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Transformational effects of applying systems engineering in laboratory scientific research

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journal contribution
posted on 14.03.2018, 14:25 by Kieran Bjergstrom, William G. Huish, Michael HenshawMichael Henshaw, Vincent Dwyer, Mark EverittMark Everitt
Through case study analysis of physicists working in quantum systems, we establish that knowledge of Systems Engineering (SE) will benefit scientists by ensuring that experimental apparatus is robust and fully meets the experiment requirements. We suggest a significant change to the training of early career research scientists to ensure they have a strong appreciation of the systems approach and experience of applying SE techniques. Two case studies were used: the first was a detailed analysis of increasing levels of SE in the development of a 3Dprinter for fabricating superconducting nano-circuitry. Applying SE techniques improved record keeping, reduced the risk of failure modes and took better account of future development through which scientific discovery may be exploited in practical devices. The second case study focused on a group of 30 quantum physics PhD students undertaking a short-course in basic SE, and used their opinions to check and add confidence to the findings of the first case study. A variety of tools were used in both studies and, in both cases, the Functional Failure Means Effects Analysis (FFMEA) technique was considered to be most useful. Recommendations are made for the future training of early career scientists to include some light-weight Systems Engineering.

Funding

M.J.E, K.N.B, and V.M.D. would like to thank the Defence Science Technology Laboratory (Dstl) under Contract No. DSTLX1000096136R for their support through the grant Engineering for Quantum Reliability.

History

School

  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering

Published in

IEEE Systems Journal

Volume

13

Issue

2

Pages

1924 - 1935

Citation

BJERGSTROM, K.N. ... et al, 2018. Transformational effects of applying systems engineering in laboratory scientific research. IEEE Systems Journal, 13 (2), pp.1924-1935.

Publisher

© IEEE

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Acceptance date

04/01/2018

Publication date

2018-09-05

Notes

Personal use of this material is permitted. Permission from IEEE must be obtained for all other uses, in any current or future media, including reprinting/republishing this material for advertising or promotional purposes, creating new collective works, for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or reuse of any copyrighted component of this work in other works.

ISSN

1932-8184

Language

en