A unified theory of engineering design
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A theoretical model of design, that is universal and has a scientific basis, was developed. By doing so, it is believed that the practice of engineering design can be significantly improved. A better system of modeling designs is the missing ingredient that needs to be developed in order to improve the practice of design in the manner suggested above. Existing methodologies were reviewed to examine the current state of engineering design. This helped in developing a set of requirements for a new methodology. The potential for a scientific methodology to improve the practice of engineering design is also discussed. Developing a scientific theory of design, and showing that it meets these requirements was done to satisfy the objective. The theory takes the form of a conceptual model of design, which relates important aspects of the problem and the solution to facilitate a truly top-down hierarchical approach. A few examples are given to show how the methodology can be applied to real world design problems. As a result, a theoretical framework for design was created as a part of this research project. The new methodology, termed UTED (Unified Theory of Engineering Design), addresses many important aspects of design which are overlooked by other methodologies. A set of rules was developed, to guide the designer through the design, and allow a more scientific process to be used. Making design more scientific increases the likelihood of achieving a successful design. The primary conclusions are that the development of a scientific theory of design can be created that makes design processes faster and more efficient, and improves the quality of designs produced, meaning there is a strong potential for such a methodology to have a positive impact on the field of engineering design.
Dyas, Scott Patrick (2005). A unified theory of engineering design. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from