Design and Technology Innovation

This discipline represents the missing link between technological inspiration and commercial reality.  Taking an idea from problem to commercial product requires a sound understanding of three areas:

  1. scientific, engineering or technological knowledge,
  2. management of innovation, and
  3. industrial or product design skills including an understanding of user needs, creativity and manufacturing.

All three are needed to successfully create a new artefact  in a sustainable way. 

There is a global trend towards increasingly nimble, innovative and adaptable industries, where traditional manufacturing companies are adopting product-service system business models. Most notably, is the shift away from the mass manufacturing approaches of the past towards increased customisation in product development and service delivery. As a result, industry needs versatile, technologically-minded professionals with the design, innovation and entrepreneurial skills, to drive the user-experience innovations of the future.

Technologies enrich and impact on the lives of people and societies globally. We therefore need enterprising individuals who can collaboratively develop innovative solutions to complex problems and contribute to sustainable patterns of living.

New products and services are being introduced to the market at a constantly increasing pace, while demands and expectations from customers grow and competition in the market also increases. The combination of these factors requires an effective product development and innovation management process, where detailed knowledge of user needs is critical, to maximise the potential for commercial success.

The Design and Technology Innovation program at Flinders University therefore integrates theoretical studies in design, engineering, science, technology, innovation management and business methods with project courses, where the acquired knowledge is applied in collaboration with Flinders University’s industry partners. The degree provides opportunities to design, develop and commercialise advanced technology products or services in a new or existing organisation.

What is Design and Technology Innovation?

It aims to solve the problems that people have, by understanding how people use technology, engineering and science:

  • Design
  • Innovation
  • Technology, Engineering and Science


 Employment sectors/Career opportunities?

  • Medical technology + health care
  • Consumer electronics + appliances
  • Transportation
  • Commercial + industrial equipment
  • Aquaculture
  • Sports technology + recreation + lifestyle
  • Building products and services
  • Information technology + telecommunications
  • Government

Who makes a good designer?

  • Both females and males
  • People with creative skills
  • Problem solving skills
  • Interest in technology, science or engineering
  • Interest in creating new things
  • Good 2D visualisation, 3D modelling/prototyping and verbal communication skills
  • Enjoy working with people

Why study at Flinders University?

  • World-class facilities in the new technology precinct at Tonsley, where collaboration and entrepreneurship are at the heart of the University’s activities.
  • Highly experienced and qualified international staff.
  • Strong emphasis on design practice experience (design studio, real projects, prototyping and testing).
  • Internships, study tours and international study opportunities.

Further Information

If you would like more information about the courses or research opportunities in design and innovation please contact A/Prof Sandy Walker. Current opportunities for higher degree study are outlined on the Research Higher Degrees page.

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Research in Innovation and Technology Management

With innovation crucial for international competitiveness and wealth creation, the innovation and technology management group focuses on research geared at assisting governments and firms to develop effective strategies and policies for technological and service innovation. Further information can be obtained from A/Prof Sandy Walker.

Courses in Design and Innovation

The Bachelor of Design and Technology Innovation provides graduates with the skills to understand the process of design and the innovation environment including intellectual property, venture capital, and in turning an opportunity into a product using advanced design and fabrication skills.  Importantly, Bachelor of Design and Technology Innovation students also study a science, engineering ICT and environment discipline to attach these skills to.

A particular strength is the direct industry involvement with all students having the opportunity to undertake Flinders' industry placement scheme that provides students with 13 weeks of structured industry work experience with a local, national and international organisation. Alternatively, students can work on a high-technology design consulting project with an Adelaide-based firm. Either way, students gain specialist knowledge in key areas of design and innovation, graduating with a proven on-the-job performance.

Combining the Bachelor of Design and Technology Innovation with Engineering, ICT or Science

The course has been developed so that students who are also studying a degree in engineering, computer science, information technology, science or environment can complete this award in as little as a year.  Exact details depend on the course of study being taken.

Moreover, graduates of the degree, if they do not already hold one, are encouraged to continue and complete a full science, engineering, information technology or environment degree to strengthen their knowledge of the underpinning technology.

Undergraduate Courses

Postgraduate Courses