Conceptual design for rebel engineers – 1-day course

This is a not-for-profit training course for Rebel Engineers – those who want to challenge the status quo and help develop a more rapid response to the climate emergency.  The rapid transition to a zero-carbon economy requires engineers who can:

  • Challenge existing ways of thinking about the built environment,
  • Collaborate with other to Imagine an alternative future
  • Turn that creative thinking into concrete proposals
  • Convince others of the merits of their ideas.

In short, Rebel Engineers need good conceptual design skills, and that’s what this course aims to help develop.

The tools themselves are similar to those that we would cover in our regular conceptual design training courses. What’s different is our focus of applying these tools to climate action.

Course content

The content of this course will be broadly arranged around the following headings.

  • Drawing creative inspiration from the brief
  • The Kalideascope model for generating ideas
  • Iterative idea development
  • Telling a good story

The material will be covered through a mixture of exercises and a design challenge.

Upcoming dates

Register your interest in these courses or future dates by signing up to our mailing list and selecting Rebel Engineer training.

About the traininer

From the Institution of Structural Engineer’s website:

Oliver Broadbent is an expert facilitator and trainer in design thinking for the built environment. With a background in civil engineering and teaching, he specialises in designing high-impact training that has a lasting effect on the learner.

He is Founder and Director of engineering training consultancy Constructivist. There he leads the development of Constructivist’s programme of design training for design consultancies. He also works with universities including Cambridge, Bath and Imperial to develop innovative approaches to curriculum design and delivery. For eight years Oliver was Director of Think Up, the education arm of the Useful Simple Trust.

Oliver has co-authored a series of good practice teaching guides for the Royal Academy of Engineering on experience-led learning, e-learning for engineers, effective industrial engagement in engineering education and how to teach sustainability.

He is a Royal Academy of Engineering Visiting Professor at Imperial College, London and contributes to the Integrated Design for the Built Environment Masters programme at the University of Cambridge.


This course is an introductory course intended to build common reference points which can be built upon in later, more in-depth training. The word introductory is not intended to infer that you are a beginner, although you may be; it refers to your level of exposure to the content on this course. All levels of experience and wisdom are welcome.

What people have said

This course is a new course. The following is feedback for Oliver’s conceptual design training elsewhere.

“I enjoyed the design processes that Oliver presented to us. They were very logical, thorough and useful. I will definitely find them useful moving forwards.”

“Oli’s style was refreshing. It is rare in this industry for someone to be able to eliminate gender stereotypes from their approach, i don’t think any of the men would have noticed but it had such a positive affect on my experience as a female engineer.”

“I’m very impressed with the form of this course. I have learned a lot in such a short time. Also I was tested and put out of my comfort zone which helped to improve interpersonal skills.”