Design Practice Speaker Series: Professor Ben Hicks - Lies, damned lies and Digital Twins

Thursday, 1 December 2022 @ 14:00 BST 

Our group intends to bring both practitioners and researchers together around tough design challenges (offered as engaging accounts by practitioners), and research of design practice (offered as academic knowledge by researchers).


This talk will takes the audience on a journey of discovery through the world of the Digital Twin, covering its history, industrial applications, and common misconceptions. The talk explores the architecture of the digital twin in detail to elicit the enabling technologies and the underpinning research fields. The talk then considers the research challenges surrounding Digital Twins and examines the characteristics of the applications in which Digital Twins have and are being used. The talk culminates with observations from the Author’s participation in a range of national and international workshops aimed at establishing a research agenda for Digital Twins.

Guest Speaker - Professor Ben Hicks

Ben Hicks is Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Bristol and Head of the Engineering Systems & Design Institute ( He has held £30M+ of grants and published 220+ articles in CAD, CADCAM, MBSE, PLM, engineering informatics and data science.

Over the last decade, Ben’s research has covered the related areas of condition monitoring of machines and systems, and Digital Twins of technical and socio-technical systems, such as buildings and vehicles, and engineering projects respectively. Ben has published seminal articles on Digital Twins and Digital Threads and has advised government and standards committees on aspects of Digital Twins.

As part of the Institute, Ben leads the Design and Manufacturing Futures Laboratory ( The laboratory is concerned with creating the tools and technologies of tomorrow that will enable the designing, making, operating, and disposal of next generation products, machines, and systems.


Watch this video of Professor Ben Hick's talk on Digital Twins


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