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A model of the engineering design process

Burton, Peter John (1990). A model of the engineering design process. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, The City University)


The subject of this Thesis is that of engineering design.
The primary objective of the Thesis is to produce a model of the engineering design process. This model represents the way engineering design takes place regardless of the scale of the design project or the type of object which is being designed.

The model is consensus based and has been produced through an extensive review and analysis of literature, (the literature review being completed in 1987) taken both from the field of engineering design and from disciplines concerned with related issues. In addition to the review and analysis of literature, a large number of interviews and consultations were undertaken with design experts and designers.

The Thesis is divided into three main sections. The first section is concerned with a discussion of the evidence gained through the processes of literature review and interview/consultation. The second with a description of the model and its origin. The third is concerned with a description of the means by which design takes place.

The model is essentially sequential, but has also incorporated the major elements of process type models of design. By demonstrating that an accommodation is possible between these two design theory approaches, an advance has been made into the understanding of the way in which design takes place.

The model consists of sequential stages each of which characterises a major type of activity wi thin the process and which describe the design process from the initial perception of need through to the production of the finalised design configuration. Designs are developed by passing iteratively through these stages. Solutions and partial solutions, along with other design information are stored within the Blackboard.

The means by which designs are developed is also examined in terms of the type of aid they give the designer, and their informatie relationship to the design process.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Departments: Doctoral Theses
School of Science & Technology > Engineering
Text - Accepted Version
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