Professor Cara Wrigley

Professor of Design Innovation

Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology

Affiliate Professor

Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology

Overview

Dr Cara Wrigley is currently Professor of Design Innovation within the Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology at The University of Queensland. She was the inaugural Director of the Queensland Defence Science Alliance. Prior to this appointment she was the Jericho Chair of Design Innovation at The University of Sydney, leading an interdisciplinary research group sponsored by the Royal Australian Air Force. This multi-million-dollar engagement brought together the Australian Defence Force and world-leading researchers to investigate the role that design plays in the creation of disruptive technologies for military capability.

During her time at the University of Sydney Professor Wrigley established the Defence by Design Group, where she ran applied research projects in the military domain. This collaboration contributed to the theoretical development of ‘military design thinking’ that has been taught and applied widely throughout the Australian Defence Force. In 2018, she also established and directed the Design Innovation Research Group, leading a research team that focused on design-led exploratory research, conducting applied and theoretical research into people, emotions, strategy and business.

Professor Wrigley holds extensive experience in curriculum development and delivery, during her time at the University of Sydney she developed and delivered a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Design Innovation (2018), rolled out a university wide Design Major (2018) and launched the Master of Design Innovation and Strategic Design (2019) program. This new degree has been reported on in the Book ‘Design Thinking Education for Innovation and Impact’ by Routledge due to be published in 2021.

Professor Wrigley has secured over $10M in competitive industry and government grants and is currently Chief Investigator on ARC Discovery and Linkage projects. Her research projects have received funding from industry partners such as the Brisbane Airport Corporation, Suncorp Insurance Australia, TAFE NSW, WaterCo Ltd, Bank of Queensland, BiVACOR and the Royal Australian Airforce. She is a reviewer for the Australian Research Council (ARC) and provides advice to organisations and their executives from diverse industries.

Professor Wrigley has published extensively on the application and adoption of design disseminated through a number of books. Including Design Innovation and Integration (2021), Design Innovation for Health and Medicine (2020) and Affected: Emotionally Engaging Customers in the Digital Age (2018). She has more than 60 refereed papers in outlets such Design Issues, Journal of Cleaner Production, Energy Policy, California Management Review, ASAIO Journal, and Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing. She is the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Design, Business and Society.

Professor Wrigley has delivered invited keynotes at prestigious global academic conferences in the medical field including the European Mechanical Circulatory Support Summit (EUMS) Conference (2019, Vienna), the American Society of Artificial Internal Organs (ASAIO) 65th Annual Conference (San Francisco (2019) and the Asia-Pacific Extracorporeal Life Support Organisation (APELSO) Conference (2018). Furthermore, she is a regular invited speaker at the Australian Defence College in Canberra for her work in Defence. She is passionate about providing positive student and supervisor experiences and has presented at a number of universities on the topic of academic development and PhD supervision. She has advised a number of colleagues and high degree students on how to develop efficient and successful ways of collaboration, building professional networks and working with industry partners.

Research Interests

  • Design Innovation
  • Design Thinking
  • Design-led Innovation
  • Emotional Design

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Queensland University of Technology

Publications

View all Publications

Supervision

View all Supervision

Available Projects

  • This Earmarked Scholarship project is aligned with a recently awarded Category 1 research grant. It offers you the opportunity to work with leading researchers and contribute to large projects of national significance.

    We are seeking an enthusiastic PhD student to conduct a research project about incorporating emotional affect into safety-critical products. The work will characterise existing user-centred design and interaction design methodologies, identify key barriers to reconciling often diverging requirements, and propose new processes for overcoming these obstacles.

    Some users across healthcare, transport, manufacturing, logistics, and emergency service environments, are compelled to use safety-critical controller products, over which they have little or no choice, to perform high-risk tasks. These users are burdened with significant responsibilities, and increased stress.

    The design of safety-critical controllers is usually driven by risk-mitigation and usability principles as demanded by regulatory requirements and quality standards. However, product development often overlooks the day-to-day experience of the human tasked with critical duties, including their emotions, attitudes, and motivations. Your project will develop evidence to support new ways of accommodating these ill-defined factors into a robust design process.

    This is an exciting opportunity to work with industry partner BiVACOR Pty. Ltd., researchers across several institutes, and to contextualise your research in the development of Total Artificial Heart (TAH) devices. Patients who use TAH products are faced with critical product interactions every day. The scholarship is part of ARC LP LP200100336 “Design Guidelines for Safety-critical Controllers in High-risk Environments”.

    This position is located at our picturesque St Lucia campus, renowned as one of Australia’s most attractive university campuses, and located just 7km from Brisbane’s city centre. Bounded by the Brisbane River on three sides, and with outstanding public transport connections, our 114-hectare site provides a perfect work environment – you can enjoy the best of both worlds: a vibrant campus with the tradition of an established university.

    Research Experience and expectations

    Research experience and expectations include, but are not limited to:

    Scholarship value

    As a scholarship recipient, you'll receive:

    • Conducting qualitative data collection and analysis
    • Conducting content analysis on secondary data sets
    • Conducting interviews with patients, caregivers and medical practitioners.
    • living stipend of $28,854 per annum tax free (2022 rate), indexed annually
    • tuition fees covered
    • single Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)

View all Available Projects

Publications

Book

Book Chapter

  • Nusem, Erez, Wrigley, Cara and Matthews, Judy (2016). Disrupting the aged care business model. International perspectives on business innovation and disruption in design. (pp. 17-35) Cheltenham, United Kingdom: Edward Elgar Publishing. doi: 10.4337/9781784716646.00007

  • Garrett, Alex, Wrigley, Cara, Russell, Nick and Matthews, Judy (2016). Mobility horizons: design in a disruptive market. International perspectives on business innovation and disruption in design. (pp. 36-59) edited by DeFillippi, R, Rieple, A and Wikstrom, P. Cheltenham, United Kingdom: Edward Elgar Publishing.

  • Straker, Karla and Wrigley, Cara (2016). The role of emotion, experience and meaning: the comparative case of Apple and Samsung. International Perspectives on Business Innovation and Disruption in Design. (pp. 231-255) edited by R. DeFillippi, A. Rieple and P. Wikstrom. Cheltenham, United Kingdom: Edward Elgar Publishing.

  • Bucolo, Sam and Wrigley, Cara (2014). Design-led innovation: overcoming challenges to designing competitiveness to succeed in high cost environments. Global Perspectives on Achieving Success in High and Low Cost Operating Environments. (pp. 241-251) Hershey, PA, United States: IGI GLOBAL. doi: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5828-8.ch009

  • Brunswicker, Sabine, Wrigley, Cara and Bucolo, Sam (2013). Business model experimentation: what is the role of design-led prototyping in developing novel business models?. The experimental nature of new venture creation. (pp. 139-151) edited by Curley, Martin and Formica, Piero. Cham: Springer International Publishing. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-00179-1_13

Journal Article

Conference Publication

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.

  • This Earmarked Scholarship project is aligned with a recently awarded Category 1 research grant. It offers you the opportunity to work with leading researchers and contribute to large projects of national significance.

    We are seeking an enthusiastic PhD student to conduct a research project about incorporating emotional affect into safety-critical products. The work will characterise existing user-centred design and interaction design methodologies, identify key barriers to reconciling often diverging requirements, and propose new processes for overcoming these obstacles.

    Some users across healthcare, transport, manufacturing, logistics, and emergency service environments, are compelled to use safety-critical controller products, over which they have little or no choice, to perform high-risk tasks. These users are burdened with significant responsibilities, and increased stress.

    The design of safety-critical controllers is usually driven by risk-mitigation and usability principles as demanded by regulatory requirements and quality standards. However, product development often overlooks the day-to-day experience of the human tasked with critical duties, including their emotions, attitudes, and motivations. Your project will develop evidence to support new ways of accommodating these ill-defined factors into a robust design process.

    This is an exciting opportunity to work with industry partner BiVACOR Pty. Ltd., researchers across several institutes, and to contextualise your research in the development of Total Artificial Heart (TAH) devices. Patients who use TAH products are faced with critical product interactions every day. The scholarship is part of ARC LP LP200100336 “Design Guidelines for Safety-critical Controllers in High-risk Environments”.

    This position is located at our picturesque St Lucia campus, renowned as one of Australia’s most attractive university campuses, and located just 7km from Brisbane’s city centre. Bounded by the Brisbane River on three sides, and with outstanding public transport connections, our 114-hectare site provides a perfect work environment – you can enjoy the best of both worlds: a vibrant campus with the tradition of an established university.

    Research Experience and expectations

    Research experience and expectations include, but are not limited to:

    Scholarship value

    As a scholarship recipient, you'll receive:

    • Conducting qualitative data collection and analysis
    • Conducting content analysis on secondary data sets
    • Conducting interviews with patients, caregivers and medical practitioners.
    • living stipend of $28,854 per annum tax free (2022 rate), indexed annually
    • tuition fees covered
    • single Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)