Project Details


The research objectives of this CAREER Award are to establish a foundation for a decision-based approach to product family design and develop metamodeling strategies for web-based product platform customization. The first objective will investigate methods for generating product platform alternatives and modeling the associated costs, demand, and uncertainties of the products within the corresponding product family derived from each platform alternative. The second research objective will enable rapid customization of platform variants via the Internet. The educational objectives in this CAREER Award will engage students in problem-based learning through industry-focused projects in product family design and customization and assess the effectiveness of the proposed educational activities at enhancing student learning and student's attitudes toward lifelong learning. These educational objectives will be integrated within

three undergraduate courses and one graduate course. Product dissection activities to expose freshmen and women and minority students in grades K-12 to design and product families will also be developed. Three industrial partners -- Durametal, Flowserve, and Ivalo Lighting -- will collaborate in the proposed research and educational activities.

If successful, the results of this research will help companies reduce development costs and time-to-market while increasing product variety and customization. Strategies for web-based platform customization will also enhance customer interaction and improve customer satisfaction. The proposed research will foster the development of design methods and tools that can be used to design families of products that meet a wide range of rapidly changing customer requirements. The educational activities will help prepare students to succeed in today's highly competitive digital and global marketplace in which companies are constantly striving to shorten time-to-market and increase product variety while reducing costs. The research and educational activities will also establish a foundation for a long-term career in engineering design research and education.

Effective start/end date1/15/0212/31/07


  • National Science Foundation: $381,000.00


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