Engineering Design Processes
Author: Claudia Eckert, Prof of Engineering and Innovation, the Open University
Presentation: PDF Slides
Engineering design combines existing and innovative or new elements. There is a huge variation in the decree of reuse of existing design solution in engineering design projects ranging from small tweaks to complete new developments which incorporate standard parts. Most complex products, such a cars or aircraft have a very high percentage of existing components or solution principles. This has a profound effect on the engineering design processes. Throughout the process engineering designers have to handle information at varying decree of uncertainty and detail. Throughout engineering design processes requirements can still change and changes can affect parts of the product that have already been assumed to be finished. This makes engineering design processes extremely fluid as decisions are made and unmade until the end of the process. While the engineering design processes have real and objective existence, they are also very difficult to capture and express, as individuals only sees elements of the processes and prioritise different elements. This makes design processes difficult to understand and improvement, yet effective design processes are vital for industry to succeed.