The third evolutionary I adaptive computing conference organised by the Plymouth Engineering Design Centre (PEDC) at the University of Plymouth again explores the utility of various adaptive search algorithms and complementary computational intelligence techniques within the engineering design and manufacturing domains. The intention is to investigate strategies and techniques that are of benefit not only as component I system optimisers but also as exploratory design tools capable of supporting the differing requirements of conceptual, embodiment and detailed design whilst taking into account the many manufacturing criteria influencing design direction. Interest in the integration of adaptive computing technologies with engineering has been rapidly increasing in recent years as practical examples illustrating their potential relating to system performance and design process efficiency have become more apparent. This is in addition to the realisation of significant commercial benefits from the application of evolutionary planning and scheduling strategies. The development of this conference series from annual PEDC one day workshops to the biennial ‘Adaptive Computing in Engineering Design and Control’ conference and this year’s event reflects this growth in both academic and industrial interest. The name change to include manufacture relates to a desire to increase cover of integrated product development aspects, facility layout and scheduling in addition to process I machine control.