A joint EPSRC-funded Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) project titled “Big-data: improving aircraft performance” has been funded to exploit the findings and methods we’ve developed in the Airbus In-Service department.
This six-month long project led by Dr Lei Shi and Prof. Linda Newnes aims to embed the approaches created within the project, including big-data analytics, trend analysis and autonomic computing, to interrogate and categorise aircraft wing In-Service projects. The research at the University of Bath has demonstrated that it is possible to automatically predict the complexity, duration and cost of such repair cases. This has been achieved through interrogating 10,000+ historical projects to create and validate the proposed approaches. Initial tests have been completed to ascertain whether the approaches can be used on the ‘live’ data from the Airbus In-Service workflow system.
Our overall aims are to develop the processes through on-site development and testing, to make the approaches self-sustaining, and to assist the in-service teams with their decision-making.
Do you face similar challenges? Let us know in the comments below…
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.
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):
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:
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.
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…
Continue reading “Industrial engagement and interactive dashboards”
As part of our efforts to understand what matters most to engineering project managers, and what they most struggle with when it comes to managing their products, we have been conducting a survey to develop an in-depth understanding of the major performance-influencing aspects of projects within various company contexts, and how well these are monitored and understood by the project management tools currently in use.
Continue reading “LOCM Survey gathers momentum”
Waking up at 4:30am? We don’t mind when it’s because we’re flying to Cavtat in Croatia for the Design 2016 conference!
If we can drag ourselves away from the pool at the ‘Team LOCM’ villa, we will be running a workshop on “Designing the next generation of project management dashboards for global engineering projects.” This will be at 13:45 today Monday 16th May in Salon 5 – please do come along.
You’ll also see some of the team presenting throughout the week:
- Session 214: 8:15-10:15 Tuesday 17th May, Congress Hall Konavle
Dr Chris Snider – Determining work focus, common language and issues in engineering projects through topic persistence.
- Session D212: 08:15-10:15 Tuesday 17th May, Congress Hall Bobara
Dr Duncan Boa – Discriminating Engineering Information Interaction using eye tracking and an information operations model.
- Session D412: 08:15-10:15 Thursday 19th May, Congress Hall Bobara
Dr James Gopsill – Computer aided design user interaction as a sensor for monitoring engineers and the engineering design process.
Some of the team will be heading to sunny Croatia for Design 2016 on Monday 16th May. As well as presenting papers we will be delivering a workshop on “DESIGNING THE NEXT GENERATION OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT DASHBOARDS FOR GLOBAL ENGINEERING PROJECTS” Continue reading “Design 2016 workshop”
The focus over this period has been two-fold: The first has dealt with consolidating the various analyses associated with each case study (data set) while the second has been to develop our approach for capturing user requirements and context(s). In the former work has continued across the four case studies associated with a Formula Student team and our other industrial partners. For the latter we have developed a combined survey and interactive workshop for potential users.
During this quarter four conference papers have been accepted for publication and are to be presented in Croatia in May and Chicago in June. In addition to this a journal article associated with the automated typing of topics in email associated with engineering projects has been submitted to the Journal of Advanced Engineering Informatics.
In addition to preparing the data set and planning analysis, Dr Emanuel has been interviewing the project manager on a monthly basis to understand the issues faced and user needs, with the aim of distilling a set of requirements for an FS dashboard. Interviews and analyses are ongoing, with two main focuses. First, requirements extraction will centre on supporting the project manager’s work flow, decision making capabilities and needs regarding issue/problem support across the 22 week build period. Second, the interviews will be used to understand the prevalence or importance of the project features, developed by Dr Snider, at different points in the build life cycle. Dr Emanuel has used the previous year’s CAD model as boundary object to communicate where work and issues are occurring as they develop this year’s car. The aim is to match these annotations to occurrences in CAD activity:
We’ve also been undertaking lots of other work in collaboration with our industrial partners, such as a tool that predicts project complexity and duration with over 75% accuracy after the project is around 30% completed. Another tool we have developed automatically connects and visualises people, topics and reports. This is being used initially as a tool to map and identify competencies, but we hope to expand it into a tool to support the creation of technology road maps also – watch this space!
Finally, we were delighted to host Dr Heli Aramo-Immonen from Tampere University of Technology. Dr Aramo-Immonen is collaborating with Dr Joel-Edgar on visualisations to support knowledge management.
In this period we have been verifying and validating the various analytical methods and began research to understand user contexts in order that we can begin to research dashboard concepts. Work in the area of analysis of representations has led to models to predict time to completion and stability of CAD models. For example, we can accurately predict time to completion when the model is only about 50% complete:
Through this work we have partnered the National Composite Centre (NCC) to explore transfer-ability of the techniques to Finite Element Analysis (FEA). Work with the NCC is also exploring the automatic mapping of capability and competencies.
In this quarter we have demonstrated analytical approaches for revealing previously hidden product and process dependencies through analysis of User-CAD interaction and content of technical reports/communications and novel methods for monitoring and predicting likely project complexity for routine projects.
For example, we’ve been using co-occurrence analysis to reveal model product dependencies. However, unlike traditional methods, we can also include data from representations such as CAD models:
The 2015 Industry workshop an industry day was held on the 3rd July 2015 at the National Composites Centre in Bristol. The objective was to gather views on progress to date, to help us to shape the outputs to meet the challenges faced in managing engineering projects.
Continue reading “Industry Workshop 3rd July 2015”