Engaging with Formula Student in user-centred design

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Recently we’ve been continuing our work with Formula Student (FS) as we move forward towards developing an FS dashboard. The LOCM project has been working with project data (e.g. CAD files, reports, documents, communication) generated by FS teams in the development and refinement of data analytic approaches.

Over the past few weeks, we have been conducting interviews with student project managers and academic supervisors involved in FS across three universities to gain insights into key areas of project activity, goals and issues that could be supported by project dashboards. This work has enabled us to develop user-driven design scenarios and requirements, and importantly, will help guide how we apply the data analytics that have been developed in the creation of visualisations and dashboards that are both usable and add value to FS project activity.

Quarter 11 update – July 2016

Research effort has been primarily focused on three areas this quarter to July: presentation of conference papers, development of the framing of the research with respect to engineering Project Health Monitoring (ePHM), and holding industrial workshops.

Conferences

For the first, we’re delighted to say we’ve picked up not one, but two awards for outstanding contributions to Design ’16 and Design Computing and Cognition ’16. Check out our Publications page for more details.

Framing our Work

Secondly, following an ongoing and extensive period of framing and re-framing, the underlying constructs and methods created as part of the project, we have converged on a model of engineering Project Health Monitoring (ePHM). This model is a contextualisation and extension of the accepted model of IVHM (Intelligent Vehicle Health Monitoring):

ePHM

 

Workshops

In the Q10 report we summarised the design and format of our user-drive workshop. In particular, the workshops last 2.5-3hrs and involve three stages. The first stage is a general discussion and brainstorm of the factors that impact the performance of engineering projects. The second stage involves that ranking of the relative importance of the set of project feature that we have developed. Further, participants are asked to rate the level of understanding of these features afforded by their current tool set. The third stage is an interactive design sessions. Here the aim is for participants to individually then collaboratively develop concepts for supportive dashboards for engineering projects:

workbook

To date we have held three workshops: The first was with the Strategic Project Office of the University of Bristol, the second was with Frazer Nash Consultancy, and the third was held in Croatia with a mix of participants from industry and academia. Over 70 people have participated to date. We are planning further workshops with with an industrial partner in August and Formula Student teams later in the year.

Industrial engagement and interactive dashboards

PD design - Capabilities management

We’ve had a busy couple of months as we begin to consolidate the various strands of work and ramp-up our industrial engagement. We ran two Participatory Design Sessions in May, picking the brains of over 50 engineers – one with Frazer Nash Consultancy, and one at the Design 2016 International design conference, with a great mix of industry and academic input…

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Design Computing and Cognition 2016

This week we’re at the 7th International Design Computing and Cognition conference in Chicago.

Our project has just been presented via an elevator pitch and a poster. The feedback was great, with lots of interest and enthusiasm for the concept of engineering Project Health Monitoring (ePHM).

Delegates were really interested in the set of project features that we have developed and the ‘proxies’ that we use to monitor these. As a consequence, we are going to add a new section to this website that summarises each proxy and the project features for which it can provide insight.  Want to know more?  Check out the poster and abstract below…

Download (PDF, 20B)

Download (PDF, 20B)

Away-day 2016

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New year, time to reflect on progress to date, consolidate and plan for the coming year.  And brighten up a cold winter’s day with some fun activities (hint: It turns out that our mild-mannered computer scientist Leon is a bit of an expert with an airgun!)

In that spirit, the LOCM team escaped the office for a spot of team-building and idea generation, particularly around the best way to create impact from our research.  We don’t just want to publish high quality papers in leading conferences and journals, you know!

As well as the specific work we are undertaking with our partners such as Airbus and the National Composites Centre, we also identified some more generic, transferable outputs, including:

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Quarter 2 – March 2014 update

Based on a review of extant research combined with scoping of datasets digital assets are to be split into three types (communications, records and representations) and four classes of attribute (physical, content, context, and semantic). A series of scoping studies are being undertaken around communication in a large systems engineering project, the digital assets associated with a Formula Student project and the workflow of an in-service repair and maintenance department.

We’ve also begun exploring visualisations of the outputs – here is a ‘theme river’ showing how various key topics from a project wax and wane over the lifetime of a project – all extracted automatically:

Q2-March-2014

And here is an example of an automatic analysis of how terms used in a project are related to each other – this could be used to help uncover hidden dependencies, for example:

Q2-March-2014-2