Project: Research council

Project Details


Many engineering companies are today undergoing a paradigm shift from product delivery to through-life service support. The shift applies across range of different sectors, including defence, civil aerospace and construction. If these sectors are to remain competitive, they require new business operational and information-system models that extend thirty years or more into future. This proposal is concerned with identifying how products systems from such sectors can be best designed and supported in the resulting dynamic, network centric, whole-life environment. The research question addressed by the project is to create a scientific base for the creation of a structured, network-enabled information and knowledge environment in which dispersed, multidisciplinary operational teams use sustainable knowledge management (KM) systems to execute effective, decisions within evolving engineering life-cycles . The project will comprise three key areas of research.- The first research area will focus on the creation of novel and extended representations of products. These will integrate methods for handling p information (what characteristics should the product have), design-process information (how was the product design arrived at) and design ration (why has the design been done in this way). These models will allow the recording of design trade-offs, results of negotiation, evidence of decision making and details of successful and unsuccessful designs. The project will also develop integrated approaches to design information organisation structures based on these integrated models and on the need to capture feedback from service experience.- The second research area will be concerned with learning from the product in use. The product life-cycle is itself part of a cycle of development information describing the artefact, the commercial, manufacturing and operational systems in which it is embedded, and of the knowledge embed in the communities that develop, support and use these systems. Research will study the dynamics of this triumvirate of information, knowledge systems in the context of products being embedded in systems of systems.- The third research area is concerned with creating organisational systems to manage the overall knowledge system life-cycle (KSLC) and the p centric procedures within them. It will investigate the dynamics of knowledge use throughout the life-cycle of complex product-service systems it extended enterprise context. There will be particular research focus on a) novel procurement frameworks and governance to secure innovative responses from prime contractors and the supply chain b) the human resource development policies necessary to support the shift from product delivery to service provision and c) the role of decision-support models at key decision pinch-points throughout the project life cycle.
Effective start/end date1/10/0630/09/08


  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council


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