School of Engineering

Staff Profile

Paul Watson

Control & Instrumentation Support Officer



A professional chartered Control & Instrumentation engineer (IET) with 20 years experience in electronics and software design, working with local SMEs and academic organisations in the development of commercial products. I have been previously involved in research projects involving: ECAD (Electronic Computer Aided Design) tools, 3D computer graphics, Internet and sustainable engineering product design and wildlife monitoring.

Roles and Responsibilities 

Working in the School of Mechanical and Systems Engineering, I provide technical Control & Instrumentation support and supervision to UG and PG student projects, as well as research projects within the School. I provide specialist expertise on embedded software projects involving the Arduino microcontroller and manage/support the daily running of the electronics lab in the Mechanical Engineering department.

I am academic supervisor on a Design For Industry project, co-supervisor for Stage 3 & Stage 4 main group projects involving autonomous car design and MSc main projects.  My other department duties include test rig construction and general technical expertise in electronics/software/control systems.


  1. BEng (Hons) Electronic Systems and Control Engineering 

  2. MSc Control Systems

  3. CEng & MIET (Institute of Engineering Technology)

  4. UKPSF FHEA (Engineering) - Fellow (Descriptor 2) level of the Higher Education Academy. 

Previous Positions 

Research Associate (Research Impact) - SAgE Faculty
Project Manager - StEP Group (Newcastle University)
Senior Design Engineer - RCID (Newcastle University)
Test Engineer - TRW
Control Engineer - Ferodo



Research Interests

I previously led a number of research projects involving sustainable engineering, product design and 3D computer graphics.

2017 Research submissions to Institute for Sustainability, EPSRC and Medical council for wildlife monitoring and medical applications.

  • Successful EPSRC IAA funding July 2017-18 for wildlife monitoring project

2017 Commerical product development proposal to REECE Innovation.

2015-16: Co-Investigator on 2 SAgE research strategic development funds for impact generation involving 'Portable Micro-Energy Harvesting Product for Renewable Energy' and 'Intelligent Low-Cost Wildlife Monitoring'

Previous Work (Research & Consultancy)

1996-2011: Secured in excess of £230,000 in consultancy money to design a range of engineering products for N.E SMEs.

2012-2013: Managed the International research funded project 'Global Secure' between Newcastle University and a number of leading Chinese Universities. The aim was to improve and develop new sustainable and clean energy technologies (EPSRC).

2012-2013:Control systems development and technical support on the Transforming Energy Demand through Digital Innovation (TEDDI) (EPSRC). 

2011: Developed the Siemens PLC based SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system to control a tri-generation diesel engine for the SWAN group (ERDF). 

2005-2010: Technical lead on the Web based 3D computer graphics for virtual product prototyping (HEIF-Higher Education Innovation Fund).

1996-2000: ECAD Framework: Showcasing ECAD tools to implement right-first-time simulated electronic designs.  



I provide a lecture on embedded software relating to the incorporation of the Arduino microcontroller and sensors. This provides students with the fundamental information required to understand and program the Arduino microcontroller using a high level software language.


I have 20 years industrial experience and support the teaching of embedded software programming in the MSE department via the Arduino microcontroller platform. 

Awarded Fellow (Descriptor 2) level of the Higher Education Academy UKPSF in February 2017. 

In 2017/18 I will be delivering lectures on the Arduino microcontroller and associated lab tutorials for Stage 2 students Professional Skills Framework module and Stage 3/4 practical projects.

Project Supervision 

Currently, I supervise and co-supervise a number of student projects.

1. Design for Industry project.

2. Stage 3 autonomous car project

3. Stage 4 advanced autonomous car project.

4. MSc animal conservation project with school of Biology.

5. Formula student car control and instrumentation projects.

Co-supervise and provide support for a number of embedded software student/research projects within the MSE department.