Research objectives and content
The aim of this project is to apply a biological method of
classification (cladistics) to study the change and evolulion of manufacturing systems. Cladistics is a classification method based on the hypothesis that there is an underlying mechanism (evolution) explaining diversity. This project will enable the verification of long-standing hypothesises about competitiveness and manufacturing change. It will also promote a more thorough understanding of the inner mechanics of change in manufacturing systems.
The University of Sheffield has been pioneering the application of scientific classification methods as used in biology to the the study of manufacturing systems. The candidate will conduct research in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, which is highly ranked for its research activities. In addition, the candidate will benefit from existing links specific to this project with the Department of Plant and Animal Sciences, the Department of Mathematics, and the British Royal Classification Society.
Training content (objective. benefit and expected impact)
The applicant will be trained in the fields of manufacturing audits. manufacturing systems design & re-engineering. and finally, in the management of manufacturing change.
The objective of this training is to provide the applicant with the opportunity to undertake research training to Ph.D. level according to the proposal aims. The host researcg group are pioneering the development of such knowledge and thus are able to provide the applicant with unique supervision, a range of specialist cladistic software analysis tools and change
management models which have been developed for the purposes of the proposed research. Also, the host institute was the only Mechanical Engineering department in the UK to receive an excellent rating" in both teaching and research.
Links with industry / industrial relevance (22)
Industrial beneficiaries will be those organisations concerned with achieving manufacturing change and competitiveness with the application of structured tools and methodologies in order to re-design their organisations. The industrial significance of this research is demonstrated by the participation of fifteen manufacturing organisations who are seeking the radical re-design of their manufacturing systems.