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Axiomatic Design Short Course

  • 18.10.2017, 10:10 - 12:00

Axiomatic Design Short Course (OPEN COURSE)

October 18, 2017 10:10-12:00
Reykjavík University, room M105
Organizer: Joseph T. Foley <foley AT>

An Introduction to Axiomatic Design

The fundamental principles of Axiomatic Design (AD) and its application are reviewed. The main goals are to help attendees to begin using AD and appreciate its potential in a broad range of applications, not limited to traditional engineering design, including large systems. Insights and perspectives of over 30 years of teaching and practice will be included.

Nam Suh at MIT started AD in the late 1970s. The underlying supposition is that all good designs comply with just two axioms: 1) they maintain the independence of the functional elements and 2) they minimize the information content.

AD can help with innovation, add value, and reduce cost in the design process and in the design solution, as well as in its use. In the tutorial emphasis will be placed on techniques for decomposing design problems so that the axioms can be applied systematically, with corresponding functional and physical domain hierarchies. The use of metrics will also be covered.

This is intended practicing engineers, managers and engineering students, even those who might have never used AD, or those with experience who would like to see my perspective on using and teaching it for over 25 years.


Prof. Christopher A. Brown, PhD, FASME
Director, Surface Metrology Laboratory
Mechanical Engineering Department
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
More information


In 1983 Brown earned his PhD at the University of Vermont where he learned about Axiomatic Design from Nam Suh. He then spent four years as a scientific collaborator in the Materials Department at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. For two years he was a senior research engineer designing product and processes at Atlas Copco's European research center.

Since the fall of 1989 Chris has been on the faculty at WPI. Chris has published over a hundred articles on axiomatic design, sports engineering, manufacturing processes, and surface metrology. He has patents on characterizing surface roughness, devices for friction testing, and on sports equipment for reducing injuries. He teaches grad courses on axiomatic design of manufacturing processes, and on surface metrology, and an undergraduate course on the technology of alpine skiing. He also consults, and teaches courses, for industry on axiomatic design and on surface metrology.

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