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Article

Moti Frank

As technological systems grow larger, more complex, and interdisciplinary, electronics and hi‐tech industries face a growing demand for engineers with a capacity for …

Abstract

As technological systems grow larger, more complex, and interdisciplinary, electronics and hi‐tech industries face a growing demand for engineers with a capacity for “engineering systems thinking”. This paper presents a multifunctional definition and 30 laws of “engineering systems thinking”. The definition and the laws are based on a study that its purpose was to identify the characteristics of engineers who are able to think in the manner called “engineering systems thinking”. A thorough understanding of “engineering systems thinking” on both the theoretical and operational levels will prove useful in the design of curricula to improve and develop thinking of this sort.

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 31 no. 9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

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Book part

Nima Gerami Seresht, Rodolfo Lourenzutti, Ahmad Salah and Aminah Robinson Fayek

Due to the increasing size and complexity of construction projects, construction engineering and management involves the coordination of many complex and dynamic processes…

Abstract

Due to the increasing size and complexity of construction projects, construction engineering and management involves the coordination of many complex and dynamic processes and relies on the analysis of uncertain, imprecise and incomplete information, including subjective and linguistically expressed information. Various modelling and computing techniques have been used by construction researchers and applied to practical construction problems in order to overcome these challenges, including fuzzy hybrid techniques. Fuzzy hybrid techniques combine the human-like reasoning capabilities of fuzzy logic with the capabilities of other techniques, such as optimization, machine learning, multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM) and simulation, to capitalise on their strengths and overcome their limitations. Based on a review of construction literature, this chapter identifies the most common types of fuzzy hybrid techniques applied to construction problems and reviews selected papers in each category of fuzzy hybrid technique to illustrate their capabilities for addressing construction challenges. Finally, this chapter discusses areas for future development of fuzzy hybrid techniques that will increase their capabilities for solving construction-related problems. The contributions of this chapter are threefold: (1) the limitations of some standard techniques for solving construction problems are discussed, as are the ways that fuzzy methods have been hybridized with these techniques in order to address their limitations; (2) a review of existing applications of fuzzy hybrid techniques in construction is provided in order to illustrate the capabilities of these techniques for solving a variety of construction problems and (3) potential improvements in each category of fuzzy hybrid technique in construction are provided, as areas for future research.

Details

Fuzzy Hybrid Computing in Construction Engineering and Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-868-2

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Article

Tony Halim, Kanesan Muthusamy, Sie Yong Chia and Shao Wei Lam

This paper aims to be a balance of mixed management and engineering concepts that aims to fuse classical engineering methodologies into a systems engineering framework to…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to be a balance of mixed management and engineering concepts that aims to fuse classical engineering methodologies into a systems engineering framework to assess and compare systematically and comprehensively services rendered by engineering systems.

Design/methodology/approach

An auditing framework is developed to assess the performance of engineering services in the context of engineering services found within a facility. As a result of a system heterogeneity factor, an approach to remove this confounding issue is developed to provide a different insight into the performance of engineering services.

Findings

The output of the audit exercise serves as an input to the second methodology, direct age‐adjusted failure, which overcomes systems attributes confounding issues when comparison is made between different systems populations of the same class type. This method allows management to identify areas in which extra resources are needed to improve maintenance performance.

Practical implications

The proposed standardization technique, which can be applied to system attributes other than age, overcomes the systems heterogeneity issue between localities. This research work is positioned in the context of building engineering services, as they are the most important in terms of socio‐economical impact. A case study based on an actual facilities assessment in Singapore is used to demonstrate the usefulness of such an integrated systems approach.

Originality/value

This paper presents a qualitative‐quantitative assessment framework that consists of two major methodologies to help in identifying and prioritising engineering system services in order to allocate limited resources to the appropriate engineering service so as to improve its performance.

Details

Facilities, vol. 29 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-2772

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Article

TR Sreeram and Asokan Thondiyath

The purpose of this paper is to present a combined framework for system design using Six Sigma and Lean concepts. Systems Engineering has evolved independently and there…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a combined framework for system design using Six Sigma and Lean concepts. Systems Engineering has evolved independently and there are numerous tools and techniques available to address issues that may arise in the design of systems. In the context of systems design, the application of Six Sigma and Lean concepts results in a flexible and adaptable framework. A combined framework is presented here that allows better visualization of the system-level components and their interactions at parametric level, and it also illuminates gaps that make way for continuous improvement. The Deming’s Plan-Do-Check-Act is the basis of this framework. Three case studies are presented to evaluate the application of this framework in the context of Systems Engineering design. The paper concludes with a summary of advantages of using a combined framework, its limitations and scope for future work.

Design/methodology/approach

Six Sigma, Lean and Systems Engineering approaches combined into a framework for collaborative product development.

Findings

The present framework is not rigid and does not attempt to force fit any tools or concepts. The framework is generic and allows flexibility through a plug and play type of implementation. This is important, as engineering change needs vary constantly to meet consumer demands. Therefore, it is important to engrain flexibility in the development of a foundational framework for design-encapsulating improvements and innovation. From a sustainability perspective, it is important to develop techniques that drive rationality in the decisions, especially during tradeoffs and conflicts.

Research limitations/implications

Scalability of the approach for large systems where complex interactions exist. Besides, the application of negotiation techniques for more than three persons poses a challenge from a mathematical context. Future research should address these in the context of systems design using Six Sigma and Lean techniques.

Practical implications

This paper provides a flexible framework for combining the three techniques based on Six Sigma, Lean and Systems Engineering.

Social implications

This paper will influence the construction of agent-based systems, particularly the ones using the Habermas’s theory of social action as the basis for product development.

Originality/value

This paper has not been published in any other journal or conference.

Details

International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, vol. 6 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-4166

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Article

Jackie Blizzard, Leidy Klotz, Alok Pradhan and Michael Dukes

A whole‐systems approach, which seeks to optimize an entire system for multiple benefits, not isolated components for single benefits, is essential to engineering design…

Abstract

Purpose

A whole‐systems approach, which seeks to optimize an entire system for multiple benefits, not isolated components for single benefits, is essential to engineering design for radically improved sustainability performance. Based on real‐world applications of whole‐systems design, the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) is developing educational case studies to help engineers expand their whole‐systems thinking. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the effectiveness of these case studies in multiple sections of a first‐year engineering course.

Design/methodology/approach

The comprehension of whole‐systems principles by 165 first‐year engineering students at Clemson University was evaluated through surveys and open‐ended questionnaires, before and after introducing the educational case studies.

Findings

The pilot study results show that introducing the case studies improves students' consideration of several essential whole‐systems design concepts. The case studies were particularly effective in strengthening student consideration of the clean sheet approach, integrative design, design for multiple benefits, optimization of the entire system, and the possibility of drastic efficiency increases with current technology.

Research limitations/implications

This study was conducted at a single institution and with a fairly homogeneous group of students. These factors should be considered when interpreting the implications of the findings for other groups.

Originality/value

This preliminary research shows that case study examples like these can help increase consideration of the whole‐systems design approach that leads to improved sustainability performance.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 13 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

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Article

Juliano Munik, Edson Pinheiro de Lima, Fernando Deschamps, Sergio E. Gouvea Da Costa, Eileen M. Van Aken, José Marcelo Almeida Prado Cestari, Louisi Francis Moura and Fernanda Treinta

This study aims to conduct a literature review on factors that influence the implementation and design of performance measurement systems in nonprofit organizations.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to conduct a literature review on factors that influence the implementation and design of performance measurement systems in nonprofit organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

The research strategy is conceived through a literature review focused on the analysis of authorship, supported by bibliometric techniques such as citation, co-citation and co-authorship social networks.

Findings

Models and theories proposed for measuring performance in non-profit organizations are being researched, starting to form an intellectual structure related to performance measurement systems and nonprofits. Three main research topics have been given more attention: strategic performance and public service performance, health-care performance and nonprofit operations strategy and performance measurement.

Research limitations/implications

The study is limited to scientific journal papers and could benefit from the addition of new sources of information such as conference papers, books and standards. The body of knowledge of this topic could also benefit from an in-depth investigation through a comprehensive review of models and theories, as a proposal for a future research agenda.

Practical implications

As practical applications are identified, groups of researchers in different countries and subjects that can generate research agendas, scientific communities used to investigate issues related to performance in nonprofit activities.

Originality/value

Performance measurement in nonprofit organizations is a topic of study that has been receiving considerable attention in recent years, to the point that the literature is revealing specific models for measuring performance in this type of organizations. Particular models and theories are being conceived, specializing existing models and theories related to performance measurement and management.

Details

Measuring Business Excellence, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1368-3047

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Article

Yash Gupta and Wing Sing Chow

This article surveys the literature dealing with theory and applications of life cycle costing (LCC). It deals with the literature published in the last 25 years and…

Abstract

This article surveys the literature dealing with theory and applications of life cycle costing (LCC). It deals with the literature published in the last 25 years and provides 667 references.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 2 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

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Article

DOUGLAS LEWIN

The Times for 29th May 1867 carried on its correspondence pages letters from Earl Granville and Lord Taunton warning of the decline of British manufacturing industry and…

Abstract

The Times for 29th May 1867 carried on its correspondence pages letters from Earl Granville and Lord Taunton warning of the decline of British manufacturing industry and the need to establish industrial (technical) education along the lines of the Grandes Ecoles already established in France and on the Continent generally. Lord Taunton also called for the Government of the day to hold an official inquiry into industrial education on the Continent and wrote that it “should tell the people of England authoritatively what are the means by which the great States are attaining an intellectual preeminence among the industrial classes and how they are making this bear on the rapid progress of their national industries.”

Details

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, vol. 53 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0002-2667

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Article

Yusuf Arayici, Ghassan Aouad and Vian Ahmed

Collaborative working using Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) systems in construction has become a reality as many activities are performed globally with…

Abstract

Collaborative working using Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) systems in construction has become a reality as many activities are performed globally with actors located in various geographical locations. Computer Integrated Construction (CIC) is the type of ICT system that binds a fragmented and geographically distributed set of construction stakeholders collaborating together. Although the concept of CIC has been the subject of research for many years, its uptake has been very limited due to the development of the technology and its effective implementation. Research in this area is still premature and does not pay much attention to the development and implementation of the prototypes in the industry. As a result, the research developments have remained as prototypes although they have captured industrial interest. However, ongoing research within the field of construction IT is stressing that it is crucial to define research methodologies for human centred and adaptive CIC developments through industry‐wide knowledge sharing. The aim of this paper, through triangulated research strategy of interviews, surveys and case study is to justify the need for a requirements engineering process as a CIC development methodology for adaptive and user‐centred systems developments and as a guideline to bridge the gap between industry and the research community. The case study project is the DIVERCITY system development undertaken by researchers and practitioners across Europe to develop a shared virtual construction design and briefing environment that enables the construction industry to better undertake the client briefing and design review phases of a construction project.

Details

Construction Innovation, vol. 5 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

Keywords

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present a new master’s programme for promoting energy access and energy efficiency in Southern Africa.

Design/methodology/approach

A transdisciplinary approach called “participatory integrated assessment of energy systems” (PARTICIPIA) was used for the development of the curriculum. This approach is based on the two emerging fields of “multi-scale integrated assessment” and “science for governance”, which bring innovative concepts and methods.

Findings

The application of the PARTICIPIA methodology to three case studies reveals that the proposed transdisciplinary approach could support energy and development policies in the region. The implementation of the PARTICIPIA curriculum in three higher education institutions reveals its ability to respond to the needs of specific contexts and its connection with existing higher education programmes.

Practical implications

Considering energy issues from a transdisciplinary approach in higher education is absolutely critical because such a holistic view cannot be achieved through engineering curricula. Deliberate and greater efforts should be made to integrate methods from “multi-scale integrated assessment” and “science for governance” in higher education curricula to train a new breed of modern-day energy planners in charge of coming up with solutions that are shared by all relevant stakeholders.

Originality/value

This paper presents an innovative higher education curriculum in terms of the attention given to energy access and energy efficiency that affect the southern Africa region and the nature of the methodology adopted to face these issues.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 19 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

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