PhD Studentship: “Simulation thinking” – Developing a Framework for Understanding Skills and Engaging Stakeholders

Project details

This project is co-funded by Loughborough University and the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) and is aligned with the Made Smarter Innovation: Centre for People-led Digitalisation. 

You will join a highly motivated transdisciplinary research team with a common goal to support digital transformation in industry. You will have the opportunity to work with an industry supervisor and engage with relevant industry stakeholders to collect data during your project. 

Simulation plays a critical role in evidence-based operational to strategic decision-making levels in any organisation. Best practice for simulation generally includes establishing good data quantity and quality, and model verification and validation, however, some aspects of simulation process are less tangible such as asking the right questions, making the right assumptions and communicating complex information to the wider stakeholders. Some of these aspects may be considered tacit knowledge or skills developed through experience and there is currently no universal architecture or a holistic framework for simulation engineers to follow (or trained in). 

This limitation makes it difficult to engage stakeholders in understanding the value of simulation activities and the application of relevant results in decision-making contexts. Design thinking, on the other hand, is a well-established process for creative problem-solving that keeps people at the centre and represents the abilities and characteristics of a good designer. 

It is argued that “Simulation Thinking”, akin to design thinking, is necessary to provide a holistic framework and methodology to embed the right mindset, process and methods in the simulation lifecycle.

This project will investigate and deconstruct the skills and cognitive processes required in setting up, running, estimating and evaluating the results of simulation to develop a framework that captures the essence of simulation thinking that will deliver benefits to business stakeholders.


Primary supervisor: Dr Mey Goh

Entry requirements

Applicants should have qualified with, or expect to obtain, an upper second-class bachelor’s degree in engineering or another relevant discipline. A relevant master’s degree and/or equivalent practical experience in cognitive human factors or simulation will be an advantage.

Fees and funding

The studentship is funded between Loughborough University and the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) and provides a tax-free stipend of at least £27,190 per annum (2023/24 rate) for 3 years plus tuition fees at the UK rate. Due to funding restrictions, the studentship is only available to those eligible to pay UK fees.

How to apply

All applications should be made online. Under programme name, select ‘Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering’, and quote the advert reference number ‘MG-MTC-2023R’ under the financial support section of the application.

Please submit a CV and the minimum supporting documents by the advert closing date.

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