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Professor James P Scanlan BSc, MSc, PhD

Professor of Design, Head of Computational Engineering and Design Group

Professor James P Scanlan's photo

Professor James P Scanlan is Professor of Design within Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Southampton.

Jim Scanlan received a materials science degree from Manchester University in 1977. He then spent over 12 years in the aerospace industry in a variety of roles, his final post being Head of Manufacturing Research at BAe regional aircraft. Whilst at BAe, Jim studied for an MSc at Salford University in aerospace design, and was sponsored by British Aerospace to study for a year at Cranfield University on a manufacturing management fellowship programme.

Jim joined the University of the West of England in 1990 and completed a PhD in 1995 in computer modelling of the Aerospace Design Process. Jim was appointed to Reader in 2004. In September 2004 Jim accepted a post at Southampton University as director of design within the Computational Engineering Design Centre (CEDC).

Jim manages a number of research programmes sponsored by BAE systems, Airbus, Rolls-Royce and the EPSRC. He has a particular interest in Design, Logistics, Simulation and Optimisation of organisations. He runs a number of MSc courses in these disciplines as part of the Aerospace IGDS MSc programme. Jim has recently created a spin-off business aimed at exploiting research into design process modelling.


I am a very keen squash player and captain a team in the Hamshire Leagues

Piper Warrior
Flying from Thruxton airfield

I have a Private Pilots Licence and fly Piper Warrior aircraft from Thruxton airfield.

I was interviewed for BBC Radio 4 and the World Service's “In Business” programme, to discuss the civil use of Unmanned Aircraft (click here to see the interview).

Research interests

  • aerospace design and design decision support systems
  • aerospace manufacturing and process optimisation
  • discrete-event simulation
  •  aerospace product life-cycle analysis and costing.

PhD supervision

  • Mr Tim Case,
  • Ms Julie Cheung,
  • Mr David Cooper,
  • Mr Mario Ferraro,
  • Mr Joshua Jeeson Daniel,
  • Mr Stephan Langmaak,
  • Mr James Meas,
  • Mr Benjamin Schumann,
  • Mr Jeroen Van Schaik,
  • Vytautas Moncycs,
  • Valeria Griffiths,
  • Jakub Gramatyka,
  • Mr Amrith Surendra,
  • Mr Evangelos Papageorgiou

Research group

Computational Engineering and Design

Research project(s)

2Seas Project

Balancing the Impact of City Infrastructure Engineering on Natural Systems using Robots

Our vision is that of a city where infrastructure is autonomously maintained and dynamically responsive, focused on: securing the health & wellbeing of its citizens; contributing to flourishing and sustainable natural systems in the city; and creating positive economic and societal outlooks.

DECODE: Decision Environments for Complex Designs

Design rationale capture in detailed design stage



Project MAVIS: exploring the upper atmosphere

Rolls Royce SAMULET

Rolls-Royce SILOET (Strategic Investment in Low-carbon Engine Technology) Project

Solent Future Transport Zone

The Solent FTZ is a multidisciplinary research and development project undertaken in collaboration with the University of Portsmouth and Solent Transport, comprising Southampton City Council, Portsmouth City Council, Isle of Wight Council, and Hampshire County Council. Theme 1 on passenger mobility is led by Professor John Preston and Theme 2 on Sustainable Urban Freight is led by Professor Tom Cherrett.

Structronics research

Unmanned vehicles

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Book Chapter


Creative Media and Artefacts

  • Prior, S. D. (Author), & Scanlan, J. (Author). (2013). Civilian drones. Digital or Visual Products, BBC Radio 4.
Module titleModule codeDisciplineRole
Aerospace Design I SESA3002 Aerospace Engineering Course leader
Complex Systems Design SESG6030 Engineering Sciences Course leader
Design SESM1005 Mechanical Engineering Course leader
Engineering Design and Structural Analysis Methods SESG2005 Engineering Sciences Course leader
Design Search and Optimisation II: Case Studies SESG6019 Engineering Sciences Tutor
Professor James P Scanlan
Computational Engineering and Design Group Engineering Centre of Excellence Building 176 University of Southampton Boldrewood Campus Burgess Road Southampton SO16 7QF

Room Number : 176/5037

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