Staff profile

Dr John Robertson-Begg

Senior Academic


Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering


College of Science and Engineering


School of Computing and Engineering


Derby Campus



I have been the University of Derby for over 17 years and currently hold the role of Senior Academic. Currently I am programme leader for two masters programmes:

The main emphasis on Innovative Solutions is graduate employability. It was developed as part of a HEFCE Funded Postgraduate Student Support Scheme (PSS). The stdents graduating from the programme have excellent employability.

The Professional Engineering Programme was developed as part of the Engineering Gateways scheme and prepares students for professional registration at CEng level. They study workbased learning modules.

I teach modules on both programmes and I also contribute to undergraduate modules in the College of Science and Engineering.

Teaching responsibilities

I am module leader for:

and module tutor for

Professional interests

My background is the cast metals industry. I have expertise in computer aided selection of materials and processes using Cambridge Engineering Selector software and in failure analysis.

My main interest at the moment is TRIZ which is a Russian devised problem solving methodology. I am interested in its application to problem solving in different areas. I would be delighted to link up with companies and other organisations this area. In particular I can run short courses in the subject tailored to individual company/business requirements.

I am preparing students for a JISC challenge due to take place in May 2016 where we will use TRIZ techniques to help in the development of a new product to assist student learning.

Research interests

My PhD investigated the application of squeeze casting to the production of zinc-aluminium alloys and composites. For several years I worked on many cast metals projects involving alloying, heat treatment, and processing.

My current research interests are in the application of TRIZ methodology to different discipline areas. I am trying to demystify the various tools (at least 10 of them) into a unified methodology. In particular I am interested in whether the contradiction matrix is applicable over different subject areas.

My other interests are  in computer-aided materials selection and failure analysis and also the application of TRIZ to these areas.

Membership of professional bodies

I am a Fellow of the Institute of Cast Metals Engineers. I have been a Chartered Engineer since 1998. 


Recent conferences

Experience in industry

I worked in the investment casting industry, the steel industry, the manufacturing industry and also for a research association and a professional body.

In total this accounts to 11 years experience in different aspects of engineering from process optimisation, industrial development, and organising a World Technical Seminar. I presented papers in the UK and America. I also visited Ukraine on a castings-related consultancy trip.

International experience

Recent publications

February 2015 Book Chapter.