Introducing A/Prof Digby Symons

24 September 2018

A/Prof Symons has industry and academic experience in structural and mechanical engineering, design and medical devices.


Along with his students, Digby creates model systems using mathematical simulations and experiments.

It is our pleasure to introduce A/Prof Digby Symons to the department’s Friends & Alumni. Despite having been born in the UK and having an English accent, Prof Symons is actually an Australian whose ancestors emigrated circa 1850! He moved to New Zealand from the UK in early 2017 and has a Bachelor’s and a Doctorate in Engineering from the University of Cambridge and University of Oxford respectively.

A/Prof Symons started his professional career as a structural engineer working on the design of buildings. This was followed by a research stint at the University of Oxford’s Engineering Science department supported by Rolls-Royce. He then worked on the design and development of medical devices before being appointed as a lecturer at the University of Cambridge, where he taught and researched on structural and mechanical engineering.

“I love working with talented young engineers to help them apply engineering science to real world problems”, says Digby.

A/Prof Symons has previously worked on lattice materials for aircraft wings, composite materials for building construction, centrifugal separators and medical drug delivery devices (such as dry powder inhalers for the lungs). With his students, he models systems using mathematical simulations and conducting experiments. Digby is currently supervising a PhD student working with British Cycling to optimise velodrome bicycle racing.

You can find him cycling on a mountain bike in Christchurch’s Port Hills alone or with his family, when he’s not primarily engaged in learning new things, working with inspiring students and colleagues and addressing real world problems. Digby also loves Copenhagen by virtue of being the most cycling friendly capital city in the world!