Industrial Designer Huw Thomas joins CDR

Huw Thomas, an industrial designer from the United Kingdom is joining the University of Kansas Department of Design. In his new post he will support the department’s burgeoning industrial design program, teaching advanced computer visualization classes.

Professor Thomas will join Professors Gregory Thomas and Lance Rake on industry-sponsored projects by companies that include Ford Motor Company, Bayer HealthCare, Herman Miller, Nokia, and others.

In 1988, Huw Thomas received a masters with distinction and commendation in industrial design from Manchester Polytechnic. Upon graduation, he joined General Electric Plastics Europe as a staff designer.

His work there was in the engineering concept development of high-end thermoplastics applications, design for assembly, and parts reduction. Projects included a wide range of home appliances and a concept kitchen, as well as other engineering applications.

In Thomas’s work as a private consultant he designed A&R Cambridge audiophile stereo equipment; HEME International automotive diagnostic units, and Swimlink undersea diver communications systems. He created tablet /notebook computer workstation prototypes for NorthWest Water, and did feasibility studies for thermoplastic pop-concert lighting for Light & Sound, UK.

An example of one of Thomas’s life-like, animated computer renderings can be seen at http://vimeo.com/64898516.

Thomas has served as an industrial design faulty member at Staffordshire University in the UK since 1996.  Concept artists, computer modelers, and digital sculptors who have graduated from his VFX program create 2D and 3D content for films, computer games, advertising and architecture. Their work includes texture design, and visual effects like smoke, fire, and lighting. Their employers have included Cinesite, The Mill, Bandito VFX, MPC, London, RTT, Germany, TT Games, UK, and Foster + Partners, UK.

Professor Thomas did teaching exchanges at KU, in 1999 and 2012.

“We are pleased that the growth of the CDR has been recognized. Huw brings new and unique skills that will enable us to further our mission,” said Professor Greg Thomas, who directs the center.

The CDR was launched in 2011 to conduct innovative research in smart technologies, consumer products and services. It has been especially focused on the areas of distracted driving and automobile safety, as well as wireless technologies that impact health and wellness.

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