Management of Complex Systems


Machine part

Taking a technology or product to market or into service requires careful planning and execution. This is especially true for complex systems involving, for example, multiple or distributed constituent technologies.

With significant experience in the aerospace, transport and energy sectors the Centre for Advanced Engineering at the University of the Highlands and Islands is comfortable in managing and optimising multi-disciplinary projects. By applying the principles of lifecycle management the full progression of a technology or product can be carefully established from positioning through definition, development, planning and trial, to delivery, operation and disposal. The process can be applied to any complex system, such as a distributed energy generation and distribution network, enabling the designer to optimise a solution against one or more measurements of performance (including cost and efficiency) and within multiple constraints (including space, legislation, safety, etc.)

The team is familiar with industry-standard project management and engineering design tools and how they can be tailored appropriately for every size of project.

An example of the specific tools used within this broader process is multi-disciplinary optimisation. The most important phase of any technology project is requirements capture, and the translation of those requirements into a solution. The early, conceptual design process is determined by the size of the design ‘space’ and this can be large for complex, multi- disciplinary or distributed systems, such as an energy generation and distribution network.

Automatic optimisation tools can help narrow that design space down to manageable proportions by evaluating the sensitivity of the system to various factors, thereby identifying those which drive the design, helping to define the optimum combination within the prevailing constraints.

For more information please contact: Professor Andrew Rae

e:  t: 01738 877856