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Maria Maclennan
Maria Maclennan
Lecturer in Design, The University of Edinburgh
Maria‘s professional bio / interests
My research interests explore how design thinking can champion user-centric practices and facilitate collaboration between diverse fields such as forensic science, policing, government, and education. I have collaborated on a broad portfolio of practice; outside, inside and alongside high-profile organisations across the public, private, and third sector internationally. “Design the right thing, before we design the thing right!” I’m currently a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) at The University of Edinburgh, working across both Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) and the Edinburgh Futures Institute (EFI). My award-winning research in ‘Forensic Jewellery' is the first of its kind in the world, and has been met with critical acclaim internationally. I regularly provide advice and support to international law enforcement agencies; having deployed and lectured in the UK, USA, Netherlands, Finland, Hungary, Greece, Brazil, Australia, Canada, and South Africa: to audiences including the V&A, National Crime Agency, INTERPOL, European Academy of Forensic Science, British Transport Police, Royal College of Art, and Royal Institute of Great Britain. I’m currently Principal Investigator on ‘Identifying the Displaced’, an ESRC-funded multidisciplinary investigation into the forensic value of personal effects in the migration context. I have previously held academic appointments as a Lecturer in Designing Out Crime (University of Dundee); Research Assistant in Design Against Crime (Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London); Research Assistant in Service Design (Home Office College of Policing); and Research Fellow at the John W Kluge Centre (Library of Congress, Washington DC). In addition to academia, I have almost a decade of senior leadership experience across the public sector and civil service, including the Police Service of Scotland (Service Design Manager; Academic Research Lead; Forensic Imaging Officer; Scene Examination Trainer) and Scottish Government (Lead Service Designer; Senior Service Designer). Passionate about public engagement, I’m a regular contributor on national television and radio on topics related to design and forensics (BBC One, Radio 4, STV News, Scotland Tonight, etc.). My work has been the subject of major profiles by The Financial Times, The Times, BBC Crimewatch, UKRI, and Ripley's 'Believe It Or Not’. In 2022, I was a finalist AHRC/BBC ‘New Generation Thinker’ and was featured by UKRI in their documentary series, ‘101 Jobs Changing the World’. Most recently, I was the recipient of an Outstanding Early Career Impact Prize from the Scottish Institute for Policing Research. I am currently represented by TV and Media agency, Gritty Talent.
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Twitter: @MariaMMaclennan Instagram: @ForensicJewellery
Joined Guild
06 June, 2023