My expertise focuses on information management in product design and development and on the design of mechatronic systems that include robotics and automation. I have published numerous papers in these fields. I teach courses on product design and development, design methods, mechatronics, and machine design. I have consulted with industry on the implementation of product development management systems and the development of production infrastructure and automation. I have been particularly successful in working with small/medium-sized companies in new product ventures and developing associated infrastructure. I give workshops on topics such as Innovation, Customer-Focused and Technology-Driven Design, Enterprise Architecture and Information Support Systems, among others. I am a registered Professional Engineer in Pennsylvania.
Brief Description of Research and Project Areas:
Information Modeling in Design. Engineering design is all about making decisions based on information and knowledge. Current Computer Aided Design (CAD) systems only capture the final design in the form of drawings or solid models (referred to as geometry) and some bill of materials. There is a tremendous advantage to the capture, storage and retrieval of design information for next generation CAD systems.
Development of an Information Management Infrastructure for Product Family Planning and Mass Customization. This is a project supported by the National Science Foundation to develop techniques that support information technology solutions to assist companies and designers in the complex enterprise of developing mass customizable products and systems based on a common product platform. This project is a close collaboration with teams at Penn State University, Virginia Tech, and University of Missouri-Rolla. We have an extensive website describing this project here.
Information Management in New Product Development. Developing a new product involves participation from many different people including business planning, marketing and engineering. Establishing disciplined methods for managing the process is helpful. It is also important to manage the information and supporting documentation.
Robotic Testing of Sports Equipment. Continuing improvement of much sports equipment requires a better understanding of the technical characteristics that contribute to better performance. Feedback from human users is important, but is often subjective. There is a tremendous advantage to simulating the use of the equipment in a controlled environment where more objective data can be obtained. Robotic technology can be used to simulate the human and the environment. I have recently done projects with robotic testing of snowboards and bicycle transmissions.
Animatronics. Animatronics is best described as robotic puppetry for theatrics or entertainment. You have likely seen animatronic creatures in the movies or at theme parks such as Disneyworld or Universal Studios. I have recently focused on developing modular animatronic systems for the head and face. Modular design approaches and the use of rapid prototyping technologies can improve performance and cost of these systems.
Design of Automation. I have done numerous projects with industry developing automation of different sorts. I'll describe some of them.
Mobile Robots. I spent 2002/03 as a Visiting Professor at the Autonous Systems Laboratory at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL). The group is active in many different robotics projects. Check out their website.
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