Automatic Design Structure Matrices: A Comparison of Two Formula Student Projects

James Gopsill, Ben Hicks, Christopher Snider, Sian Joel-Edgar, Lia Emanuel

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

1 Citation (SciVal)


Design Structure Matrices have become a fundamental tool to support engineers in their handling and management of interactions across product & organisational architectures. Recent work in the field has exploited the opportunity afforded by Product Lifecycle Management systems, which capture the digital footprint of engineering projects to generate Design Structure Matrices in real-time through the co-occurrence of edits to product models. Given the systematic and more objective nature of the generation of these DSMs as well as being able to monitor their evolution throughout engineering projects, there now lies an opportunity in comparing projects/products using DSMs.To investigate this and the potential insights that could be generated, this paper presents the automatic generation of DSMs for two Formula Student projects. These have then been compared with respect to the end-of-project, change propagation characteristics and evolution of the DSMs. From this analysis, six insights have been generated that map the characteristics of the DSMs to the performance of the project/product and highlights the potential of automatic DSMs to further support engineering project management.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 25 Aug 2017
Event21st International Conference on Engineering Design - University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
Duration: 21 Aug 201725 Aug 2017


Conference21st International Conference on Engineering Design
Abbreviated titleICED17
Internet address


  • Design Structure Matrices
  • Formula Student
  • Engineering Design
  • Graph Theory
  • Change Propogation
  • Engineering Dependencies


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