A novel method has been developed at the University of Auckland to improve engineering designs by identifying and eliminating excess design margin. This PhD research project will build on that work. You will develop a new approach to identify parts in a design that are overdesigned with respect to their minimum requirements and prioritise them for improvement. A particular focus is on weight reduction opportunities, including through additive manufacture.
CONTEXT: Engineering products are typically overdesigned relative to their minimum requirements. The amount of overdesign is described as "margin". Margin helps to ensure a product or system will operate safely and reliably despite uncertainties (e.g. in manufacture and use) and also allows a design to be more easily adapted to changing needs. Margin is therefore desirable and necessary, but at the same time, too much (or inappropriately placed) margin deteriorates design performance, for instance increasing weight and/or cost of a product. This excess margin can be eliminated.
You will join the Design and Development Research Group where a number of PhD students are working on related topics.
To apply for this project, please submit an online application by clicking the button labelled "Visit Website". EMAIL APPLICATIONS MAY NOT RECEIVE A RESPONSE. On the application form, ensure you enter the correct supervisor (DC Wynn), department (Mechanical Engineering) and project title (as above) so that your application is correctly routed.
Applicants with excellent academic records may be eligible for a scholarship. Self funding applicants will also be considered.