Tony Cowell

Tony Cowell MA, BEd, HNC

Senior Lecturer in Secondary Education


Tony is the Cluster Leader for the PGCE Design and Technology, PGCE Engineering, and PGCE Art and Design courses. He is also a lecturer on the undergraduate course in Design and Technology Education


Tony is currently Cluster leader for PGCE Design and Technology, PGCE Engineering and PGCE Art and Design routes. Tony has worked delivering CPD courses for teachers for the Design and Technology association in STEM, electronics, digital design and technology and currently engineering. 

He taught Design and Technology in South Yorkshire schools for 18 years, focusing latterly on electronics and systems in subject teaching, and on data management and assessment for learning in subject leadership roles.  Throughout this time he mentored students from several ITE institutions, but for the last eight years working wholly with Sheffield Hallam. He was appointed as a Senior Lecturer at the University's Centre for Design and Technology Education in 2008.

Originally trained as an apprentice technician at British Rail Engineering Limited where he primarily designed jigs and fixtures, Tony came to Sheffield City Polytechnic and qualified to teach Design and Technology in 1990 through the two year route. In 2011 Tony was awarded an inspirational teaching award from the University for which he was nominated by design and technology education students.


Department of Teacher Education , Department of Art and Design

College of Social Sciences and Arts

Technical Knowledge: Robotics, Electronic, Actuation, and Control Technologies - building intelligence into products, and problems associated with creating and controlling mechanical actuation, particularly with a focus on manufacturing functioning outcomes.

Making and Manufacture: Subject knowledge acquisition and understandings of craft and vocational education and its relationship to Design and Technology (from Sloyd to Distruption).

STEM and its relationship to Design and Technology

Inclusive Design and Technology Teaching


All inspired by my personal interest in archaeology and the history of tools and manufacture. I have been a member of the association of pole lathe turners for 15 years


Book chapters

Cowell, T. (2013). STEM : opportunity, opposition or just good design and technology? In Owen-Jackson, G. (Ed.) Debates in design and technology education. Routledge

(n.d.). Learning to Teach Design and Technology in the Secondary School. Routledge:

Other activities

Presented at Design and Technology Association Summer School 2016 (and booked for 2017)

Co-Delivered BBC Micro-Bit training to teachers for the Design and Technology association (2016)

Presented at Design and Technology Association (DDT) conferences (2011,12, &13)

Part of the stakeholder group for the Design and Technology Association/E4E response to the national curriculum framework document 2013

Course developer and deliverer for Design and Technology association STEM and Digital Design and Technology (DDT) courses (Robotics, actuation, e-Textiles) 2010-13

Worked on developed of web based materials for Technology Training Foundation (2012)

Part of CETL Project on STEM (2010/11)

Member of Design and Technology Association

Member of the Association of Pole Lathe Turners and Green Woodworkers

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