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Towards a guided framework for innovative engineering through the generation and evaluation stages of concept design

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  • This work proposes a framework of concept generation and evaluation that takes into consideration the benefit of creativity and innovation in current market trends. By educating engineers in how to increase creativity in concept design and assess it quantitatively, the next generation of designers will be a step ahead of the market. This research begins with an in-depth survey of current creativity assessment methods in engineering in order to determine where the limitations currently lie in this field of study. The limitations discovered based on this unique analysis were used as motivation for the development of the proposed creativity assessment method. Specifically, we introduce a set of metrics that break down concepts to their component and subfunction level to assess the novelty and quality of component solutions – called the Comparative Creativity Assessment (CCA) Method. Secondly, we break down market-tested innovative products to isolate innovation information to utilize in concept generation inspiration – called the Repository of Innovative Products (RIP). Finally, revisions to the initial CCA method and RIP are proposed and analysis of past data results are compared to the new revised results. Revisions to the CCA method include additional metrics that factor in interaction effects from function pairing and component assemblies deemed innovative as well as eliminate evaluator subjectivity in the analysis. Observations from the experiments conducted are presented in a Lessons Learned chapter.
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