Theodore Lim


Associate Professor

+44 (0)131 451 4353
Room G.04
James Nasmyth Building
Heriot-Watt University
Roles and responsibilities

Lecturer in mechanical engineering (BEng/MEng/EngD)
• B57CA: Computing for Engineers 1
• B57DA: Design and Manufacturing 1
• B58DB: Design and Manufacturing 2
• B59CC: Computing for Engineers 2
• B51DE: Engineering Design
• B51DF: Engineering Manufacture

Mentoring and Project supervision
Course co-ordinator for EngD in Optics and Photonics Technologies
Assistant Course Coordinator BEng/MEng Mechanical Engineering
IMPEE Seminar co-ordinator
RP and CMM lab co-ordinator


Present research interests include visualisation, haptic-virtual reality, biology/nature inspired design, intelligent/pervasive cyber physical systems, game-based engineering, neurometrics and knowledge engineering and human factors evaluation. These works explore novel methods to advance the state-of-the-art for next generation engineering applications and wearable technologies. Much of Dr. Lim’s work involves multi and interdisciplinary research related to product engineering processes and strategies, especially in conceptual design. Currently the principle investigator at Heriot-Watt on an, and led on the and as a co-investigator on project.

Funded projects:
EPSRC Robotics and Autonomous Systems (EDU-RAS)
EU FP7 on Serious Games
KTP Value stream mapping for railway crossing manufacturing
IMRC Virtual aided design engineering review (VADER) system
IMRC Serious Games for engineering and product prototyping
IMRC Mechanical Engineering Task Analysis (META)
EPSRC Assembly-based Rapid Prototyping
Renishaw strategic alliance: Haptic soldering
Renishaw strategic alliance: GPU methods for CMM path planning
AWE strategic alliance: Volumetric haptics

Selected publications
  • Sung, R., Ritchie, J. M., Lim, T., Sivanathan, A. & Chantler, M. (2013) The evaluation of a virtual-aided design engineering review (VADER) system for automated knowledge capture and reuse.
    Proc. of the ASME 2013 IDETC/CIE, p. DETC2013-12030.
  • Fletcher, C., Ritchie, J. M., Lim, T. & Sung, R. (2013) The development of an integrated haptic VR machining environment for the automatic generation of process plans. Computers in Industry. 64(8):1045-1060.
  • Govea-Valladares, E., Medellin-Castillo, H., Lim, T., Khambay, B., Rodriguez-Florido, M. & Ballesteros, J. (2012) Development of a Virtual Simulator for Planning Mandible Osteotomies in Orthognathic Surgeries. Revista Mexicana de Ingenieria Biomedica. 33(2):147-158.
  • Sivanathan, A., Lim, T., Louchart, S. & Ritchie, J. (2012) Temporal synchronisation of data logging in racing gameplay. Procedia Computer Science, 15:103-110.
  • Yu, H., Lim, T., Ritchie, J., Sung, R., Louchart, S., Stănescu, I., Roceanu, I. & De Freitas, S. (2012) Exploring the application of computer game theory to automated assembly. Procedia Computer Science, 15: 266-273.
  • Cochrane, W., Luo, X., Lim, T., Taylor, W. & Schnetler, H. (2012) Design of a micro-autonomous robot for use in astronomical Instruments. International Journal of Optomechatronics, 6(3):199-212.

For a complete list of Dr. Lim's publications, please go to his research profile portal.


Dr. T. Lim has been working in the field of feature recognition, CAD/CAM/CAE, rapid prototyping, haptics, virtual reality, computational geometry and analysis since 1997. In 2000 he received his PhD specialising in Mechanical Engineering with Computer-Aided Engineering. His research on Lamina-based Feature recognition and Applications in Manufacturing was subsequently incorporated into a world-leading CAM software. Prior to taking up an academic position Dr. Lim held a post-doctoral position in Physics working on optical-computing before returning to Mechanical Engineering to lead the research on haptic virtual assembly systems. He was also in the Digital Tools Group (DTG), one of the pillar themes of the Scottish Manufacturing Institute - the EPSRC Innovative Manufacturing Research Centre at Heriot-Watt University which focused on Supporting Manufacturing Innovation. In addition to six years in military aviation industry and a further two in automotive, he is an academic staff now teaching design and manufacturing in the Institute of Mechanical, Process and Energy Engineering (IMPEE). He has over 50 international journals and conference publications covering automatic feature recognition, optimising tool selection, virtual reality and force feedback human computer interfaces, design for manufacturing and assembly and optical computing networks. He is the co-author of the book titled '3D Modeling With ACIS' and his past works in features technology and GPU path planning methods have been commercialised.

Further information

Public engagement is one of the most rewarding ways to bring awareness to future engineers and to showcase research. It was a privileged to be involved in:
Bang Goes the Borders (2011, 2012)
Haptic Hands On (2011)
Flight of the Magnificent Machines (2010)
Edinburgh Science Festival (2008, 2009)

Invited as Track Chair/Programme/Organising Committee for International conferences:
2008 - VIRMAN '08 Programme Committee, USA
2009 – ISAGA Track chair and programme committee, Singapore
2009 – ASME WinVR Organizing Committee and Session Chair, USA
2010 - Program committee for SDPS'11 Special Track on Secure Collaboration in Global Design and Supply Chain Management, S. Korea
2011 - Scientific committee of the ASME 2011 World Conference on Innovative Virtual Reality, USA
2011 - Perceptions2012 Programme Committee, UK
2012 - SG iCalt workshop Programme Committee, Italy
2013 - Scientific committee of the Virtual Reality International Conference 2013, France
2013 – CoGames13 Programme Committee, USA