Quarter 1 2013 update

Since the project kick-off meeting in September the project team has focused on four interrelated areas. These are: understanding extant research, developing a data management plan, initial exploratory studies, and developing analytic capability including the use, modification and creation of tools (code) and associated methods, such as semantic analysis.

For example, this graph shows the evolution of various types of digital object over the life of a project.  It looks pretty, but what we can tell from this? Does a ‘good’ project and a ‘bad’ project look the same?

Q1-2013

What’s interesting about this anyway?

Well it turns out that (thankfully) there is quite a lot that is interesting! September saw us host our Industrial partners at the University of Bath for a kick-off session to help shape the programme.

Two questions were posed, the first around expectations or current pain points, and what our partners were hoping to get out of the project.  There was a huge range of responses, such as:

  • Moving away from phase-gate – stage-gate often too late
  • Formalising the dynamic design process (awareness)
  • Making sense of the ‘fog of war’
  • Monitoring team collaboration/divergence – ‘alignment of activities’
  • Is there a ‘stable design’ anymore?
  • Knowledge modelling – re-use of knowledge/information

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£1.9M grant for Universities of Bristol and Bath

The Universities of Bristol and Bath are set to receive part of a £12M grant aimed at improving the manufacturing competitiveness of the UK.

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council is making the awards as part of a £45 million package of investments in manufacturing research announced by David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science.

Professor Ben Hicks will lead a £1.9 million project called ‘The Language of Collaborative Manufacturing’. Prof. Hicks’ research is aimed at producing a new suite of ICT tools and a ‘next generation project dashboard’ to address major issues in modern engineering projects.

Prof. Hicks commented “Modern engineering projects such as aircraft manufacture operate globally, and involve thousands of engineers and companies. Managing such collaborative, large-scale, high-value engineering projects and the communications within them is complex and risky.

“Companies need to minimise delivery setbacks cost overruns, risk and collapsed projects. Overruns on engineering projects cost the US economy $150 million a day.”

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