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Simon Ford

Senior Lecturer, Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Academic Director, Charles Chang Institute for Entrepreneurship



PhD (University of Cambridge); MPhil (University of Cambridge); MEng (University of Cambridge); MA (Hons) (University of Cambridge)


Dr Simon Ford's mission is to create memorable learning experiences for students. Teaching within the innovation and entrepreneurship concentration, his courses are highly experiential and project-based, and involve students developing solutions to real-world problems. He brings the business world into the classroom and his consulting-oriented courses have involved the participation of Affinity, Deloitte, EA, EY Advisory, KPMG, Pearson, Slalom, and Smash + Tess, as well as tech-based ventures including Advisor Flow, Flash Forest, Nourish Labs, Sarcomere DynamicsSilver Homes, Spexi GeospatialVisier and Voltsafe. He has also developed three serious games for teaching innovation and teamwork: Delivery Drones; Lights, Camera, Action!; and GLAM 2049.

Outside the classroom, Dr Ford is the current Faculty Advisor to Axis Consulting, and recently published a paper documenting how Axis provides experiential learning opportunities to its members. He was the Academic Director for the CaseIT International MIS Case Competition from 2018-2023 and co-authored cases on 1QBit, APOLLO, Arc'teryx, BC Cancer, EA, Mojio, Spexi Geospatial, Visier and YVR for the competition. He also served as the Faculty Advisor to the SFU JDC West team that won School of the Year in 2019, and has been active in supporting several other student organizations at SFU including BASS, Enactus SFU, and SFU Aerospace,

Dr Ford has been recognized for his teaching, student engagement and service. He was the 2019 recipient of the TD Canada Trust Distinguished Teaching Award for excellence in teaching and was on the FBA Teaching Honour Roll in 2018 and 2019. For his contributions to the student community, Simon was awarded the 2019 BASS Faculty Impact Award and 2023 Beedie Service Award.

Beyond teaching, Dr Ford is an active researcher. Much of his recent research focuses on the impact of 3D printing on society. His papers on this topic include:

Before joining SFU in 2018, Dr Ford spent 11 years as a researcher at the Institute for Manufacturing, University of Cambridge, collaborating on research with organizations such as ARM, BP, BT, Mars, Philips, Rolls-Royce and the UK's Royal Navy. Prior to that he completed his PhD on the subject of technological obsolescence, MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development, and MEng in Information Engineering at the Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge. He has delivered executive education courses at Atos, BP and Technical University of Denmark and is a Visiting Associate Professor at the Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering, Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

If you're interested, you can see Simon talk about 3D printing as part of Beedie's Inside Innovation series; read his research papers on ResearchGate; laugh at him in the 2017, 2018 and 2019 SFU Faculty Smackdowns; and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Selected Publications

articles and reports

Ford, S. J., Goana, T. H., & Gill, A. K. (2023). Extracurricular student-run consulting projects: Experiential learning, benefits and challenges at Axis Consulting. International Journal of Management Education, 21(3).

Ford, S., & Minshall, T. (2019). Invited review article: Where and how 3D printing is used in teaching and education. Additive Manufacturing, 25, 131-150.

Kerr, C., & Ford, S. (2018). Fleet planning and technology upgrade projects: Supporting decision-making through visualisation. International Journal of Project Organisation and Management, 10(4), 287-306.

Ford, S., Aubert, C., & Ryckewaert, E. (2016). Reducing the risk of failure in new product development: getting it right at the front end of innovation. Cambridge University Press.

Ford, S. J. (2015). Co-evolutionary processes and positive feedbacks in the growth of the ultimate fighting championships. Sport, Business and Management: An International Journal, 5(1), 31-49.

Albrecht, C., Reimann, M., Rauschecker, U., Athanassopoulou, N., Ford, S., Liatard, P., Eckert, S., Ordoñez, D., Irigoyen, M., & Bernabeu, E. (2015). Roadmaps and Recommendations for Strategic Action in the field of Systems of Systems in Europe. Steinbeis Edition.

Ford, S. J., Routley, M. J., Phaal, R., & Probert, D. R. (2014). The industrial emergence of commercial inkjet printing. European Journal of Innovation Management, 17(2), 126-143.

Mortara, L., Ford, S. J., & Jaeger, M. (2013). Idea Competitions under scrutiny: Acquisition, intelligence or public relations mechanism? Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 80(8), 1563-1578.

Ford, S. J., Mortara, L., & Probert, D. R. (2012). Disentangling the complexity of early-stage technology acquisitions. Research Technology Management, 55(3), 40-48.

Mortara, L., & Ford, S. (2012). Technology acquisitions: A guided approach to technology acquisition and protection decisions. Cambridge University Press.

Phaal, R., O'Sullivan, E., Routley, M., Ford, S., & Probert, D. (2011). A framework for mapping industrial emergence. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 78(2), 217-230.

Ford, S., Garnsey, E., & Probert, D. (2010). Evolving corporate entrepreneurship strategy: Technology incubation at Philips. R and D Management, 40(1), 81-90.