Estimation and its Role in Engineering Design - An Introduction

DS 58-9: Proceedings of ICED 09, the 17th International Conference on Engineering Design, Vol. 9, Human Behavior in Design, Palo Alto, CA, USA, 24.-27.08.2009

Year: 2009
Editor: Norell Bergendahl, M.; Grimheden, M.; Leifer, L.; Skogstad, P.; Lindemann, U.
Author: Adolphy, Sebastian; Gericke, Kilian; Blessing, Luciënne
Section: Human Behavior in Design
Page(s): 255-266

Abstract

Estimation is a relevant method for problem solving in product development due to the deficiencies in information and short resources. Nevertheless, estimation is hardly mentioned in related literature nor is it part of engineering education. As a consequence good performance in estimation and the development of estimation competence is left to chance. We believe that estimation can be supported and developed purposive. The aims of our research are to understand estimation in engineering design, and to develop support for engineering practice and education. This paper focuses on demonstrating the relevance of the topic by addressing the following questions: Why is estimation important for engineering design? What is the state of the art in understanding of estimation in general? What is the state of the art of estimation as a method in engineering design? We propose our research framework on the basis of this initial investigation and formulate the main research questions, as well as the research methods we use. Furthermore the first results on the characteristics of estimation in engineering design are summarized. At least, an outlook on the prospect research is given.

Keywords: Estimation, uncertainty, engineering education, design problem solving, decision making

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