi, Oluwaseun A., and Stuart C. Burgess. “A Finite Element Approach for Modelling Multilayer Unimorph Dielectric Elastomer Actuators with Inhomogeneous Layer Geometry.” Smart Materials and Structures 21, no. 3 (2012): 11.
  • Conn, Andrew T.,, Chung Seng Ling, and Stuart C. Burgess. “Biomimetic Analysis of Insect Wing Kinematics for Flapping MAVs.” International Journal of Micro Air Vehicles 3, no. 1 (March 2011): 1–11.
  • Araromi, Oluwaseun A., Andrew T. Conn, Chung Seng Ling, Stuart C. Burgess, J.M. Rossiter, and Ravi Vaidyanathan. “Spray Deposited Multilayered Dielectric Elastomer.” Actuators Sensors and Actuators A: Physical 167, no. 2 (June 2011): 459–467.
  • Burgess, S.C., J. Wang, A. Etoundi, R. Vaidyanathan, and J.D. Oliver. “A Functional Analysis of the Jaw Mechanism in the Sling-jaw Wrasse.” International Journal of Design & Nature and Ecodynamics 6, no. 4 (2011): 258–271.
  • Burgess, S.C., J. Wang, and R. Vaidyanathan. “A Comparison of the Efficiency of the Bicycle with Analogous Systems in Nature.” International Journal of Design & Nature and Ecodynamics 6, no. 2 (2011): 97–108.
  • Lock, R., R. Vaidyanathan, S.C. Burgess, and J.H. Loveless., “Development of a Biologically Inspired Multi-modal Wing Model for Aerial-aquatic Robotic Vehicles Through Empirical and Numerical Modelling of the Common Guillemot, Uria Aalge.” Bioinspiration & Biomimetics 5, no. 4 (December 2010): 3404–3409.

Journal Paper Prizes:

  • 2013 – Journal of Lean Six Sigma: Literati Award for Excellence
  • 2012 – Journal of Smart Materials & Structures: Featured paper
  • 2010 – Journal of Lean Six Sigma: Best Paper Prize
  • 2002 – Process Engineering Prize (IMechE)
  • 2001 – Water Arbitration Prize (IMechE)

Media Contributions:

  • 2016 – BBC interview following Olympic bike design for the Rio Olympics
  • 2012 – Quoted on bio-inspired design in The Daily Telegraph (30 October 2012).
  • 2007 – Article in New Scientist: Micro Air Vehicles
  • 2007 – Article in The Independent: Going against the grain (8th February 2007)
  • 2006 – Interview on BBC Points West TV on Olympic bike design
  • 2001 – Two Radio 4 programmes about the Science of DIY. Re-broadcast Radio 7 several times
  • 1998 – New Scientist article on bike design (21 March 1998).
  • 1998 – The Times report on bike design (19 March 1998).
  • 1998 – Interview on BBC Radio 4 programme ‘Science Now’ (21 March 1998).


  • Burgess, S.C. and Pyper, T., Novel chain link, European Patent, GB2416578. 2008.
  • Burgess, S.C. and Khang, J. Rotary Damper. U.K. Patent Application No. 9518687.0, 1996.
  • Moore, D.F., Burgess, S.C., Chiang, H-S., Klaubert, H., Shibaike, N. and Kiriyama, T. Microelectromechanical accelerometer.  U.K. Patent No. 9426363.9, 1995.
  • Burgess, S.C. and Karp, S. Expansible-band clutch. European Patent No. 0425522B1, 1993.
  • Burgess, S.C. Double-action worm gear set. European Patent Number 92302263.6, 1992.
  • Burgess, S.C. and Humphries, M.E. Hinge actuator. European Patent No 92302263.6, 1992.
  • Karp, S. and Burgess, S.C. Collapsible-band one-way clutch. U.K. Patent No 2174464, 1989.
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