Dr Janet Coulter

Senior Lecturer in Fashion Design

Belfast School of Art

Belfast campus

Room BA-02-027,
2-24 York Street,
BT15 1AP,

Art and Design Research

Senior Lecturer in Fashion Design

Dr Janet Coulter


Janet has a long-established career in fashion and has a wealth of experience in fashion design, technology, manufacturing and management, gained from working in both the fashion industry and academia. She holds a BA Hons in Textile and Fashion Design; a Postgraduate Diploma in Higher Education; an MBA, an MSc. in Computer-based Learning with education and a PhD in Fashion Technology. Her multidisciplinary PhD focused on electronic textiles to read and respond to biomarkers associated with sub-conscious stress to support student wellbeing. Janet was promoted to Senior Lecturer in Fashion Design in 2009.

Janet holds a Post Graduate Diploma Leadership and Management and was awarded a Distinguished Fellowship of Business and Enterprise by Ulster for her leadership in strategic innovations with industrial and community partners, both nationally and regionally. She is a Senior Fellow of Higher Education Academy, and a Fellow of the Centre Higher Education Research Practice. Her innovative approach to teaching was formally recognised by Ulster University with a Distinguished Excellence Award for Innovative Teaching Practice for her work in creative entrepreneurship. Her innovative approaches to education have been recognised internationally and her work in addressing gender bias in STEM education through e-textiles earned her the Rolls Royce Science prize in 2017.

She is an external validator for multiple post-graduate programmes both in the UK and internationally. She has extensive experience in external examining and is currently external examiner of Textiles at Dundee University. As a research active member of RI UoA32, she was returned to REF2021 and serves on the Ethics Filter, and Strategic Research Funding committees. Her research interests are in e-fashion for health and wellbeing; creating bio-degradable materials from abundant natural sources for sustainable fashion futures; 3D fashion simulation in virtual environments; and strategic co-design in the creative industries. Janet has published and presented her research internationally and is a reviewer for several international fashion and textile journals.

Janet held the role of Director of Academic Enterprise (AD&BE) at Ulster University for almost a decade, leading Knowledge Exchange, developing, implementing operational plans for partnerships and business engagement and contributing to HEIF policy development. She has previously held the position of Faculty e-learning coordinator developing online and blended pedagogic strategies across the Faculty. Janet continues to develop and lead multidisciplinary, strategic research projects which support economic growth and social enterprise regionally and internationally. She has led on 8 KTP/FUSIONs and 8 innovation vouchers. Her successful partnerships have seen thermoplastic moulded bullet proof armour for female officers commercialised and deployed to Afghanistan. Notably, a cross-sector partnership to re-engineer animal bio-waste into fashion product enabled international markets to be established in Kuwait, Saudi and Korea, and resulted in her receiving an Outstanding Innovation Award from InterTrade Ireland.

Janet holds professional membership of the Institute of Designers in Ireland. Prior to academia Janet had an international career in industry. She worked for Promostyl, Paris in fashion forecasting, and computer-aided design. She honed her managerial skills in the fashion manufacturing sector across London and Ireland, creating manufacturing partnerships, managing product development design teams and overseeing large client portfolios including Dunnes, Debenhams, Boots, Mothercare and British Airways.

Janet is accepting PhD students in the fields associated with fashion technology – 3D fashion and the Metaverse; Bio-Textiles for sustainable futures: E-Textile technologies for wellbeing.