As a mechanism through which better solutions are developed, creativity is well-recognised as an important part of the engineering design process, but has to date largely only been studied in general or in early design process stages. This paper aims to study the occurrence of creative behaviour in engineering design with a particular focus on the later design process stages. Through the application of a detailed coding scheme to two studies of engineers’ work, this paper identifies patterns in creative behaviour through the design process stages, creative approaches employed by engineers, typical types of creative task, and fundamental differences within creative behaviour between early- and late-stage design. This understanding is then used to form ten characterisations of engineer behaviour within late-stage design, early-stage design, and throughout the design process. These characterisations can be used to direct future research and to improve the design process and output through development of specific, effective design support methods, selected to be appropriate to the design stage and type of creative behaviour that occurs within.