Department of Engineering - Annual Report 1997/98
Stirling Cycle Machines
Mr K.M. Wallace
Dr P.J. Clarkson
Professor M.F. Ashby
Mr A.L. Johnson
Dr G.T. Parks
The Engineering Design Centre (EDC), supported by a grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), entered its eighth year. The goals of the EDC are to develop, validate and disseminate fundamental design methods for the design of mechanical systems. The research programme is split into four main themes: Design Synthesis, Design Optimisation, Materials Selection, Knowledge Management and Knowledge Tools. The design methods and tools developed are tested on design applications in collaboration with industrial partners in the Aerospace, Healthcare and Heavy Duty Vehicles sectors including projects on micro-mechanisms, database systems, and environmentally-sustainable design. The value of the EDC's current 4-year EPSRC grant for 1997-2000 is £2 million and the EDC has just been awarded £1 million for a further two years by the EPSRC. The collaborative project between Panasonic and RACE (Research into Artefacts, Centre for Engineering) at the University of Tokyo has continued and a successful joint workshop was held in Tokyo in April 1998. Two further EPSRC grants have been awarded to the EDC for research in Whole Life-Cycle Design and Risk Reduction during the Tendering Process.
Mr A.L. Johnson
Dr T.P. Bligh
Dr A. Chakrabarti
Dr R. Bracewell
A methodology is under development for generating conceptual and embodiment designs using functional modelling theory. It is a long-term, generic research project focusing on the early stages of the design process. First a new mechanical concept has to be synthesised and with computer support this can lead to a very large number of solutions that have to be visualised and evaluated. Once a feasible spatial concept has been generated, it is necessary to assemble a model from elementary components, to find dimensions for these components, and for the model's performance to be verified by simulation and animation.
Dr G.T. Parks
Dr P.J. Clarkson
The aim of this theme is to develop methods and tools for design optimisation to achieve market, product
performance and manufacturing objectives. This theme picks up the functional description and preliminary embodiment generated using the methods being developed in Design Synthesis and turns these into an optimised physical description of a product that can be manufactured. A major challenge in this area is applying the available mathematical optimisation and selection techniques, such as simulated annealing, in the field of mechanical design. The problem is the difficulty of creating a model that expresses a single, or multiple, objective function for a mechanical system in mathematical terms. Specific application areas include structural design and bicycle design.
Professor M.F. Ashby
Dr D. Cebon
The aim of this theme is to understand, model and support the selection of materials, shapes, manufacturing processes and standard components. This theme is intimately linked with Design Optimisation because, to complete the physical description of the product, materials have to be selected for every component; materials and shapes have to be matched; and material manufacturing processes selected. Work has continued in all of these areas as well as on developing generic selection methodologies for engineering entities, including materials; manufacturing processes; and standard components, such as bearings, bolts or actuators. New work has begun on eco-selection strategies. Methods for checking and estimating data(D3,E2) were completed in 1998, and a comprehensive review of the material limits to the efficiency of structural shapes was published(D54).
Work on Process Selection has been commercialised through launching of the Cambridge Process Selector by Granta Design Limited. This package is now in use in over 50 universities, world-wide. A database of structural engineering sections in Steel, Aluminium, Wood and GFRP, developed in the Department, was also launched by Granta.
Mr K.M. Wallace
Dr L.T.M. Blessing
The restructuring of the EDC's research themes has meant that the old theme of Process Integration now comes under the umbrella of the generic theme of Knowledge Management. The aim is still to develop theories and models to support an integrated and flexible design environment that will support designers and design teams. Current product data management systems only capture the geometry of a product as it is designed, along with some very well defined design rules. They do not capture the design process and the rationale that directed the process. The EDC is working on a process-based model, PROSUS, that will capture the rationale as the design process proceeds and a product data model, CPDM, that will store the information captured. The major challenge is the capture, storage and retrieval of knowledge as an integral rather than separate part of the design process.
Design research is an emerging field of academic study. A design research methodology has been developed in the EDC and a book is being written describing this methodology.
Dr P.J. Clarkson
Professor A.R. Farmer
This new theme is a result of splitting the old Configuration Optimisation theme into Design Optimisation and Knowledge Tools.
The aim is to develop methods and tools for guiding designers, particularly at the conceptual stages of design. When working on certain aspects of a design, for example validation or reliability, designers need specialised guidance to help them optimise the emerging product configuration. Examples of this research include the development of design for reliability and design for validation methods, the development of a `signposting' tool to direct designers through complex design processes, the development of design rules for computer interfaces for the motion-impaired and the development of web-based design support tools.
Mr K.M. Wallace
Based on its strengths in the design process theory and its existing links with the aerospace industry, the EDC was successful is winning against strong competition a major new grant to help establish a University Technology Partnership (UTP) for Design. This five-way partnership links British Aerospace (BAe), Rolls-Royce (RR) and the universities of Cambridge, Sheffield and Southampton. The initial 5-year rolling grant, funded jointly by BAe and RR, is worth £1.5 million with a third of this coming to Cambridge. The UTP was launched at the Farnborough Air Show on 9 September 1998 with Cambridge represented by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Alec Broers, and the UTP's Cambridge Co-Director, Mr Ken Wallace. There are three major research themes for the UTP: Engineering Knowledge Management (Cambridge); Human Factors and Innovation (Sheffield); and Design Search and Optimisation (Southampton). The Cambridge research theme will build on existing research projects such as the Knowledge Acquisition project with Rolls-Royce, and
the Design Intent project with British Aerospace. It will also build on the generic projects on Product Data Management, and Knowledge Representation and Access.
Dr P.J. Clarkson
The interest here is in two aspects: the increasing priority being given to the needs of disabled people; and the needs of medical equipment manufacturers for designs that may be validated in order to meet regulatory requirements. Cambridge Consultants are currently supporting the development of a new methodology to support the design and validation of medical devices. A Mobile Arm Support (MAS) is being developed as an assistive aid for Muscular Dystrophy sufferers and it is hoped that this may be commercialised with support from the Muscular Dystrophy Group and a local manufacturing company. Research is also being undertaken in collaboration with the University Computer Laboratory and local companies to define best practice for human-computer interface design suitable for able-bodied and disabled users.
Dr A. Chakrabarti
Professor M.F. Ashby
This area is set aside for opportunistic work in other sectors. Current projects cover applications of a truly generic nature, such as Environmentally-Aware Design and Product Data Management structures, and those with exciting future potential, such as micro-mechanisms. Panasonic in Japan are supporting research into Environmentally-Aware Design and, in collaboration with the University of Tokyo, micro-mechanism design. A patented micro-accelerometer has been developed from this research and is now being tested by Panasonic. Techniques are under development for selecting materials to meet specified design criteria while minimising the environmental impact (or `eco-burden') associated with production and use. A database containing the properties of materials - including those relevant to their environmental impact - is being assembled. It will be used to suggest how redesign can reduce the eco-burden of engineering products.
Dr D. Cebon
Work has continued on developing active suspension hardware to optimise roll-over performance of lorries. Detailed designs have been completed and will be implemented in experimental hardware over the coming year. Research into evaluating design concepts and optimising heavy vehicle suspensions has continued, and several publications are in preparation.
Dr A.J. Organ
A text `The Regenerator and the Stirling Engine' was published in November 1997 by Mechanical Engineering Publications(D41).
A contract to adapt regenerator theory and Stirling cycle analysis to the context of the reversed Stirling cycle-cryo-cooler has been negotiated with officials from the Pentagon and USAF. Work of converting the simulations from ideal gas to van der Waals' gas behaviour is well advanced.
A design study involving an application for a miniature Stirling engine has been initiated jointly with Cambridge Consultants.
The recently-developed approach(D41) to solution of the general regenerator problem has been shown(D40) to yield identical results to Schumann's celebrated special case of 1929 (uniform density, uniform flow, single-blow, step temperature change).
The sealing problem which has prevented functioning of the 25cc Stirling engine intended for the Mileage Marathon vehicle has been identified and rectified. Work by a student from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology to extend the characterisation of pumping losses in the engine(D42) has resulted in the grant of MSc by the home university.
D1. Ball, N.R., Matthews, P.C. Active Design support with a hierarchical blackboard. Proceedings, 3rd International Conference on Adaptive Computing in Design and Manufacture, Plymouth (April 1998).
D2. Ball, N.R., Matthews, P.C., Wallace, K.M. Managing conceptual design objects: an alternative to geometry. Artificial Intelligence in Design '98: Proceedings, 5th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Design, AID 98, Lisbon, Portugal (July 1998); Edited by J.S. Gero, F. Sudweeks, 67-86 (Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1998). ISBN 0-7923-5159-2
D3. Bassetti, D., Brechet, Y., Ashby, M.F. Estimates for material properties 2. The method of multiple correlations. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series A, Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 454, (1973), 1223-1336 (1998).
D4. Baumgärtner, C.E., Blessing, L.T.M. Communication in engineering consultant-client collaborations - a case study. Proceedings, International Design and Process Technology Conference, Berlin, Germany (July 1998).
D5. Blessing, L.T.M. A method for identifying scope and assumptions in developing and selecting methods and tools. Cambridge University Engineering Department Technical Report CUED/C-EDC/TR.37 (December 1997).
D6. Blessing, L.T.M., Chakrabarti, A., Wallace, K.M. An overview of descriptive studies in relation to a general design research methodology. In: Designers - The Key to Successful Product Development; Edited by E. Frankenberger, P. Badke-Shaub, H. Birkhofer, 42-56 (Springer-Verlag, 1998). ISBN 1-85233-031-7
D7. Blessing, L.T.M., Upton, N.K. A methodology for preliminary design of mechanical aircraft systems. Proceedings, World Aviation Congress (Society of Automotive Engineers, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics), Anaheim, CA, USA, SAE Paper 975537 (October 1997).
D8. Chakrabarti, A. A framework for browsing a solution space in depth and breadth. Cambridge University Department Technical Report CUED/C-EDC/TR.62 (January 1998).
D9. Chakrabarti, A. Improving efficiency of procedures for compositional synthesis using bi-directional search. Cambridge University Engineering Department Technical Report CUED/C-EDC/TR.65 (August 1998).
D10. Chakrabarti, A. A measure of the newness of a solution set generated using a database of building blocks, and the database parameters which control its newness. Cambridge University Engineering Department Technical Report CUED/C-EDC/TR.64 (April 1998).
D11. Chakrabarti, A. Supporting two views of function in mechanical design. Proceedings, Workshop on Functional Modelling and Teleological Reasoning, 15th National Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI-98), Madison, WI, USA; Edited by J. Sticklen (July 1998).
D12. Chakrabarti, A. A theoretical comparison of the computational performance of the paradigm model with exhaustive search. 1st General Design Theory Workshop, Cambridge (December 1997).
D13. Chakrabarti, A., Bligh, T.P. Exploring basicness of building blocks for supporting innovative conceptual design using the building blocks metaphor. Cambridge University Engineering Department Technical Report CUED/C-EDC/TR.61 (January 1998).
D14. Chakrabarti, A., Bligh, T.P. A scheme for functional reasoning in conceptual design. Cambridge University Engineering Department Technical Report CUED/C-EDC/TR.60 (January 1998).
D15. Chakrabarti, A., Johnson, A.L. Detecting side-effects in solution principles. Proceedings, Collaborative Design Environment for the Design of Intelligent Artifacts, Tokyo, Japan (March 1998).
D16. Charlton, C.T. Product modelling for context-sensitive design retrieval. Proceedings, Engineering Design Conference 98, Uxbridge (June 1998); Edited by S. Sivaloganathan, T.M.M. Shahins, 659-666 (Professional Engineering Publishing, 1998).
D17. Charlton, C.T. A web broker for mechanical component selection. Proceedings, 5th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Design, AID98, Workshop 2: Distributed Web-based AI Design Tools, Lisbon, Portugal; Edited by P.A. Rodgers, A. Huxor (July 1998).
D18. Charlton, C.T., Ball, N.R., Matthews, P.C. Towards mechanical design object re-use: the description, retrieval and classification of cases. Artificial Intelligence in Desing '98: Proceedings, 5th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Design, AID98, Lisbon, Portugal (July 1998); Edited by J. Gero, F. Sudweeks, 1, 311325 (Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1998).
D19. Charlton, C.T., Wallace, K.M. Concept induction form structured design fragments. Proceedings, 5th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Design, AID '98, Workshop 4 Notes: Machine Learning in Design, Lisbon, Portugal; Edited by A.H.B. Duffy (July 1998).
D20. Clarkson, P.J. The Cambridge Engineering Design Centre. Proceedings, Engineering Design Conference 98, Uxbridge (June 1998); Edited by S. Sivaloganathan, T.M.M. Shahin, 1, 103-112 (Professional Engineering Publishing, 1998).
D21. Clarkson, P.J. Design for validation. Design and Development of Medical Devices, Management Forum, London (October 1997).
D22. Clarkson, P.J. Signposting in the performance playground. Proceedings, 1998 Knowledge-Based Organization (KBO) Conference, San Diego, CA, USA, 1, 11-13 (May 1998).
D23. Clarkson, P.J., Hamilton, J.R. Knowledge modelling in aerospace design. Cambridge University Engineering Department Technical Report CUED/C-EDC/TR.66 (September 1998).
D24. Clarkson, P.J., Keates, L.S. Design for all: desiging for the motion-impaired user. Cambridge University Engineering Department Technical Report CUED/C-EDC/TR.67 (September 1998).
D25. Cochard, Y. A flexible autonomous guided vehicle. Cambridge University Engineering Department Project Report (unpublished paper, available from CUED Engineering Design Centre) (January 1998).
D26. Covino, M.M., Rodgers, P.A., Clarkson, P.J., Smith, J. Design for reliability of mechanical systems. Proceedings, 3rd World Conference on Integrated Design and Process Technology, Berlin, Germany; Edited by A. Ertas, D. Gibson, et al (July 1998).
D27. Daniel, J.H., Moore, D.F., Walker, J.F. Nano- and micro technology applications of focused ion beam processing. Microelectronics Journal, 28, 465-473 (1997).
D28. Esawi, A.M.K., Ashby, M.F. Computer-based selection of manufacturing processes. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part B: Journal of Engineering Manufacture, 212, (B8), 595-610 (1998).
D29. Esawi, A.M.K., Ashby, M.F. Cost-based ranking for manufacturing process selection. Proceedings, 2nd International Conference on Integrated Design and Manufacturing in Mechanical Engineering, Compiegne, France, 4, 10011008 (May 1998).
D30. Esawi, A.M.K., Ashby, M.F. The development and use of a software tool for selecting manufacturing processes at the early stages of design. Proceedings, 3rd Biennial World Conference on Integrated Design and Process Technology, Berlin, Germany, 3, 210-217 (July 1998).
D31. Fu, T.T., Cebon, D. A survey of trailer suspension operators. Cambridge University Engineering Department Technical Report CUED/C-EDC/TR.63 (March 1998).
D32. Harmer, Q.J., Weaver, P.M., Wallace, K.M. Design-led component selection. Computer-Aided Design, 30, (5), 391-405 (1998).
D33. Johnson, A.L. An open architecture approach to kinetic analysis for computer-aided embodiment design. Computer-Aided Design, 30, (3), 199-204 (1998).
D34. Keates, S., Robinson, P. The use of gesture in multimodal input. Proceedings, 3rd International ACM SIGCAPH (Special Interest Group - Computers and the Physically Handicapped), Conference on Assistive Technologies, ASSETS 98 Conference, Los Angeles, CA, USA, 35-42 (April 1998).
D35. Liu, J-S. Multidisciplinary optimisation of antenna structure-electromangetic systems. Workshop paper in: Optimisation in Engineering Design Seminar, Cambridge (unpublished paper, available from CUED Engineering Design Centre) (March 1998).
D36. Liu, J-S., Holloway, L. Integrated structure-electromagnetic optimization of large reflector antenna systems. Structural Optimization, 16, (1), 29-36 (1998).
D37. Matthews, P.C. Using a guidelines database to support design emergence: a proposed system based on a designer's workbench. Proceedings, 5th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Design, AID98, Workshop: Emergence in Design, Lisbon, Portugal; Edited by S. Chase, L. Schmidts, 13-18 (July 1998).
D38. McGowan, A., Green, G., Rodgers, P.A. Visible ideas: information patterns of conceptual sketch activity. Design Studies, 19, (4), 431-453 (1998).
D39. Nidamarthi, S., Allen, R.H., Rao, P.V.M., Rhorev, R., Sriram, R.D., Teague, E.C. Collaborating on the design and manufacture of an atomic artifact transport systems: a case study in VRML as a visualisation tool for consensus building. Proceedings, ASME Design Automation Conference, Atlanta, GA, USA (September 1998).
D40. Organ, A.J. Classic regenerator theory - neglected resource. Proceedings, European Stirling Forum, Osnabruck, Germany, 49-57 (February 1998).
D41. Organ, A. J. The Regenerator and the Stirling Engine. (Mechanical Engineering Publications, 1997). ISBN 1 86058 010 6
D42. Organ, A.J., Jones, J.N., Gether, K. Characterization of Stirling engine pumping losses. Proceedings, European Stirling Forum, Osnabruck, Germany, 59-66 (February 1998).
D43. Rodgers, P.A., Caldwell, N.H.M. WebCADET: facilitating distributed design support. Proceedings, IEE Colloquium on Web-based Knowledge Servers, London, 9/1-9/4. IEE Colloquium Digest 98/307 (June 1998).
D44. Rodgers, P.A., Clarkson, P.J. An investigation of the knowledge needs of designers in SMEs. Proceedings, Design Research Society Conference, Quantum Leap - Managing New Product Innovation, Birmingham (September 1997).
D45. Rodgers, P.A., Clarkson, P.J. Knowledge usage in new product development. Proceedings, International Conference on Design and Technology Educational Research and Curriculum Development, Loughborough (August 1998). Micromechanics and Materials
D46. Rodgers, P.A., Clarkson, P.J., Caldwell, N.H.M., Huxor, A.P. Supporting `intelligent' navigation of design knowledge. Proceedings, CACD 98, Lancaster International Workshop on Engineering Design, Lancaster (May 1998).
D47. Rodgers, P.A., Huxor, A.P. Collaborative design over the internet. Proceedings, 2nd Annual Design Seminar on Engineering Design: Curriculum Development and Research Activity, Glasgow, 7.1-7.6 (May 1998).
D48. Rodgers, P.A., Huxor, A.P. Designing over networks: a review and example of using internet collaboration and communication tools in design. In: Managing New Product Innovation; Edited by B. Jerrard, 131-143 (Taylor and Francis, London, 1998).
D49. Rodgers, P.A., Huxor, A.P. The nature of AI models in design support. Proceedings, Design Seminar on the Diversity of Design: Research, Teaching and Practice, Glasgow, 37-40 (May 1997).
D50. Rodgers, P.A., Huxor, A.P. The role in design of artificial intelligence as authored text. Design Studies, 19, (2), 143-160 (1998).
D51. Rodgers, P.A., Huxor, A.P. Towards a WWW-based KBS design resource. Proceedings, Irish Manufacturing Conference, Dublin, Ireland, 125-133 (September 1997).
D52. Rodgers, P.A., Huxor, A.P., Clarkson, P.J., Caldwell, N.H.M. Knowledge systems as navigation aids to online content and users. Proceedings, 5th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Design, AID 98, Workshop 2: Distributed Web-based AI Design Tools, Lisbon, Portugal; Edited by P.A. Rogers, A.P. Huxor (July 1998).
D53. Weaver, P.M. Workshop on materials and shape optimisation for structure. Cambridge University Engineering Department Technical Report CUED/C-EDC/TR.54 (1997).
D54. Weaver, P.M., Ashby, M.F. Material limits for shape efficiency. Progress in Materials Science, 41, (1-2), 61-128 (1997).
D55. Wegst, U.G.K., Ashby, M.F. The development and use of a methodology for the environmentally-conscious selection of materials. Proceedings, 3rd Biennial World Conference on Integrated Design and Process Technology, Berlin, Germany, 5, 88-93 (July 1998).
D56. Wegst, U.G.K., Ashby, M.F. Eco-criteria for materials selection. Engineering Designer, 24, (2), 8-12 (1998).
D57. Wegst, U.G.K., Ashby, M.F. Environmentally-conscious design and materials selection. Proceedings, 2nd International Conference on Integrated Design and Manufacturing in Mechanical Engineering, Compiegne, France, 3, 913-920 (May 1998).
D58. Wegst, U.G.K., Ashby, M.F. Mechanical efficiency and structural optimisation of natural materials. Proceedings, 4th International Congress of the Society for Technical Biology and Bionics, Munich, Germany, BIONA Report 12, 75-82 (June 1998).
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Last modified: October 1999