This book presents the results of extensive research in computer-supported decision
processes in engineering, carried out over many years by the author and his collaborators.
The author has cooperated with designers in Poland and in Germany.Very
often there was university–industry cooperation for the building of specific software
for certain engineering tasks.
The majority of the concepts, for example “the designer’s personal assistant” and
the decomposition and coordination of multicriteria decision problems, evolved
through cooperation with designers in this field. The author,while working together
with them, understood that this group of people is characterised by a strong individualism
and that the range of applied approaches and methods is wide.
The most significant influences on the author’s opinions through contact with the
designers were the lectures he delivered for more than 12 years for post-graduate
studies on computer-aided design in machinery. The lectures included seminars
which required the creation of concepts for an individual computer support system
for decision processes, generally well known to the designers who participated in the
lectures. In the theoretical part the characteristics of the actual computer-aided
design and engineering (CAD and CAE) tools were depicted,whereas in the practical
part the students created concepts of computer environments for the realisation of
design projects in their own professional work. The task was confined to the expression
of the design process.This was followed by the development of a concept for the
implementation of different computer technologies in the next stages of their
processes. The lectures were attended annually by 15 to 25 participants, allowing the
teacher the opportunity to cover quite a wide spectrum of real industrial design
processes. The majority of students worked in machine industries with different production
outputs and product ranges: from aircraft components to a production line
for the spraying of car bodies, and from the development of mobile aerial systems to
the production of lightbulbs. Several concepts worked out during the seminars were
later realised in practice.
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