PhD Defence at DTU Mechanical Engineering

Phd Defence 5th April: "Perceptual Robust Design"

Monday 27 Mar 17

Søren Nygaard Pedersen from DTU Mechanical Engineering defends his PhD, "Perceptual Robust Design", Wednesday 5th April from 9.00 to 13.00. The Defence takes place in Building341, Auditorium 023. Associate Professor Thomas Howard is supervisor.

The research presented in this PhD thesis has focused on a perceptual approach to robust design. The results of the research and the original contribution to knowledge is a preliminary framework for understanding, positioning, and applying perceptual robust design.

The research have been conducted with basis in a number of research questions defined during the clarifying research stage of the project. These research questions addressed two overall research problems – how to better communicate robustness information and how to support the use of perceptual robust design.

To address these problems literature reviews were conducted to establish an overview of the relevant scientific fields. Furthermore, contributions in the form of a new requirements development method and a preliminary framework for supporting perceptual robust design were presented.

The potential usefulness of these contributions were evaluated through case studies. For the requirements development method, called Robust Design Requirements Specification (RDRS), it was applied to a number of case study requirements. The study showed that the method was easily applied. Furthermore, the usefulness was assessed in a qualitative before/after comparison of information content, where it was found to have improved the communication of robustness information.

The preliminary framework for supporting perceptual robust design the usefulness was assessed in terms of the potential for loosening requirements specifications. Here it was found that product requirements could be loosened by up to 14.74%. However, the optimum for perceptual robustness was found to overlap with the optimum for functional robustness and at most approximately 2.2% out of the 14.74% could be ascribed solely to the perceptual robustness optimisation.

In conclusion, the thesis have offered a new perspective on robust design by merging Robust Design Methodology with theory from relevant scientific fields, in particular Psychophysics, and presented a preliminary framework for understanding, positioning, and applying perceptual robust design. All results have either already been published or are in the process of being published.

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