(Dr. Farrokh Mistree, advisor)
"A Framework for Distributed Product Realization Environment"
While recent technological breakthroughs have given people ready access to all types of information, engineering disciplines still lack robust tools and methods to fully harness their potential. Fierce competition, globalization, decreased information half-life, and higher product complexity have made effective management of distributed information crucial. Thus, although information is readily available, the problem becomes promptly getting the right information to those who require it, without cluttering the desks and minds of those who do not. In this context, we imagine a future in which the evolutionary advances in the design, manufacture, and validation of engineering products, having resulted from competition, will be overshadowed by those made possible through collaboration, transcending organizational, disciplinary, and geographical borders. Towards this end, it is the research goal to provide the means to support the realization of products for the global marketplace through distributed design and manufacture. In this research, a robust design process infrastructure called Web-DPR, grounded in the creation, maintenance, integration and distribution of information and resources, is presented for empowering human designers to make effective use of the means placed at their disposal as a result of the information revolution.