Imperial College London

ProfessorPeterChilds

Faculty of EngineeringDyson School of Design Engineering

Head of the School of Design Engineering
 
 
 
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Contact

 

+44 (0)20 7594 7049p.childs Website CV

 
 
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Location

 

Studio 1, Dyson BuildingDyson BuildingSouth Kensington Campus

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Summary

 

Publications

Publication Type
Year
to

205 results found

MASEN M, BRAND A, Yan Y, VARLEY J, SPENCE P, CHILDS Pet al., 2014, Demanding it all from the novice mechanical engineer through design and manufacture, INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON ENGINEERING AND PRODUCT DESIGN EDUCATION(E&PDE 2014), Pages: 669-674

A core design and manufacture group project has been run in the second year of the Mechanical Engineering undergraduate programme at Imperial College for over two decades where students are required to develop highly loaded rotating machinery, such as a pump or a winch, early in the second year of their undergraduate study. The aim has been to provide a practical opportunity to apply and develop skills learnt in the first year and to provide the experience of manufacturing, operating and testing what has been designed. While these projects have been a mainstay of the educational experience for many years, there has been a persistent concern that the projects are deterministic and highly constrained. The course team and student body have debated and now implemented a new project that is both less constrained and more appealing to the student cohort. In this project the students are tasked with developing a transmission for an electric scooter. The project has resulted in a significant diversity in designs and, importantly, the students embracing the curriculum content with fervour. The challenge still requires attention to the application of fundamental mechanical engineering principles such as transmissions, solid mechanics and materials, but also focuses on electronic control systems, battery and motor characteristics, high current and power, health and safety and a range of transferable skills. The multi-disciplinary nature of the project combined with an appealing application has resulted in a highly engaged year group. This paper reports on the project and includes an analysis of the diversity of designs and student effort.

Conference paper

Yan Y, Jiang P, Squires A, Childs PRNet al., 2014, Ill-defined Engineering Problem Solving Empirical Study, Singapore, International Conference on Advanced Design Research and Education 2014(ICADRE14), Pages: 144-149

Conference paper

Yan Y, Jiang P, Squires A, Childs PRNet al., 2014, Stimulation of Creative Output By Means of the Use of Creativity Tools – A Case Study, INTERNATIONAL DESIGN CONFERENCE -­ DESIGN 2014

In this paper, a theoretic framework was proposed on how to select the most appropriate creativity tools to stimulate designers' creativity in terms of the nature of the design task to be tackled, and the personality traits and preferences of the designers. This is illustrated in an engineering problem solving case study. The results were overall positive, many and diverse ideas were obtained although designers reported few challenges when using the creativity tools. The findings address the need to carefully choose creativity tools suited to designers' personality and the type of design task.

Conference paper

Lipinski T, Lee SH, Childs PRN, 2014, Domestic Passive Ventilation with Heat Recovery (PVHR): Performance criteria, tests and operational variations

Historically, housing in general has had low levels of insulation and poor airtightness. Although this characteristic was not energy efficient it provided a plentiful supply of fresh air. Over the last twenty years insulation and airtightness of homes has received attention due to a global drive towards energy efficiency and carbon emissions reduction. Since a large portion of energy used in homes is utilised for comfort heating or cooling, the focus has been on improvements to insulation and airtightness in order to decrease the dwellings' total energy use, as well as ensuing carbon emissions. However, a large body of research shows that airtight houses require adequate air management (controlled ventilation) to prevent the occurrence of poor indoor air quality which can contribute to illness such as asthma as well as the so-called sick building syndrome. Introduction of controlled ventilation presents another energy related challenge - fresh air introduced to homes needs to be re-heated (or cooled) adding to energy use and negating most gains resulting from improved insulation. Even if Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery (MVHR) is used, the systems use electricity and require maintenance to operate, adding to cost and reducing energy savings. Thus an air management system that can improve building ventilation, prevent excessive heat loss and use no energy in operation is a desirable option. The Ventive PVHR technology, described in this paper, can be such an option that provides efficient ventilation with heat recovery and no electricity use. This system utilises both thermal buoyancy and pressure caused by the wind-driven Pitot effect of a cowl as its two driving forces. Advances in heat exchanger design resulting in interleaved coaxial heat exchanger units allow the thermal energy of the outlet air to be exchanged to the cooler inlet air with consistently high efficiency and negligible pressure drop. Thus heat loss due to air ventilation can be minimised a

Conference paper

Ekong GI, Long CA, Childs PRN, 2014, The Effect of Heat Transfer Coefficient Increase on Tip Clearance Control in HP Compressors in Gas Turbine Engine, PROCEEDINGS OF THE ASME INTERNATIONAL MECHANICAL ENGINEERING CONGRESS AND EXPOSITION, 2013, VOL 1

Journal article

Lee S-H, Jiang P, Childs PRN, Gilroy Ket al., 2014, FUNCTIONAL ANALYSIS DIAGRAMS WITH THE REPRESENTATION OF MOVEMENT TRANSITIONS, PROCEEDINGS OF THE ASME INTERNATIONAL MECHANICAL ENGINEERING CONGRESS AND EXPOSITION, 2013, VOL 12

Journal article

Ekong GI, Long CA, Childs PRN, 2014, Application of creativity tools to Gas Turbine Engine Compressor Clearance Control, PROCEEDINGS OF THE ASME INTERNATIONAL MECHANICAL ENGINEERING CONGRESS AND EXPOSITION, 2013, VOL 5

Journal article

Childs P, ZHAO Y, Grigg J, 2013, Narrative in design development, The 15th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education Conference, Publisher: The Design Society, Pages: 108-113

Conference paper

Jiang P, Lee S, Childs P, Experience in the use of engineering product design principles to extend novice engineer capability, DESIGN 2014 - 13th International Design Conference

In the educational context different design activities can be used to introduce distinct design skills. In the paper students undertook the design of a cordless handtool by addressing a wide range of functional attributes and design rationale. Experience with this project suggests that case studies provides a suitable activity for students to explore and understand product functions and other design activities. The analysis has indicated paucity in understanding the significance of product design specifications and design rationale among students and therefore suggest more intensive training.

Conference paper

WANG Z, Childs PRN, JIANG P, 2013, Using web crawler technology to support design-related web information collection in idea generation, The 19th International Conference on Engineering Deisgn (ICED13), Publisher: The Design Society, Pages: 229-238, ISSN: 2220-4334

Effective information gathering in problem and task related fields with which designers or design teams may not be familiar is a key part of the design process. Designers usually consult with subject experts to access expert information. An Effects Database system that includes design-related effects to provide ready access to expertise at any stage within the design process can be used to prompt areas to consider and explore. To maintain the efficiency of the system, its data must be regularly updated and new effects populated from the open source knowledge base. Web crawler technology has integrated into an information gathering and analysis system to rapidly mine design-related information from published data sources in order to update an effects database for use in design. This paper describes the effectiveness and efficiency of the system for updating the database. Comparing with manual information collection, the test results demonstrate that this system can dramatically increase the efficiency on selecting design-related information from un-restricted internet sources.

Conference paper

Lee S, JIANG P, Childs PRN, 2013, Design for functional requirements enabled by a mechanism and machine element taxonomy, The 19th International Conference on Engineering Deisgn (ICED13), Publisher: The Design Society, Pages: 387-396, ISSN: 2220-4334

A process providing an option for engineers and designers to separate the consideration of functional requirements and movement requirements to encourage diverse thinking has been developed and implemented in a graphical interface. In order to assist in consideration of attributes, a database, mechanism and machine element taxonomy (MMET), has been constructed. MMET is composed of the functional attributes, movement attributes, and advantages and disadvantages of machine elements and mechanisms. It provides engineers and designers a wide range of component selection to fulfil design requirements and reliable references to make decisions. Three different interfaces such as hierarchy, functional-oriented and movement-oriented are defined to allow users to explore different options and purposes. This taxonomy also provides comparative information between elements, mechanisms with the same main technical functions. With this information contained in MMET and with the additional aid of a functional analysis diagram (FAD) approach, engineers and designers are able to explore flaws in current designs and deliver alternative solutions by following a proposed creative optimizing process.

Conference paper

Nam TJ, Childs P, Sohn M, 2013, A design model and tackles for systematic conceptual design, International Journal of Mechanical Engineering Education, Vol: 41, Pages: 341-353, ISSN: 0306-4190

Systematic design models are useful in the professional education of both designers and engineers; they also support complex multi-faceted design activities that involve a large number of individuals. This paper introduces a range of design models, but then focuses on the linked node model, which uses nodes to indicate the properties of an outcome and links to show the connections between the nodes. The model is based on the premise that good design serves to generate a harmoniously integrated outcome. The paper also explores a range of tools and 'design tackles' that can be used in a systematic approach to design. Finally, it introduces a design project aimed at creating better user experiences in Dongdaemun market in Seoul, Korea. © Manchester University Press.

Journal article

Childs P, 2013, Engineering freakout, International Journal of Mechanical Engineering Education, Vol: 41, Pages: 297-305, ISSN: 0306-4190

Design and engineering have worldwide impact. The products and systems generated affect every level of our lives. In a competitive world where the prosperity of local industry waxes, wanes and emerges in new forms, temporal strategies and policies for survival and gain inevitably emerge. It is in this context that engineers and designers operate their exciting trades, with consideration of multiple functional attributes in any given application. This may involve attention to technical, aesthetic, economic, social and latent function and their often complicated interrelationships, with one attribute affecting the performance of others in a significant manner. The value of each attribute needs to be maintained at the design stage in order to deliver worldwide competitive products, systems and services. It is in the conceptual, detailed design, fire-fighting and application phases that engineering analysis shows its potential, time and time again, to deliver order-of-magnitude as well as validated estimates for quantities. The tools of engineering provide essential input and infl uence for the design process. These tools can be operated with diligence and exacting analysis, as well as in the fast-paced conceptual stages of any project, in order to explore the 'what if' and to provide a physical basis for an idea, as well as the impetus to give that idea the justification for the resources it requires for elaboration. © Manchester University Press.

Journal article

Hall A, Mayer T, Wuggetzer I, Childs PRNet al., 2013, Future aircraft cabins and design thinking: optimisation vs. win-win scenarios, Propulsion and Power Research, Vol: 2, Pages: 85-95, ISSN: 2212-540X

With projections indicating an increase in mobility over the next few decades and annual flight departures expected to rise to over 16 billion by 2050 there is a demand for the aviation industry and associated stakeholders to consider new forms of aircraft and technology. Customer requirements are recognised as a key driver in business. The airline is the principal customer for the aircraft manufacture. The passenger is, in turn, the airline’s principal customer but they are just one of several stakeholders that include aviation authorities, airport operators, air-traffic control and security agencies. The passenger experience is a key differentiator used by airlines to attract and retain custom and the fuselage that defines the cabin envelope for the in-flight passenger experience and cabin design therefore receives significant attention for new aircraft, service updates and refurbishments. Decision making in design is crucial to arriving at viable and worthwhile cabin formats. Too little innovation will result in an aircraft manufacturer and airlines using its products falling behind its competitors. Too much may result in an over-extension with, for example, use of immature technologies that do not have the necessary reliability for a safety critical industry. The multiple requirements associated with cabin design, can be viewed as an area for optimisation, accepting tradeoffs between the various parameters. Good design, however, is often defined as developing a concept that resolves the contradictions and takes the solution towards a win-win scenario. Indeed our understanding and practice of design allows for behaviours that enhance design thinking through divergence and convergence, the use of abductive reasoning, experimentation and systems thinking. This paper explores the challenges of designing the aircraft cabin of the future that will deliver on the multiple requirements. In particular the paper explores the value of implementing design thinking ins

Journal article

Lee S, Jiang P, Childs P, Gilroy Ket al., Functional Analysis Diagrams with the representation of movement transitions, ASME 2013 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, IMECE 2013

A study on utilising a graphical interface to representmovement transmission within products has been conducted tosupport a creative conceptual design process that separates theconsideration of functional requirements and motionrequirements. In engineering design, many representations ofproduct structure have been proposed to assist in understandinghow a design is constituted. However, most of theserepresentations demonstrate only functions and are not able todemonstrate design structure. Functional Analysis Diagrams(FAD) provides a solution for this. An FAD shows not onlyfunctions but also physical elements by the network of blocksand arrows and thus it is capable of demonstrating varioustypes of information and the design scheme. This characteristicgives FADs an advantage for designers to combine differenttypes of information including useful and harmful interactionsto gain an overview of the design task. This study focuses onusing circles instead of arrows to represent movement attributesof mechanisms and machine elements in a KinematicFunctional Analysis Diagram (KFAD) and explores methods ofutilising it in mechanical design. A commercial case study ofmedical equipment design conducted with the assistance ofKFADs and a component database, mechanism and machineelements taxonomy (MMET), is described to illustrate theprocess. The design outcome shows that it is feasible to followthe proposed conceptual design process. With the help ofKFADs and the machine elements taxonomy to enableconsideration of movements, diverse considerations and designsolutions are possible.

Conference paper

Childs PRN, Yao W, 2013, Application of design rationale for a robotic system for single-incision laparoscopic surgery and natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery, Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Part H-Journal of Engineering in Medicine

Current endoscopes and instruments are inadequate in some respects for complex intra-abdominal surgery becausethey are too flexible and cannot provide robust grasping and anatomic retraction. Minimal invasive surgery devices representa sophisticated class of mechanical instruments making use of a range of mechanisms integrated into modular platformsthat can be combined to undertake complex medical procedures. Although the machine elements concernedrepresent classic mechanical engineering devices, issues of miniaturization, surgical procedure compliance and locationcontrol conspire to present a design challenge. In order to capture, document and resolve the design requirements forthis complex application, quality functional deployment has been applied in combination with design rationale, capturedthrough issue-based information system mapping. This article reports the use of these tools to produce robot designswith improved dexterity and triangulation that are basic requirements in laparoscopy.

Journal article

Ekong GI, Long CA, Childs PRN, 2013, TIP CLEARANCE CONTROL CONCEPT IN GAS TURBINE HP COMPRESSORS, INTERNATIONAL MECHANICAL ENGINEERING CONGRESS AND EXPOSITION - 2012, VOL 1: ADVANCES IN AEROSPACE TECHNOLOGY, Pages: 433-441

Journal article

Childs P, Leon N, Runcie C, 2013, Design Led Innovation, The 14th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE2012), Publisher: The Design Society, Pages: 690-695

Conference paper

Bannar-Martin L, Childs P, 2013, A NOVEL THERMALLY ACTIVATED R744 HEAT PUMP CYCLE, PROCEEDINGS OF THE ASME TURBO EXPO: TURBINE TECHNICAL CONFERENCE AND EXPOSITION, 2013, VOL 2

Journal article

Yan Y, Childs PRN, Hall A, 2013, An assessment of personality traits and their implication for creativity amongst Innovation Design Engineering masters students using the MBTI and KTS instruments, 19th International Conference on Engineering Design, Pages: 317-326, ISSN: 2220-4334

Creativity and its realisation are vitally important to industry as identified, for example, by the Capitalizing on Complexity report undertaken by IBM. The scope of this study is to explore masters level design engineering students’ creativity in terms of personality correlation. A personality survey conducted on Innovative Design Engineering (IDE) masters students by applying the MBTI and Keirsey Temperament Sorter (KTS) to investigate individual creativity is reported.The results reveal that intuition, which is suggested to potentially strongly link with creativity, is quite prominent among the IDE students. That extraversion is positively correlated with creativity in the engineering domain is modestly confirmed. Contrary to expectation, perceptors did not outnumber judgers. From KTS theory, although Idealists and Rationals account for a small part of the whole population, they mark exceptional appearances in IDE sample. It is reasonable to speculate that more creative potentials, which lead to better creative outcomes, exist among people who belong to those personality groups and possess certain personality traits in the design engineering fields where creativity is desired.

Conference paper

Leon N, Childs P, Runcie C, 2012, Design led innovation, Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education: Design Education for Future Wellbeing, EPDE 2012, Pages: 690-698

For the last three years a course has been offered to MEng students in their third or fourth year of studies called Design Led Innovation and New Venture Creation. The rationale for offering the course was a combination of demand for design orientated options as well as the desire to deepen students' understanding and experience of the process of realising their ideas and ventures commercially. The premise for the course is that successful design-led innovation depends on blending customer insight and technical inventiveness to create value for customers and users as well as commercial value for innovative firms and their investors. Students are coached intensively in interdisciplinary teams by design experts, engineers and entrepreneurs to develop a project into a business proposition. Theproject ideas are formed in response to the positing of a meta-theme. Students are exposed to keyconcepts in design, creativity tools and the disciplines of human-centred design as well as strategies for introducing new products or services to a market and developing the necessary value networks. A key outcome of the course has been the emphasis necessary for ensuring that the process of preparing a new venture is considered and acted upon. This has been realised by means of intensive tutoring by experienced and practicing entrepreneurs. This paper reports the student experience along with the series of interventions that have been necessary in order to develop behaviours compatible with turning technical inventiveness into potentially viable innovation propositions.

Journal article

Various, 2012, Enabled: The Rio Tinto Sports Innovation Challenge Story, Publisher: DEG Imperial College London, ISBN: 978-0-9572298-0-8

Design can have an influence far beyond the initial activity on a product, processor system. Design represents a dynamic entity as a result of the interactions withthe user and the context. Once released, a design can be adopted for uses, notinitially considered, sometimes with unintended consequences. The world of designis used to the reach of the domain, and it is within this context that the RioTinto Sports Innovation Challenge was initiated.The intention was to explore Paralympic sports, to see what design could offer.A wide open brief was developed and we pressed go. This book presents thecontributions of the many participants, students, elite sportsmen and women,domain experts and course staff.

Book

Childs PRN, Fountain R, 2012, Commercivity, 13th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, Publisher: The Design Society, Pages: 3-8

Conference paper

Lin L, Ren J, Jiang H, Childs Pet al., 2012, HEAT TRANSFER CHARACTERISTICS OF A ROTOR-STATOR SYSTEM WITH SMALL RADIAL OUTFLOW, PROCEEDINGS OF THE ASME TURBO EXPO 2012, VOL 4, PTS A AND B, Pages: 2283-+

Journal article

Eastwood D, Coren DD, Long CA, Atkins NR, Childs PRN, Scanlon TJ, Guijarro-Valencia Aet al., 2012, EXPERIMENTAL INVESTIGATION OF TURBINE STATOR WELL RIM SEAL, RE-INGESTION AND INTERSTAGE SEAL FLOWS USING GAS CONCENTRATION TECHNIQUES AND DISPLACEMENT MEASUREMENTS, ASME Turbo Expo 2011, Publisher: AMER SOC MECHANICAL ENGINEERS, Pages: 859-870

Conference paper

Heyes AL, Botsis L, McGlashan NR, Childs PRNet al., 2012, A THERMODYNAMIC ANALYSIS OF CHEMICAL LOOPING COMBUSTION, ASME Turbo Expo 2011, Publisher: AMER SOC MECHANICAL ENGINEERS, Pages: 105-111

Conference paper

Coren DD, Atkins NR, Long CA, Eastwood D, Childs PRN, Guijarro-Valencia A, Dixon JAet al., 2012, THE INFLUENCE OF TURBINE STATOR WELL COOLANT FLOW RATE AND PASSAGE CONFIGURATION ON COOLING EFFECTIVENESS, ASME Turbo Expo 2011, Publisher: AMER SOC MECHANICAL ENGINEERS, Pages: 981-992

Conference paper

Childs P, Fountain R, 2011, Commercivity, DS 69: Proceedings of E and PDE 2011, the 13th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, Pages: 3-8

Creativity can be defined as the ability to imagine or invent something new of value. In the engineering domain, for example, in common with many workplace and social experiences, creativity is both sought after and resisted. In essence creativity represents a significant risk and yet in the fast moving business climate no creativity is even riskier. Essential to realising financial or societal value from an idea, is definition and embodiment of the details that enable the idea to be realised in practice. This paper explores the tensions involved with creativity, the value and use of creativity tools and the importance of design in realising commercial potential. This can be embodied in the moniker commercivity, the commercial exploitation of creativity through the implementation of game-changing and sustainable ideas. This paper accompanies the conference keynote. The subject matter builds on a set of ideas developed in collaboration between Rod Fountain, a serial entrepreneur and Peter Childs. The interviews were conducted for a forthcoming book on commerce and creativity. Commercivity is a registered trademark.

Journal article

Brezing A, Childs P, Yim H, Bland PW, Rau PLPet al., 2011, Approaches to a cross-cultural engineering design theory, DS 69: Proceedings of E and PDE 2011, the 13th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, Pages: 487-492

Engineering Design Theory as an integral part of design education serves the purpose of structuring actions and thinking processes in order to increase the efficiency of development processes and the quality of developed products. In many institutions in Europe and the U.S.A., problem-oriented process models based on the approach of functional decomposition have complemented teaching approaches that rely on studying standard solutions such as machine elements. If one assumes that these models have been designed to suit the thought habits and educational traditions in the cultural spheres of their origin, their validity in the context of the globalization of engineering education must be discussed. Especially with regards to "Western" and "Asian" cultures, Nisbett [1] substantiates the existence of profound cognitive differences that might be relevant for design education and practice. Summarizing some of Nisbett's assertions, Westerners are more likely to rely on categorizing and individualizing objects and applying formal logic in any situation, whereas Asians prefer not to disentangle objects from their context in favour of a more holistic view of the world. This paper explores the consequences of such cultural differences in the context of product design and development to add plausibility to the authors' own observations from teaching practice with students from China, Germany, South Korea, Thailand and the United Kingdom. The discussion focuses on the applicability of the established model of the Engineering Design Process, narrowing the scope of Design Theory but broadening on the view that different design practices are attributed solely to differences in social interactions.

Journal article

McGlashan NR, Childs PRN, Heyes AL, 2011, A Pb/Zn Based Chemical Looping System for Hydrogen and Power Production with Carbon Capture: GT2011-46602, Turbo Expo 2011: Power for Land, Sea and Air

This paper describes an extension of a novel, carbon-burning, fluid phase chemical looping combustion system proposed previously. The system generates both power and H2 with ‘inherent’ carbon capture using chemical looping combustion (CLC) to perform the main energy release from the fuel. A mixed Pb and Zn based oxygen carriers is used, and due to the thermodynamics of the carbothermic reduction of PbO and ZnO respectively, the system generates a flue gas which consists of a mixture of CO2 and CO. By product H2 is generated from this flue gas using the water-gas shift reaction (WGSR). By varying the proportion of Pb to Zn circulating in the chemical loop, the ratio of CO2 to CO can be controlled, which in turn enables the ratio between the amount of H2 produced to the amount of power generated to be adjusted. By this means, the power output from the system can be ‘turned down’ in periods of low electricity demand without requiring plant shutdown. To facilitate the adjustment of the Pb/Zn ratio, use is made of the mutual insolubility of the two metals at medium temperature to affect their segregation as two liquid layers at the base of the reduction reactor. The amount of Pb and Zn rich liquid drawn from the two layers and subsequently circulated around the system is controlled thereby varying the Pb/Zn ratio. To drive the endothermic reduction of ZnO that formed in the oxidiser, hot Zn vapour is ‘blown’ into the reducer where it condenses, releasing latent heat. The Zn vapour to produce this ‘blast’ of hot gas is generated in a flash vessel fed with hot liquid metal extracted from the oxidiser.A mass and energy balance is conducted of a power system, operating on the Pb/Zn cycle. In the analysis, reactions are assumed to reach equilibrium; losses associated with turbomachinery are considered; and heat exchangers are assigned a suitable approach temperature; however, pressure losses in equipment and pipework are assumed

Conference paper

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