Designing the Future: Resilient Trans-Disciplinary Design Engineers

Lead Research Organisation: University of Bath
Department Name: Mechanical Engineering

Abstract

It is readily acknowledged that decisions made in the early design stages influence the product cost, performance, utility and impact on the environment. However, we know that advances in new technologies such as Additive Manufacturing result in compressed design and manufacturing cycles. Smart materials and automation influence the manufacturing system and the need for a data-driven manufacturing value-chain utilising the Internet of Things and Industry 4.0 changes the business models and consequently the entire manufacturing environment. Basically, to meet future manufacturing needs our design and manufacturing tools need to transcend disciplines and industrial sectors.

However, as researchers we tend to focus on on multi-disciplinary engineering (where experts from various disciplines draw on each other knowledge) or inter-disciplinary (where expert knowledge, tools and methods are integrated together to solve a single challenge). It is our view that we need to create new knowledge beyond the single subject of investigation/discipline and provide methods for engineers of the future to use. Our vision is to create this capability with a pipe-line of 'Trans-Disciplinary Design-Engineers' and evolving tools to enable rapid uptake across sectors of enhanced and new manufacturing processes.

To achieve our vision, the heart of our Platform proposal is focussed on the retention and development of our Early Career Research staff. To sustain and expand our talent pipeline, we are providing career management and targeted staff development. This will enable our research staff to leap forward into their next career step and become Trans-Disciplinary Design-Engineers, who have the skills to realise the potential of current and future manufacturing processes and techniques.

The under-pinning research will provide these trans-disciplinary design engineers with a suite of evolving models. The models will be dynamic, data driven and will allow designers to be trans-disciplinary through providing the means to understand new manufacturing process, costs, economics and complete through life decisions at the early stages of a design. Fundamentally changing how 21st century products are designed.

Planned Impact

The beneficiaries from this research include the researchers themselves, design companies (SMEs to large scale businesses), Manufacturing Companies, Manufacturing Process Developers and Society (direct and indirect benefits).

People benefits
The researchers on the project will benefit through skills development. Our aim is to develop the engineers and academics of the future. The ability to work with e.g. research experts from different fields, analyse historical data and engage with experts from different disciplines will provide the researchers with skills that can be applied in any area of engineering. This will enable the UK to benefit in the short-term through training engineers. The platform also enable us to be flexible in the way staff are employed. As we know 50% of our workforce are women and often in traditional grants it is difficult to fund part-time working. In our platform we have two women who wish to work part-time, this flexibility provides benefit for the individual as well as society - offering us access to skills we sometimes lose as we are not flexible in offering sustained appointments.

Industry & Societal Benefits
The initial direct beneficiaries include our researchers and our initial project partners (CubikInnovation, Renishaw, Moog and Airbus). However, we have commenced wider engagement with industry at our workshop on 6th June 2017. Once we have created the dynamic models, years 3-5 of the platform will be aimed at widening the industry partners. The benefits they will realise through the creation of 'live evolving integrated design and manufacturing tools' will include

- quicker uptake of new manufacturing processes through the development of trans-disciplinary design engineers
- realisation of whole life value benefits through innovative progressive manufacturing processes reaching their full potential.
- creation of a standard for assessing a Designers Readiness Level for Future Manufacturing. As with Technology and Data Readiness Levels, we the standard can be used for industry to assess their capability to utilise new manufacturing knowledge. This will enable industry to target their efforts where greatest benefit will be realised.

Engaging Future Engineers
The topic integrating Design and Manufacturing utilising data analytics and novel manufacturing processes already gives us an opportunity to engage schoolchildren early in their development. We will actively undertake school engagements each year ensuring the image of manufacturing is one that is an exciting domain to enter. We will focus our activities at primary (key stage 2) children. Although this is a long-term impact, it is important for UK PLC to have design and manufacturing seen in a positive manner by children. We will use the new manufacturing processes and digital models to engage children with manufacturing from the outset.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description Multidisciplinary Standards ISO/IEC - On-going Aydin Nassehi. Participating in the multidisciplinary standards (ISO/IEC) group that is developing the standard smart manufacturing reference model to move them toward transdisciplinarity
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
 
Description EGADE Business School - Tecnilogico de Monterrey 
Organisation Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education
Country Mexico 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Dr Frederico Trigos has worked with us to submit an International Grant application for ODA funding. We were unsuccessful but are currently working with Federico to elicit data/knowledge from Mexico to feed into the TREND findings.
Collaborator Contribution Collaborating in knowledge gathering and for future field studies of our research findings.
Impact Unsuccessful grant application BUT continuing with future funding opportunities. Aim to work with Transdisciplinary teams in mexico.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Francesca Montagna - Application for Womens Global Chair 2019/20 University of Bath 
Organisation Polytechnic University of Turin
Country Italy 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Francesca and Linda have applied for a Global Visiting Professors Award through the University of Bath
Collaborator Contribution The focus will be on working within TREND and disseminating our ideas/findings across Europe.
Impact Applied for funding
Start Year 2018
 
Description ARUP passenger Airport - looking for future engineering skills in a digital world 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Our strategy is to engage the wider industry sector to gradually get buy-in on why Transdisciplinary working/design engineers are required. We are working with companies such as ARUP (Building Information Management) and the Institute of Asset Management to have regular articles to commence the industry engagement in parallel to the eraly research activities. In summary the intended purpose is to engage the wider industrial community (i.e. non partners) with our research from the early stages.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.passengerterminaltoday.com/features/the-age-of-total-design.html
 
Description February 2019 - Institute of Asset Management - Holistic Working 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Our strategy is to engage the wider industry sector to gradually get buy-in on why Transdisciplinary working/design engineers are required. We are working with companies such as ARUP (Building Information Management) and the Institute of Asset Management to have regular articles to commence the industry engagement in parallel to the early research activities. In summary the intended purpose is to engage the wider industrial community (i.e. non partners) with our research from the early stages.

This article focussed specifically on defining what Transdisciplinary working is.

Holistic Working, S Lattanzio, Pg 26 Institute of Asset Management Magazine - February 2019 . It is a members only magazine, with IAM having 2500 members globally.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://www.theIAM.org
 
Description Gopsill J - June 2018 - AutoDesk University - London 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Presentation at AutoDesk Conference/Workshop UK - wider engagement on TRansdisciplinary working
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Gopsill J - June 2018 - AutoDesk University Nov 2018 - AutoDesk Workshop/Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Presentation at AutoDesk Conference/Workshop Las Vegas - wider engagement on TRansdisciplinary working
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description June 2018 - Connected Everything - Alex Kharlamov 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact To present our project to a wider audience of academia and industrialists - mainly a briefing session.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://connectedeverything.ac.uk/events/conference-2018/
 
Description September 2018 - Industry Engagement - Thales HQ 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Seminar at Thales on design research projects included a summary of the background, motivation and research challenges of transdisciplinary engineering design and a synopsis of the project. Venue Thales HQ in Reading, September 2018, National team, 11-50 people. Industry/Business, interest in the project and getting involved.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018