Profile image of Dr Janet Coulter

Dr Janet Coulter

Senior Lecturer in Design

Profile image of Dr Janet Coulter


Belfast School of Art


Art and Design Research


Room BA-02-027 Belfast BT15 1ED



Janet has over 30 years of experience in fashion design, manufacturing and management. 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. She was promoted to Senior Lecturer in Fashion Design in 2009. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma Leadership and Management and in 2014 was awarded a Distinguished Fellowship of Business and Enterprise by Ulster for her leadership in strategic innovations with industrial and community partners.

Janet is a Senior Fellow of Higher Education Academy, and a Fellow of the Centre Higher Education Research Practice. In 2019 the University awarded her 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 and is currently external examiner of Textiles at Dundee. As a research active member of RI UoA32, she was returned to REF and serves on the Ethics Filter, and Strategic Research Funding committees. Her research interests are in e-fashion for health and wellbeing; bio-degradable materials for sustainable fashion futures; 3D fashion simulation, 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 was a Director of Academic Enterprise (AD&BE) in Ulster for almost a decade, leading Knowledge Exchange, developing, implementing operational plans for partnerships and business engagement and contributing to HEIF policy development. Prior to her Director role she was a Faculty e-learning coordinator and was part of the University’s inaugural Web policy team. 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 InterTradeIreland.

Prior to academia Janet had an international career in industry. She worked for Promostyl, Paris in fashion forecasting, and computer-aided illustration. 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.