Department of
Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing Engineering

Robert Houghton

Associate Professor, Faculty of Engineering



Robert Houghton is a member of the Human Factors Research Group.

Teaching Summary

Module convenor

  • MMME4045 Work systems and safety
  • MMME4082 Ergonomics research methods

I also contribute to the teaching on:

  • MMME4071 Studying human performance
  • COMP4023 Horizon DTC Enabling Technologies
  • MECH3026 Management, professional practice, certification, safety and reliability
  • MMME2055 User-centred research and design

Project Supervision

  • BEng, MEng, HF/E (pgt), HCI (pgt), HF/E (pgt distance learning)

Course Management and Teaching Administration

  • MSc Human-Computer Interaction (co-director)
  • M3 Exam officers team (PGT courses)

Research Summary

Made smarter innovation: Centre for people-led digitalisation with University of Bath and Loughorough University.

Digital technologies have the potential to transform manufacturing by increasing productivity and opening up new business opportunities. However, the UK has had lower levels of adoption than some of our competitors. While this may appear a purely technical challenge to overcome, in practice many of the most pressing barriers are because of the 'human' element. For example, a digital skills gap, implementation that fails to support human capability, employee resistance, or a lack of senior management support or vision. We aim to be the world leader in providing people-led solutions to enable the manufacturing sector to have right-first-time digitalization.

I also carry out general Human Factors research as a member of the Human Factors Research Group (HFRG), and in collaboration with the Institute for Aerospace Technology (IAT) and Transport, Mobility and Cities (TMC@Nottingham).

Selected Publications

Past Research

HUMAN AND SOCIAL SCIENCE RESEARCH CAPABILITY I was involved in the development of tools to give insights into future Human-Machine Interaction. This includes the interactive Human Interface Horizons tool.

--> Human Interface Horizon Tool

GO- SCIENCE I co-authored an evidence review on the human factors of shared transport for Government Office for Science (UK)

--> published report available here: Future of mobility: human factors of exclusive and shared travel

EU FP7 (SPACE) i-MARS: Analysis of Mars Multi-Resolution Images using Auto-Coregistration, Data Mining and Crowd Source Techniques

--> media coverage in Horizon Magazine: Researchers tackle The Martian's Science Fiction.

PEACHS (Philosophy and Ergonomics in Complex Human Systems) Together with colleagues in HFRG and Philosophy I was awarded a University Research Board Discipline Bridging Award to establish an interdisciplinary dialogue between philosophy and Ergonomics/Human Factors around themes of Concepts, Causality and Consciousness culminating in an international symposium on 6.6.2016.

TSB/RSSB DIGITAL RAILWAY Health and Prognostic Assessment of Railway Assets for Predictive Maintenance (HPA)

--> media coverage in Rail Engineer June 2016

EU FP7 (NMNP) USE-IT-WISELY: Innovative continuous upgrades of high investment product-services

TSB KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER PARTNERSHIP with Integrated Transport Planning Ltd.

Before coming to Nottingham I worked in defence Human Factors (in particular C4ISR, Network Enabled Capability and search of environment) via the Human Factors Integration Defence Technology Centre (HFIDTC).

Future Research

I welcome enquiries from potential PhD candidates from Home, EU and international countries who are interested in the following research areas: Human Factors, Systems Ergonomics, Development of Ergonomics Methods.

Department of Mechanical, Manufacturing and Materials Engineering

The University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 95 14081