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A realist investigation of co-design and development practices in complex systems environments - Ref: MKUF2018

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  • Full or part time
    Dr M King
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

The 21st Century presents tough global/societal challenges. The Engineering Systems of Systems (SoS) research group aims to seek solutions to these challenges through the study and advancement of complex SoS engineering and the socio-technical systems that shape our world.

This studentship is focused on the novel application of a theory-driven realist evaluative research approach to investigate co-design and co-production practices in complex systems environments. Evidencing what works (or does not work) and more importantly why, is particularly challenging for SoS researchers due to both the pace of technological change and complex human factors in socio-technical systems. What works in one context may not work well in others, for example, studying how requirements are generated and knowledge is managed within agile co-design and development environments that incorporate non-specialists and end-users.

There is opportunity for the successful candidate to carry out this research in a variety of application domains, specifically those organisations developing software-based and data-intensive systems/products/services often with ‘smart’ connected components. For example; smart systems within our homes and work places, urban systems within cities, transportation, healthcare, emergency services, manufacturing, retail, defence or even exploration.

The over-arching aim is to progress our understanding of ‘what works, for whom, in which contexts and why’ in the development of complex systems throughout the systems lifecycle. It is anticipated that by adopting both a critical realist and systems thinking perspective, this will further our understanding of the attributes and practices of successful development teams and the contextual factors that contribute towards positive outcomes.

Entry requirements

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in engineering, computer science or a related subject.

A relevant Master’s degree and/or experience in one or more of the following will be an advantage: systems engineering, agile development practices, Internet of Things environments.

How to apply

All applications should be made online. Under programme name select Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering. Please quote reference number: MKUF2018

Funding Notes

For more information about funding your PhD, please refer to the following link;

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