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Effective Reverse Engineering of Qualitative Design Knowledge: A Case Study of Aerospace Pylon Design

[+] Author Affiliations
Suo Tan, Yong Zeng

Concordia University, Montreal, QC, Canada

Greg Huet

École de Technologie Supérieure, Montreal, QC, Canada

Clément Fortin

École Polytechnique de Montréal, Montreal, QC, Canada

Paper No. DETC2013-13006, pp. V004T05A026; 12 pages
  • ASME 2013 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 4: 18th Design for Manufacturing and the Life Cycle Conference; 2013 ASME/IEEE International Conference on Mechatronic and Embedded Systems and Applications
  • Portland, Oregon, USA, August 4–7, 2013
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5591-1
  • Copyright © 2013 by ASME


Global collaboration is now a key for enterprises to rapidly achieve their worldwide successes. During the rapid expansion of their business, many challenges are emerging, e.g., novice training, knowledge transferring, intellectual property (IP) protection. This paper presented an effective approach for gaining new knowledge in a design project through reverse engineering by using Environment Based Design (EBD) methodology. The case study used in this paper was designed to demonstrate how design knowledge can be assimilated by using the proposed approach. A graduate student, without any aerospace design knowledge and experience, was presented with a sentence extracted from a statement of work of a student capstone project in the aerospace engineering department of École Polytechnique de Montréal. Within a month, the graduate student designer was able to deliver a conceptual design solution including product life cycle analysis, with only public resources at his disposal. The results were then evaluated by experts in aerospace who have collectively overseen the project for many years, on how much knowledge the student had assimilated. A comparison, between the student designer and other novice designers from the project, was given thereafter. The assessment turns out promising and inspiring in terms of the knowledge assimilation for a novice within such a short time. In other words, the effectiveness of the presented approach has been validated. This is a feasible attempt to significantly shorten the time and minimize the efforts for novice training and knowledge transferring in education and industry, especially when a firm is expanding their global business.

Copyright © 2013 by ASME



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