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Abigail Hird

Design Academic, Educator

Abi Hird heads up Defankle, an innovation consultancy renowned for steering organisations through the complexity of innovation. Having worked with more than a thousand businesses with a focus on engineering and technology sectors, Abi brings a wealth of experience in empowering companies to excel in innovation. She uses people-centred and systemic design to tailor processes and cultures that are fit for purpose. Before launching Defankle, Abi was instrumental in leading the Design Innovation Network at Innovate UK Business Connect, where she advocated for strategic and mindful innovation. Abi’s practical expertise has a deep academic foundation, having spent her early career as a Lecturer in Design & Manufacturing Management at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow.

Dr. Hird holds a Doctorate in Systems Engineering, recognised for her pioneering work with industry leaders on new design and innovation management strategies. She also possesses a Masters in Product Design Engineering and a Postgraduate Certificate in Operational Research (the analytical aspects of decision making).

When not knee-deep in design & innovation, Abi enjoys embracing the great outdoors by swimming in lochs, wandering through nature, and cooking for loved ones. She cherishes her time with her daughter Ada, exploring the simple joys of life.

Abigail Hird