Improved Problem Formulation in Engineering Systems Design
TEXAS A AND M UNIV COLLEGE STATION
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The objective of this work was to improve problem formulation in engineering systems design. Exploratory research investigated when, how and why information and knowledge are introduced into engineering systems design. The investigation employed surveys of practicing engineers and protocol analysis of expert designers in controlled task, free response experiments. Based on exploratory findings, a method to improve problem formulation was developed. The effectiveness of the method was validated with a controlled task, guided response experiment using a Multiple Attribute Value Model for evaluation. Performance Identification and Performance Measurability were defined as two essential attributes for assessing improvements in problem formulation. Engineering systems design is a decision-making process through which an engineer creatively applies knowledge to information to develop a product or process that will satisfy performance objectives within a specified environment. The quality and efficiency with which an engineering problem is solved is linked in part to its formulation.
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