The Product Service and Innovation Centre is recognised globally for its multi-disciplinary approach to research and teaching. The research themes are generally performed in close collaboration with industry.
The research areas associated with the Product Service and Innovation Centre include:
Our applied soft computing research addresses ‘real-life’ industrial problems using Fuzzy Logic, Neural Networks and Evolutionary Computing. These have applications which include engineering design optimisation, physical system behaviour modelling, customer and agent modelling, business process re-engineering, customer churn management, and drug discovery.
In the area of cost engineering, we are researching rapidly evolving cost estimating tool sets to reflect global enterprise environments, and to address an increasing demand by customers for cost transparency, with consideration to mechanical, software and electronics’ domains.
Requirements management provides a controlled and transparent framework for the integration of product development and engineering changes in challenging, extended enterprise environments. Research students undertake digital requirements management in relation to the automotive sector, and requirements management techniques in relation to customer servicing of high-value, high-volume electronic products.
Decision Engineering research focuses on developing tools and techniques for informed operational and business decision-making within industry, by using data and information available at the time and distributed organisational knowledge. Opportunities exist in relation to research which encompasses the facts, techniques and infrastructure required for competitive design, with a focus on improving the cost prediction at the early stage of the design process. In this respect we work closely with colleagues in the Centre for Competitive Creative Design (C4D), a £5.5 million partnership with the University of the Arts, London.
Innovative enterprise research addresses the social and organisational elements of cross-functional step change. The production of new knowledge and its effective distribution within a manufacturing cluster is a core area. This includes the graphic tool kit for visualisation of the change process to facilitate communication across the enterprise players. New approaches to logistics derived from niche sectors are being evaluated and adapted for innovative mainstream application. How intranet-supported business processes facilitate innovation is an area of investigation.
Complex systems are defined in terms of rich interconnectedness between diverse agents – the ways in which these agents connect or relate to each other is critical to the survival of such systems. The focus of our research in this niche area is complexity science and social interaction. Today we are more interconnected than ever before, yet we still do not recognise social interaction as a driving force for the future. Technology plays a significant role in ensuring that we are ‘in sync’ with our own existence in order to innovate our way out of problems, and devise creative solutions to enhance our lives in a sustainable manner. Research in this area intersects all others, with the common denominator being people.
The Centre's client base includes:
Aldridge Piling Equipment
CRP Printing & Packing
Visteon Engineering Services