Mr Tim Wilmshurst

Tim Wilmshurst

Position: Deputy Head of Engineering (Electrical and Electronic Engineering)

College: College of Engineering and Technology

Department: Electronics, Computing and Mathematics

Subject area: Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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In terms of professional activity, I come from a background of electronic system design. Following a few years in industry, I worked for a total of eleven years in the Engineering Department of the University of Cambridge. Here I led the work of the Electronics Development Group, charged with designing and building innovative electronic solutions to research and teaching challenges in the Department. I was also for nearly seven years Head of Electrical Engineering in Botswana Polytechnic. I am now Deputy Head of Engineering at the University of Derby.

At Cambridge I contributed to much ground-breaking research through my designs, focussing mainly on control and instrumentation. This included work in the fields of aerospace, geotechnical, medical and motor vehicle. I also undertook a range of teaching, contributing to the well-known "Integrated Design Project", and other project-based learning activities. As a young design engineer I claim to have introduced the first microprocessor into the British Houses of Parliament, and later the first microcontroller into the Kalahari Desert!

I believe in learning by doing, and aim to share my fascination with how things work, and how to devise new or different things. I have developed the Derbot  - the Derby Robot - project, which encourages students to develop inventive autonomous vehicles, based on a given core design. The Derbot design is featured in an annual Derbot Challenge event, run at Derby University. I have written a number of books on embedded systems, which aim to encapsulate my teaching and design work.


Teaching responsibilities

I lead these taught modules:

  • Electronic Systems (Level 5),
  • Embedded Systems (Level 6),
  • Embedded System Design (MSc).

I also supervise final-year undergraduate and MSc projects.

Professional interests

  • Electronic and embedded system design;
  • Engineering education, including the application of problem-based learning;
  • Engineering advocacy, through public-facing activities and events, for example the Derby Maker Faire;
  • Management, in a Higher Education context.


Research interests

  • Small-scale embedded systems,
  • Very low power electronic/embedded systems,
  • Autonomous vehicles,
  • Networked embedded and sensor systems,
  • Internet of Things,
  • Renewable energies,
  • Engineering education, including in an international context.

Membership of professional bodies

  • Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology;
  • Chartered Engineer;
  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Recent publications

My publications are mainly in the form of text books, as listed here:

Fast and Effective Embedded System Design; Applying the ARM mbed. Newnes. with Rob Toulson. 2012. ISBN 978-0-08-097768-3

Chinese translation of the above.

Designing Embedded Systems with PIC Microcontrollers: Principles and Practice. 2nd Edn. (sole author).  Newnes. ISBN: 978-1-85617-750-4. October 2010.

Newnes Electronics Starter Pack Ultimate CD. (contributing author). Newnes. March 2008.
CD-ROM, ISBN-13: 978-0-7506-8726-3.

PIC Microcontrollers Know it All. (contributor, 4 chapters). Newnes. 978-0-7506-8615-0. October 2007.

Designing Embedded Systems with PIC Microcontrollers: Principles and Practice. (sole author).  Newnes. ISBN: 978-0-7506-6755-5. October 2006.

Chinese translation of the above.

The Handbook of Measuring System Design. John Wiley and Sons. (contributor on embedded systems). January, 2005. ISBN: 978-0-470-02143-9

An Introduction to the Design of Small-Scale Embedded Systems. (sole author). Palgrave Publishers. September 2001. ISBN 0-333-92994-2.






Recent conferences

The Internet of Things - Possibilities and Pitfalls. Keynote Address at the 14th International Biennial Conference of the Botswana Institution of Engineers. October 6-8, 2015. Gaborone, Botswana.


Additional interests and activities

I play the violin, sometimes with Derby Concert or Chamber Orchestras. I value and enjoy family life, and long-distance hiking, jogging or cycling. In 2012 I cycled from John O'Groats to Lands End (UK) with my son Jez, and in 2015 took part in the London Marathon (with daughter Imo) and Nottingham Half-Marathon. I note how my times for such runs is increasing year by year!

International experience

I am a regular visitor to China and the Middle  East, mainly for the purpose of student recruitment and exploring collaborations with overseas institutions.

I was Head of Electrical Engineering at Botswana Polytechnic from September 1987 to April 1994, as part of the team which launched degree level education in engineering for the first time in Botswana.

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