Simon Ford

Academic Director, Undergraduate Minor

Senior Lecturer, Innovation and 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 Deloitte, EA, EY Advisory, KPMG, Pearson, Slalom and Visier, as well as a number of Vancouver-based ventures including Affinity, Blume, Smash + Tess, Spexi Geospatial and Voltsafe. He has also developed two serious games for teaching innovation and teamwork: Delivery Drones, an in-person simulation using Lego Mindstorms, and the online simulation Lights, Camera, Action! 

Outside the classroom, Dr Ford is the current Academic Director for the CaseIT International MIS Case Competition and has co-authored cases on APOLLO, Arc'teryx, EA, Mojio, Spexi Geospatial, Visier and YVR for the competition. He is the Faculty Advisor to Axis Consulting, and was previously the Faculty Advisor to the SFU JDC West team that won School of the Year in 2019.  He is also active in supporting several other student organizations at SFU including BASS, Enactus SFU, and SFU Aerospace,

Dr Ford has been recognized for his teaching and student engagement. 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 was also honored to be selected to deliver the Faculty Address at the Spring Convocation 2019.

Beyond teaching, Dr Ford is the Academic Director for the Business Minor, and is an active researcher. He has published work on topics including industrial emergence, innovation management and technology acquisitions. His most 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. Prior to that he completed his PhD in Technology Management, 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

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, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press. ISBN:9781902546322, 9781902546322, 9781902546322.

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., ... Bernabeu, E. (2015). Roadmaps and Recommendations for Strategic Action in the field of Systems of Systems in Europe. Stuttgart, Germany: Steinbeis Edition. ISBN:9783956630545, 9783956630545, 9783956630545, 9783956630545, 9783956630545, 9783956630545, 9783956630545, 9783956630545, 9783956630545, 9783956630545.

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, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press. ISBN:Technologyacq, Technologyacq.

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.

Ford, S., & Probert, D. (2010). Trial by market: the Brightstar incubation experiment. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Venturing, 2(2), 185-200.

Ford, S., & Garnsey, E. (2007). Failing to disrupt: The case of the network computer. International Journal of Technology Intelligence and Planning, 3(1), 6-23.