Clara Watkins is Programme Director for Cardiff School of Art and Designs BA and BSc Product Design courses and a Senior Lecturer in Cardiff School of Art & Design.
In 2015, Clara completed her PhD, entitled ‘Disruptive innovation: Developing Culturally Appropriate Transformative Medical Product solutions in Rural Zambia’. Her PhD was funded by Cardiff Met’s Research and Enterprise Innovation Scholarship scheme.
During her PhD studies Clara worked alongside Welsh charity Mothers of Africa, a medical educational charity that trains medical staff in Sub-Saharan Africa to care for mothers during pregnancy and childbirth. The charity was set up by Prof. Judith Hall (OBE) of Cardiff University’s Medical School who was a member of Clara’s PhD supervision team. The aim of the project was to assess the potential for the employment of disruptive innovation techniques based on rapid, prototype-based ethnographic appraisal in the development of radical but culturally, politically, economically and legally appropriate medical product solutions. The project focused on the needs of the Chongwe region of Zambia.
As a Researcher, Clara has been working alongside Prof. Steve Gill, Prof. Gareth Loudon & Prof. Judith Hall. Using the findings from her PhD studies she is working on a number of projects in collaboration with Cardiff Medical School, the National University Hospital in Wales and Cardiff Universities Phoenix Project (winner of Times Higher Education, International Collaboration of the Year Award, 2017). The aim of these projects is to improve patient care through increasing the usability and accessibility of life saving equipment. She is currently working on a range of products for users including: the British Ministry of Defence, the International Community of the Red Cross, the Zambian Ministry of Health, the Welsh Ambulance Services and the NHS, The Namibian Police Force.
A key outcome of this research has been the development of the Cardiff Trauma Pack, a low-cost, user friendly Trauma Pack for use in low-resource environments. This work was highly commended at the British Expertise International Healthcare Awards (2018). The Trauma Pack is also a leading contender for an Impact Case Study in REF 2021.
This Research strongly informs her teaching.
In 2018, Clara graduated with a Post-graduate Certificate of Teaching in Higher Education (PgCTHE) and became a fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).