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Dr. Chris Brown

Director, Haas Technical Education Center
Director, Surface Metrology Laboratory
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Mechanical Engineering Department
100 Institute Road
Worcester, MA 01609-2280
Phone: 508 831-5627
Fax: 508 831-5673

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Christopher Brown, PhD, PE, has been teaching axiomatic design at WPI and in industry since 1990. Students in his evening graduate course typically report that they start using axiomatic design at work within the first few hours of the course. Chris has spoken at conferences and published papers on his special approach to teaching axiomatic design. Chris started using axiomatic design as a graduate student in the early 1980s at the University of Vermont after meeting Nam Suh. He used axiomatic design as a senior research engineer designing products for Atlas Copco at their research center in Switzerland before coming to WPI. In the past few years Chris has been pleased to have had the opportunity to consult with Nam Suh on design problems. Chris is the founder and director of WPI's Surface Metrology Laboratory and WPI's Haas Technical Center for Computer-controlled machining.

Professor Brown's approach decomposes the application of axiomatic design into three elements: the axioms, the structure, and the process. Chris cites the axioms as being the key to teaching engineering design like a science. Suh's axioms are a few simple rules that can be used to understand complex design problems, just as Newton's laws are simple rules can be used to understand complex problems in engineering mechanics. The structure formulates the design so that the axioms can be applied. The structure also provides traceability for the design decisions. The processes of decomposition and integration used to create the design have been divided into clear steps to keep the design process on track and productive.

Solutions and Services

  • Axiomatic Design training and deployment mentoring

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