Laboratory for Product Development and Lightweight Design

Our Laboratory’s research and teaching is about engineering design, i.e., the creation of concrete solutions to specific problems. This is particularly challenging when the solution and its elements are entirely unknown. In so-called top-down approaches, the development focus is on the desired features of the new product rather than on already existing solutions or their elements. Both methods from product development, such as creativity techniques, and methods from lightweight design, such as physical surrogate modelling, help to explore the unknown and find a way to new solutions to complex problems.

For complex problems, it is often important to consider the entire system by adopting a holistic and interdisciplinary view. In both lightweight design and in product development, all relevant requirements on a product, all aspects of feasibility and constraints on realization, and all interactions of all system components have to be taken into account.

How to treat the resulting complexity is an important subject of our research and teaching. We cover a large span of different quantitative and qualitative methods ranging, for example, from new numerical optimization techniques from lightweight design to Design Structure Matrices from product development.

In order to produce both applicable and scientifically outstanding results we closely cooperate with many partners from industry and academia.