As a kickoff and meet-up with people involved in Wingquist Laboratory, Jubilee Professor Claudia Eckert, Open University UK, held a seminar on "Margins as a key to managing engineering processes".

The importance of margins in product development

​Claudia Eckert, one of four Jubilee Professors at Chalmers University of Technology, focusses on engineering design. Recently she held a seminar on margins and the aspects of them in product development.

Claudia Eckert, Professor of Design, from the Open University, UK, is a guest at the Department of Industrial and Materials Science during 2018. Professor Eckert's main focus of research has been engineering design, fashion design and in recent years also construction, which has led to a long-standing interest in comparisons between design domains. Her research aims to understand how the  design processes work, how they can be supported and what drives the differences between different processes around themes such as: engineering design, theoretical issues, creative processes, and design research methodology.

As a kickoff and meet-up with people involved in Wingquist Laboratory, she held a seminar on "Margins as a key to managing engineering processes", based on research together with Volvo AB and GKN Aerospace Sweden. She took the audience through a discussion on what margins are, notions of margins across the design process, safety and design margins, and potential applications of margins.

One of her observations is that teams are not aware of the margins other have added, which can lead to a multiple adding of margins for the same reason but by different teams. This over-design is costly and margins are becoming a more critical issue, as optimisation is getting better.

- The notion of margins is an emerging interest in several Wingquist Laboratory research areas relating both to platform-based development and geometry assurance, says professor Ola Isaksson, host for the Jubilee Professor and research group leader for Systems Engineering Design within the center, and he continues:

- We are happy to have Professor Eckert as a guest at the department for three months this year. Her widespread network and collaboration with researchers globally, and her Jubilee Professorship will give an international research experience in the areas of design and product development.

Interview with Claudia Eckert (starting 2:50 in, about co-operation with Sweden)



Director Rikard Söderberg, together with Jubilee Professor Claudia Eckert, Open University UK and Ola Isaksson, research group leader Systems Engineering Design.

Text and photo: Carina Schultz


Published: Wed 02 May 2018. Modified: Thu 03 May 2018