The verification and validation of engineering designs are of primary importance as they directly influence production performance and ultimately define product functionality and customer perception. Research in aspects of verification and validation is widely spread ranging from tools employed during the digital design phase, to methods deployed for prototype verification and validation. This paper reviews the standard definitions of verification and validation in the context of engineering design and progresses to provide a coherent analysis and classification of these activities from preliminary design, to design in the digital domain and the physical verification and validation of products and processes. The scope of the paper includes aspects of system design and demonstrates how complex products are validated in the context of their lifecycle. Industrial requirements are highlighted and research trends and priorities identified.