Challenge 7: Future making and manufacturing

With innovation in sustainable materials comes innovation in sustainable manufacturing. Rapid prototyping and manufacturing (e.g. 3D printing) has begun to transform design, making and business models in sectors such as automotive and aerospace manufacture, as well as medicine.

These technologies have not yet been fully exploited within fashion and textile contexts, where opportunities for small-batch production of fixings (such as buttons or zips) as well as 3D-printed textile materials and objects remain largely unacknowledged.

The data-driven, low waste nature of 3D printing enables financially viable single item, multiple material print runs, and there are also opportunities to experiment with filaments made from recycled and alternative materials.

For these technologies to achieve widespread uptake in fashion contexts, consumer acceptance must also be understood.


Prof James Busfield


James’s primary research interests lie in the functional properties of soft materials, with particular focus on elastomers, including the design of smart textiles (smart-strain sensing or colour-changing flexible fibres), and the recycling of elastomers. Prior to joining QMUL, James designed suspension components for companies such as Jaguar Land Rover, Volvo and Mercedes. The majority of his research is undertaken in close collaboration with industry, as demonstrated by industry-funded PhD students and research projects with companies such as Jaguar Land Rover, Hyundai and Schlumberger Oilfield. James also maintains an interest in innovation with teaching at FE and HE level, especially incorporating industrial placements to improve graduate employability. Core skills and competences include:

  • Soft matter engineering
  • Smart materials
  • Industrial research degree design
Dr Emiliano Bertolli in image

Dr Emiliano Bilotti

Senior Researcher

Emiliano Bilotti’s research focuses on the Processing-Structure-Property relationship in polymer nanocomposites and, more recently, on smart polymers (sensing, self-regulating flexible heaters) and polymers for energy (organic thermoelectrics, ferroelectric/relaxor polymers).

EB is author/co-author of over 80 peer-reviewed papers (h-index of 28), 4 book chapters and 5 patents. EB’s research has been supported by a variety of agencies, including the European Council (EC), Innovate UK and the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) or received direct support from industry. He is passionate about STEM Outreach and Knowledge Transfer (Winner of the KTP Engineering Excellence Award 2019).

Core skills and competences include:

  • Polymer Processing; Polymer nanocomposites; Smart Polymer Materials; Polymer for Energy.

Dr Veronika Kapsali


Veronika is a Reader in Material Technology and Design at LCF where she is developing novel biomimetic approaches to design and innovation of Active Material Systems within the textile industry that intersect biology, material engineering and textile design. Veronika is an LCF graduate who was awarded a PhD scholarship to study engineering design at Bath University. Her practice intersects academic and manufacturing sectors both within her role as Reader and as co-director of MMT Textiles Limited and inventor of INOTEK TM (an award winning biomimetic textile platform that draws on ambient moisture to trigger reversible mechanical changes in the fabric structure, typically for advanced moisture and insulation management). Veronika is also a bestselling author in industrial design and consults extensively with private and public organisations in material science, textile technology, functional apparel and fashiontech. 


Dr Kate Goldsworthy


Kate is Co-Director of the Centre for Circular Design at UAL, a world-leading research centre using practice research to innovate, steer and support circular economies and communities around the globe. Kate’s design research operates at the intersection of materials science with design and sustainability principles. As industry and Governments raise the priority of sustainable business, Kate has undertaken a range of industrial consultancy projects for fashion and textiles organisations including Worn Again Technologies Ltd, Filippa K, VF Corporation and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. Core skills and competences include:

  • Laser finishing for fashion and textiles
  • Circular economy and circular design research
  • Sustainable business consultancy in the fashion sector



Prof Susanne Kuechler


Susanne’s extensive experience and expertise in material cultural studies includes working with a wide range of industrial partners, and understanding the opportunities represented by, and innovating with, alternative materials. An anthropologist of international renown, Susanne leads a forward-thinking Department at UCL, which consciously seeks to bring anthropological insights to bear on contemporary industrial challenges.  Susanne has led large-scale RCUK, EU Commission and consultancy projects with businesses seeking to understand the cultural impacts of their practice. Core skills and competences include:

  • Uptake and acceptance of new material innovations
  • Culture and commerce
  • Ethnographic research
Andrew Johnson

Dr Andrew Johnson

Senior Researcher

Andrew is a Lecturer in Product Design within the School of Design & Creative Arts at Loughborough University.  Andrew’s research is focussed on informing future body armour development through the utilisation of digital design and manufacturing technologies, such as 3D CAD and Additive Manufacturing, with the view to enhance thermal and physical comfort alongside operational performance.  Core skills and competences include:

  • Design for Additive Manufacture
  • 3D Printed textiles
  • Product design and development