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PhD Studentship in A systems engineering approach to off-site production: from requirements to customer solution

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  • Full or part time
    Prof J Whyte
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

This project considers construction as a manufacturing process. It takes systems engineering templates and processes and uses these to trace and inform the logic of decisions in integrated Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) processes from a systems perspective. The work will be conducted in close collaboration with Laing O’Rourke. It aims to improve the traceability of requirements through the development process into a customer solution in order to facilitate the development of new template design processes; to establish the information needed for verification; to reduce variability, and to understand the resilience/flexibility of the production process. It will map the whole process from the stakeholder identification and need elicitation process through the partitioning of designs, design processes using a product configurator; to the customer solution and aftercare. To facilitate the move to low-carbon civil engineering, each step of this process will also be evaluated in terms of carbon as well as costs and process efficiency. Different systems engineering templates will be compared, contrasted and evaluated in terms of the information required in construction as a manufacturing process and the adoption and barriers to adoption of systems approaches.

The intended outcome of this research are to improve DfMA processes through a systems engineering approach. By better understanding requirements and reducing variability it is anticipated that processes can be improved. The research is also intended to contribute to academic debates, with the research protocols developed to enable the outputs to be published in journals such as Transactions in Engineering Management; Automation in Construction; International Journal of Product Innovation; or ASCE Construction Engineering and Management. The research will also draw on and contribute to the work of International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) and the Project Production Institute (PPI).

Funding Notes

Funding is available for applicants with settled UK status (see View Website for eligibility). The studentship offers a stipend of approximately £16,000 per annum (tax free) and covers fees at the UK/EU student rate for a period of four years.


Review of application is now in progress and will continue until suitable candidate is identified. The starting date for this PhD Studentship is 1st of October, 2018.

How good is research at Imperial College London in Civil and Construction Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 56.60

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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