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Joe Langley

Dr Joe Langley PhD, MEng

Senior Research Fellow in Healthcare Innovation


I am a researcher in Lab4Living, an interdisciplinary research cluster where I am Senior Research Fellow in Healthcare Innovation.

I am a design engineer with a broad experience, industrial and academic, of applying technical and creative design methods in developing interventions with a focus on the healthcare sector. My experience is user centric, using inclusive and participatory design methods along with numerical engineering, experimental methods, prototyping and user testing. My work is by nature interdisciplinary and applied, working with clinicians, industry and users to co-develop interventions, test them, implement them and evaluate them. I am testing out models for open innovation as a means to break down market failure barriers to innovation in some healthcare markets.

  • About

    I have developed close partnerships and networks across different boundaries with a secondment in NIHR Devices for Dignity HTC, an NIHR Knowledge Mobilisation Research Fellowship hosted by NIHR CLAHRC YH, an honorary contract with Sheffield Children's Hospital and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, a founding member of the TITCH (Technology and Innovation Transforming Child Health) network that includes Great Ormond St and Alder Hey, a member of the Research and Innovation Board and Sheffield Children Hospital and membership of HealthTech Sheffield (the HealthTech industrial sector committee (one of 7 industrial sectors) for the Sheffield City Region (SCR) Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP)).

    I have engaged with the Product and Graphic Design teaching courses, developing and embedding a group project module in creative design for healthcare that places students in clinical contexts in the local hospitals. I also mentor final year students from both Occupational Therapy and Design Courses.

    I am a named inventor on two patents for a medical orthotic and a bedside male urinal and I am on the organising committee for the Design4Health Conference, Exhibition and 24-hour Design Challenge.

    I am also qualified in the Sheffield Microsystems Coaching Academy hosted by Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Trust and funded by The Health Foundation. As part of the training I am providing Microsystems Service Improvement Coaching work to the Metabolic Bone Centre clinical Microsystems.

    Healthcare Innovation, Participatory Design, Co-creation, Knowledge Mobilisation, Paediatric Healthcare Technologies

  • Teaching

    Science, Technology and Arts

  • Research

    • Art and Design Research Centre
    • Cultural Communication and Computing Research Institute

    CI NIHR, i4i programme, 2015 for 3 years (£575000) ‘Support4all: developing a dignity support bra for breast cancer radiotherapy treatment’
    PI NIHR Knowledge Mobilisation Research Fellowship, 2014, 3 years (£222800)

    Head UP

    The 'State of the Art' of Design Theory and Practice


    Neck Assessment Tool

    Is green a grey area?

    Tracking Obesity Using Games

    Digital memo wall

    SHINE - Design in Rehab


    Lab 4 Living

    Pancani, S., Rowson, J., Tindale, W., Heron, N., Langley, J., Quinn, A., Read, H., Stanton, A., McCarthy, A., Shaw, P., McDermott, C. Mazzá, C., In Press, 'Assessment of the Sheffield Support Snood, an innovative cervical orthosis designed for people affected by neck weakness', Clinical Biomechanics (2015)

    Reed, H., Langley, J., Stanton, A., Heron, N., Clarke, Z., Judge, S., McCarthy, A., Quinn, A., Squire, G., Wells, O., Tindale, W., Baxter, S., Shaw, P., McDermott, C., 2015 'Head-Up; an interdisciplinary, participatory and co-design process informing the development of a novel neck support for people living with progressive neck muscle weakness with an initial focus on those motor neurone disease', Journal of Medical Engineering and Technology, 39:7, 404-410

    Baxter, S., Reed, H., Clarke, Z., Judge, S., Heron, N., McCarthy, A., Langley, J., Stanton, A., Wells, O., Squire, G., Quinn, A., Shaw, P., McDermott, C. In Press, 'Evaluating a novel cervical otrhosis to support neck weakness in patients with motor neurone disease'. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Degeneration

    Wolstenholme, D., Downes, T., Leaver, J., Partridge, R. and Langley, J., 2014. 'Improving self-efficacy in spinal cord injury patients through "design thinking" rehabilitation workshops'. British Medical Journal Quality Improvement Reports, 3 (1)

  • Publications

    Journal articles

    Langley, J. (2012). Is green a grey area? sustainability and inclusivity: recycling and the ageing population. The Design Journal, 15 (1), 33-56. http://doi.org/10.2752/175630612X13192035508507

    Lewis, R., Menardi, C., Yoxall, A., & Langley, J. (2007). Finger friction: grip and opening packaging. Wear, 263 (7-12), 1124-1132. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.wear.2006.12.024

    Yoxall, A., Newlands, G.J., Roberts, M., Langley, J., & Taylor, P. (2002). A numerical model of closure lining materials. Glass Technology, 43 (4), 157-161

    Yoxall, A., Newlands, G.J., Roberts, M., Langley, J., & Taylor, P. (2002). A numerical simulation of the roll-on-pilfer-proof (ROPP) process on a GF305 thread. Glass Technology, 43 (3), 116-119

    Conference papers

    Gwilt, I., Partridge, R., Peacock, R., Marsh, C., Sheard, L., Lawton, R., & Langley, J. (2017). Using co-design workshops to develop a ward-level patient experience improvement toolkit. Sheffield Hallam University jointly with Swinburne University of Technology: https://research.shu.ac.uk/design4health/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/D4H2017-Proceedings-Master-File-print.pdf

    Craig, C., Gwilt, I., Langley, J., & Partridge, R. (2013). Thinking through design and rehabilitation. In Assistive Technology Research Series, 33 (33), 798-803. IOS Press: doi:10.3233/978-1-61499-304-9-798

    Clarke, Z., Langley, J., Judge, S., Hawley, M., Hosking, I., & Heron, N. (2011). User involvement in the early development of assistive technology devices. In Assistive Technology Research Series Volume 29, 2011. Everyday Technology for Independence and Care - AAATE 2011, Maastricht, Netherlands, 31 August 2011(pp. 362-373). IOS Press: http://doi.org/10.3233/978-1-60750-814-4-362

    Yoxall, A., Langley, J., Musselwhite, C., Rodriguez-Falcon, E.M., & Rowson, J. (2010). Husband, daughter, son and postman, hot-water, knife and towel : assistive strategies for jar opening. Springer-Verlag


    Langley, J., Partridge, R., Griffiths, P., & Varney, E. (2015). Service improvement by design. Presented at: STH Leadership Forum, University of Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam University, 17 July 2015

  • Other activities

    Honorary Research Fellow at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals
    Honorary Research Fellow at Sheffield Children’s Hospital
    Member of Research and Innovation Board at Sheffield Children’s Hospital
    Founding Member of TITCH Network
    Member of HealthTech Sheffield (Sector advisory group to Sheffield LEP)

  • Postgraduate supervision

    ‘Can design thinking enhance self-management skills, resourcefulness and creativity in children with long term conditions?’
    ‘Co-designing digital technologies to support victims of domestic abuse’
    ‘What is the effect of the design of clinical space on the management of care?’

  • Media

    Dr Joe Langley is a Design Engineer in Healthcare Innovation working in Lab4Living, an interdisciplinary research group which brings together designers, health care practitioners, engineers, psychologists with the aim of designing products, services and environments to improve the quality of life and well-being for individuals.

    Joe’s research focuses particularly on the role of different stakeholders (Researchers, Patients, Healthcare Professionals, Industry) in the innovation process, using creative practices to co-create novel interventions and put them into everyday practice.

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