representations, usually mathematical in nature, of a real item. Typically developed for use in analysis.
the closeness to the truth.
the outcome of making improvements to a product of system in such a way as to make it more valuable to the customer.
attempt to minimize exposure, implement proper housekeeping practices, and devise appropriate worker training.
a situation in which everyone on a team accepts and fully supports a decision.
a step-by-step procedure for solving a problem or accomplishing some end especially by a computer.
parallel, but not similar situations that can be used to illustrate or explain one another.
the detailed assessment of the performance of an engineering design, usually based on mathematical models.
simplifications of complex behaviours that permit a situation to be assessed and analysed within the powers of the design tools we have available.
a water-bearing stratum of permeable rock, sand, or gravel.
“information” that forms the basis of creative design. Used in the absence of known fact and subject to revision as the situation becomes more clearly defined.
a truth that cannot be derived but for which there are no counterexamples or exceptions.
information” that is founded on faith, or an unprovable conviction.
a design approach, based primarily on experience, that is considered to be “best” for the particular circumstance.
inclinations, either recognized or unconscious, that can rise out of past experience.
a component of a system which accepts inputs and produces outputs while the functioning within the component is unknown.
a free-for-all approach to developing ideas for problem solution. Normally used in the context of developing concepts.
formalizing acceptance of the project or phase and bringing it to an orderly end.
documents that define minimum standards, normally under force of law, for the performance of an engineering design.
documents, either legal or voluntary compliance, that define expectations for the behaviour of a professional.
codes of ethics
exchange of information in graphic, written or spoken form. A case of both “sending” and “receiving” messages.
an idea. Within the design context, conceptual design is the preliminary stage in which ideas are assembled in a general way, prior to any assessment or analysis.
a situation in which everyone on a team is willing to “stand behind” a decision.
imitations imposed on an undertaking. May be of physical, financial, political, legal, technical, environmental, ethical or any other origin.
ensuring that project objectives are met by monitoring and measuring progress and taking corrective action when necessary.
a comparison of benefits gained versus costs incurred.
bringing into existence new and different solutions to problems, regardless of the nature of the problem.
a PERT type approach developed in the mid 20th century by Dupont.
Critical Path Method (CPM)
an assessment of work, usually for the purpose of identifying potential improvements, unintended oversights, or undesirable characteristics of the work. Most notably, a critique is not just criticism.
specific information, often numerical and founded on experiments, that is used is design. The word “data” is plural. Its singular version is “datum”. Therefore we should say “the data are . . .”
a systematic process of developing a workable solution to a practical problem. Involves, at minimum, creativity, analysis, communication and technical competence.
objectives which a particular design is intended to meet. Will have a major impact on the ultimate product.
a group of individuals, each with a particular set of competencies, who work together to create a final design that meets the design goals for a project.
a representation of some physical thing. In Engineering, usually done with some level of precision and using either electronic or drafting “tools”.
the ability of a product to remain functional under long term use.
allows the immediate stopping of a machine once a person, or other foreign object, becomes caught by the machine.
emergency shut-off devices
originating in or based on observation or experience.
passive measures designed into the work environment to prevent contact with potential hazards.
the process of assuring that the results of our designs do not have negative (or at least have minimum) impact on the natural environment.
assessing the performance of alternate designs against established criteria before selecting the final design.
coordinating people and other resources to carry out the plan.
fully revealed or expressed without vagueness, implication, or ambiguity.
the product remains energized but in a safe mode until corrective action is taken.
product continues to operate with reasonable safety until corrective action is possible.
reduces the product to its lowest level of energy so product cannot operate until corrective action is taken.
to ensure that a product failure will not result in damage to people, the product itself, or the environment.
at one extreme, the complete collapse of a system or structure. At the other extreme, not functioning as intended. When something is “designed” and it does not “do the job”, for whatever reason, it is deemed to be a “failure.
minimize the consequences of failure using four principle methods: monitoring devices, warning devices, safety factors and margins, failure rate reduction.
communication from a person who has assessed something to the person responsible for creating it.
the action for which a person or thing is specially fitted or used or for which a thing exists.
literally a very small spike in voltage in an electrical circuit resulting from a sudden added load. However, thanks to the Mercury astronauts in the early 1960's it came to mean any small, unexpected problem associated with a complex system.
a project management tool that separates a project into specific tasks and assigns timelines to each task.
a document that contains “best practice” advice respecting a particular product or process. Usually available through either manufacturers or trade associations.
involving or serving as an aid to learning, discovery, or problem-solving by experimental and especially trial-and-error methods, a “rule of thumb”.
capable of being understood from something else though unexpressed.
a modification of something that exists.
recognizing that a project or phase should begin and committing to do so.
a process of “revisiting” the assumptions and approximations as well as the analysis of a design solution to make changes and improvements that will impact the eventual design.
“information” that is founded on “fact” as it is currently understood, or scientifically “provable” or measurable data.
a thinking process that allows you to abandon established norms and look at a problem in a completely new and different manner.
a synonym for constraints.
the state of being fit to manufacture using processes, materials and skills that are available within “reasonable” cost. The definition of where this “line is drawn” is highly variable throughout industry.
a situation in which a decision is made by a vote and 50% + 1 are in favour of the decision.
the level of cost that meets the dual goals of low price and acceptable performance.
a design goal often associated with consumer goods, but at least implied in all “built” systems. Lowers the cost of ownership and decreases the probability of premature failure.
representations of a real item or system. Can range from physical scale models, through dimensionally similar models, to mathematical representations.
unduly adhering to one's own opinion or to preconceived notions.
seeking out the most favourable combination of variables to produce an end product with the best chance of success.
something brand new.
to provide engineered protection from hazards irrespective of the behaviour of the individuals being protected.
the manner in which a design reacts to the conditions imposed by the environment in which it is used.
Program Evaluation and Review Technique - a project management tool for large, complex projects that separates the project into specific tasks and assigns both timelines and task interactions. Permits assessment of the critical path to project completion.
“real” models of proposed designs, ranging from full scale to micro scale and from precise representations to “test” models that reflect the requirements of similitude.
devising and maintaining a workable scheme to accomplish the business need that the project was undertaken to address.
a situation in which there are more than two alternatives and the largest number of persons, but less than 50%, supports the position being advanced.
the fineness of measurement.
is a sequence or series of actions/tasks.
are concerned with specifying and creating the project product(s).
failure of parts causing injury.
product reliability failure
are concerned with describing and organizing the work of the project.
project management processes
"first-off”, full-scale productions of a new design intended for physical assessment of the product and the associated manufacturing requirements.
the process of reworking an existing product to improve performance and/or correct problems. A normal step in product evolution.
use of backup systems.
a condition in which one can be confident of the performance of an design or the “correctness” of an assumption or theory.
the process of reducing a “string” of numbers, usually produced as the result of mathematical assessment, to a “workable” level of precision.
an “accepted” process or concept that is used in design. Normally founded on experience and often used where more scientifically valid approaches are not available.
a state of mind. The level of assurance that collapse will not occur, and that persons who use the design will not be placed at undue risk.
a level of precision that can be justified based on what is known and what can be controlled within a design. While level of mathematical and computer precision may permit calculations to many decimal places, at some point the level of error, or the reliability of the numbers becomes questionable. Significant figures can be justified based on their design reliability.
a mathematical and physical properties based process that is utilized to design physical models that will perform in a manner similar to the full scale version. Uncontrollable factors, for example viscosity and friction, impact models differently that real systems.
a freehand drawing to aid in illustrating a concept rather than detail.
parts that are interchangeable among a number of models of a particular line on manufactured products. Parts that do not require special manufacturing processes, but are widely available within an industry.
agreed upon design minimums or procedures within an industry. Normally developed by consensus, but without legal status. Often accepted by code writing bodies and incorporated into the code document, thereby altering their legal status.
assembling parts into a functioning system. Also considered to be the process of moving from fundamental principles to a functioning application. Using performance specifications for individual parts to create a design that has the fewest possible compromises.
the level of accuracy required in manufacturing or construction so that parts will fit and function properly. Often seen as +/- measurements associated with dimensions on drawings.
a thought process that follows a logical progression through sequential steps, with each step justified by logic or fact.