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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/K014226/1
Title: Theme 1 - Analysis of the Vehicle as a Complex System
Principal Investigator: Dickerson, Professor C
Other Investigators:
Mulvaney, Dr DJ Dixon, Professor R Xu, Professor J
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Wolfson Sch of Mech, Elec & Manufac Eng
Organisation: Loughborough University
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 March 2013 Ends: 20 December 2018 Value (£): 1,472,959
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Complexity Science Design & Testing Technology
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
03 Oct 2012 Programme for Simulation Innovation (JLR) Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The rise of the digital economy and the associated increase in demand for customised products has caused the modern premium automotive vehicle to become a complex system. Integration is expected to have increasing levels of influence on innovation for manufacturing processes. This research on the complexity of digital features concentrates on advanced manufacturing facilities for virtual integration and verification for the provision of 'Getting it right first time through good design for speed to market'. As the digital enablement of vehicles become more complex, automotive manufacturing requires a new innovative approach into modelling and simulating with improved analysis tools to successfully integrate existing technologies and processes alongside new technology to meet increasing market demand. Each of these systems requires to be successfully integrated within the vehicle to achieve a global goal. System of systems engineering (SoSE) focuses on the management and control of such complex systems, which offer more functionality and performance than the individual systems themselves. Thus, the strategic intent of the research for the Programme for Simulation Innovation is to use innovations in modelling and simulation to evolve state of the art capabilities in vehicle design and analysis for manufacturing into advanced SoSE, for the digital features of a high interaction multi-disciplinary complex vehicle.

This research addresses the challenge of how to use innovative modelling and simulation for rigorous design and analysis to rapidly and reliably introduce substantially increased levels of digitally-enabled functionality into the complex vehicle. The system of systems engineering activities include:

-System architecting to define structure and behaviour of the systems of the vehicle

-Generation of a framework to enable traceability and relationship preserving specification to aid integration of existing and new technologies

-Analysis and behaviour prediction of the vehicle to include the simulation of non-deterministic outputs within a virtual environment to reduce prototyping and time to market.

-Greater concurrence in design and verification by the facility to analyse the fully integrated complex vehicle within its simulated environment.

The research will specify and implement a Virtual Integration Design and Analysis environment (VIDAE) that integrates simulation from multiple disciplinary systems (e.g. chassis, driver, power train, etc.) within the design and analysis environment, to facilitate advanced modelling and analysis capabilities for the vehicle as a complex system. The prime objective is the improvement of current automotive manufacturing processes to reduce the time to market and thus increase the UK competitiveness with the global economy.

The research will demonstrate an innovative path to the commercialisation of academic outputs for systems and SoS engineering that will provide academics and industry with new pioneering processes. This will give the UK a competitive edge by increasing the speed to market of academic research for systems engineering. The research also leverages key international collaborations for model based systems engineering (MBSE) that will better position the UK in the current research in the relevant international organisations.

The multi-disciplinary team from Loughborough and Leeds Universities will deliver a joint research programme that addresses the challenges of SoSE for the vehicle as a complex system. New capabilities for rapid introduction of digitally enabled functionality with reduced physical prototyping will be enabled through (i) a formal framework and rigorous methods for an innovative integration of simulation and design analytics with design verification and (ii) an engineering environment for virtual design and analysis.
Key Findings
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Organisation Website: http://www.lboro.ac.uk