Dr Sara Mountney

Dr Sara Mountney

Senior Lecturer, Engineering Management


Sara's interests and expertise sit at the intersection of engineering and management, developed through ten years of manufacturing and operational process improvement in a variety of industries, primarily aerospace. Having always had a particular interest in the management of the engineering design process, she returned to higher education in 2004 with research at Cranfield University, leading to a PhD award in 2010. She is now responsible for delivering a number of engineering management-related modules to our undergraduate and postgraduate engineering students. Sara is also the Course Leader for the MSc in Advanced Engineering and Management.



1989-1993: B.Eng(hons) Aerospace Engineering, University of Hertfordshire
1992-1994: M.Eng in Engineering, University of Hertfordshire.
2009: PhD, Cranfield University / Rolls-Royce PLC.
2011: Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, Sheffield Hallam University

Industrial Experience

1994-1996: Teaching Company Associate with Warwick Business School.

Project work to increase productivity and reduce lead times, including improvements to MRP planning and scheduling, implementation of customer performance measures and leading a quality improvement team.

1996-1998: Manufacturing Engineer, Dunlop Aviation

Support and ongoing improvement activities for the rotational and prismatic manufacturing cells within the Braking Systems module.

1998 - 2004: Business Consultant, CSC

Certified SAP Implementation Consultant specialising in Materials Management and Production Planning modules. Implementation, upgrade and support activities for a range of clients, including utilities, manufacturing and FMCGs.

Specialist areas of interest

Servitization; Engineering Knowledge Management, Six Sigma.


Department of Engineering and Mathematics

College of Business, Technology and Engineering

Management, Logistics and Supply Chain / Industrial Collaborative Engineering

All MEng / BEng undergraduate courses

Level 5: Process Improvement and Lean Manufacturing; Engineering Business Systems.

Level 6: Project and Quality Management; Railway Engineering Management; Design and Innovation Management; Quality Engineering.
Level 7: Lean Operations and Six Sigma


Productization in Servitization

Servitization is the transformation of organisations from being primarily product-focused to offering a package of products and services as an overall offering addressing the customer's need. This has implications throughout the engineering sector. Current research is based on the reverse continuum of this: service-based engineering companies moving into product development and manufacturing, again with a view to an overall offering to meet the customer's need. Such companies are unusual and their motivations worthy of further investigation.

2004-2007: Doctoral research student, Cranfield University

PhD Thesis title
Acquisition and Sharing of Innovative Manufacturing Knowledge for Preliminary Design

This research investigated how the knowledge associated with new manufacturing processes can be effectively identified, acquired and shared between designers and manufacturing engineers, during the preliminary stage of design. The specific case studied was the development of gas turbine engines. A workshop-based methodology to identify and capture the required knowledge was developed and tested within the company using three components.


Mountney, S.L., Gao, J.X., & Wiseall, S. (2007). A knowledge system to support manufacturing knowledge during preliminary design. International Journal of Production Research, 45 (7), 1521-1537. http://doi.org/10.1080/00207540600942300

Conference papers

King, M.R.N., Mountney, S., & Timms, P. (2021). Using foresight futures and systems thinking to evaluate digitally enhanced advanced service concepts for a rolling stock company (ROSCO). In Bigdeli, A., Baines, T., Rapaccini, M., Sacchani, N., & Adrodegari, F. (Eds.) Spring Servitization Conference 2021, Online, 10 May 2021 - 12 May 2021 (pp. 229-239). Birmingham: Aston Business School

Mountney, S., Ross, T., May, A., Qin, S.-.F., Niu, X., King, M., ... Burton, J. (2020). Digitally supporting the co-creation of future advanced services for 'Heat as a Service'. In Bigdeli, A., & Baines, T. (Eds.) Spring Servitization Conference 2020, Online (previously Birmingham, UK), 14 September 2020 (pp. 64-71). Birmingham: Advanced Services Group, Aston Business School, Aston University: https://www.advancedservicesgroup.co.uk/events/the-spring-servitization-conference-2020/

Mountney, S. (2018). Servitisation or Productisation? Two cases of service-based SMEs moving into manufacturing. In Bigdeli, A., Frandsen, T., Raja, J., & Baines, T. (Eds.) The Spring Servitization Conference 2018: Driving Competitiveness through Servitization, (pp. 180-188). Frederiksberg, Denmark: Copenhagen Business School, CBS

Moradlou, H., Sawhney, R., Backhouse, C.J., & Mountney, S. (2017). Investigation on Additive Manufacturing as an enabler for reshoring manufacturing activities. In EurOMA Conference 2017, Edinburgh, Scotland, 1 July 2017 - 5 July 2017.

Mountney, S., & Rawlinson, P. (2016). From 'guys writing software' to PSS: the progression of an SME. Servitization: Shift, Transform, Grow. Proceedings of the Spring Servitization Conference, 16-17 May 2016, 199-207. http://www.advancedservicesgroup.co.uk/spring-servitization-conference

Mountney, S., Asthana, A., Mohammad, K., & Almond, M. (2015). Why would a service-based SME add manufacturing capability? In 4th International Conference in Business Servitization (ICBS 2015), Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Madrid, Spain, 19 November 2015 - 20 November 2015.

Mountney, S., Roy, R., & Gao, J. (2011). Acquiring Innovative Manufacturing Engineering Knowledge for the Preliminary Design of Complex Mechanical Components. In Global Product Development, (pp. 457-464). Springer Berlin Heidelberg: http://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-15973-2_46

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