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Simulation and the design building block approach in the design of ships and other complex systems

Andrews, DJ; (2006) Simulation and the design building block approach in the design of ships and other complex systems. P ROY SOC A-MATH PHY , 462 (2075) 3407 - 3433. 10.1098/rspa.2006.1728.

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Abstract

This paper is in many respects a continuation of the earlier paper by the author published in Proc. R. Sec. A in 1998 entitled'A comprehensive methodology for the design of ships (and other complex systems)'. The earlier paper described the approach to the initial design of ships developed by the author during some 35 years of design practice, including two previous secondments to teach ship design at UCL. The present paper not only takes that development forward, it also explains how the research tool demonstrating the author's approach to initial ship design has now been incorporated in an industry based design system to provide a working graphically and numerically integrated design system. This achievement is exemplified by a series of practical design investigations, undertaken by the UCL Design Research Centre led by the author, which were mainly undertaken for industry clients in order to investigate real problems to which the approach has brought significant insights. The other new strand in the present paper is the emphasis on the human factors or large scale ergonomics dimension, vital to complex and large scale design products but rarely hitherto been given sufficient prominence in the crucial formative stages of laxge scale design because of the inherent difficulties in doing so. The UCL Design Building Block approach has now been incorporated in the established PARAMARINE ship design system through a module entitled SURFCON. Work is now underway on an Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council joint project with the University of Greenwich to interface the latter's escape simulation tool maritimeEXODUS with SURFCON to provide initial design guidance to ship designers on personnel movement. The paper's concluding section considers the wider applicability of the integration of simulation during initial design with the graphically driven synthesis to other complex and large scale design tasks. The paper concludes by suggesting how such an approach to complex design can contribute to the teaching of designers and, moreover, how this design approach can enable a creative qualitative approach to engineering design to be sustained despite the risk that advances in computer based methods might encourage emphasis being accorded to solely to quantitative analysis.

Type:Article
Title:Simulation and the design building block approach in the design of ships and other complex systems
DOI:10.1098/rspa.2006.1728
Keywords:ship design, building block synthesis, human factors and simulation techniques, computer aided preliminary design, initial design methodology, engineering design education
UCL classification:UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Mechanical Engineering

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