Research in Engineering Design

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 3–35 | Cite as

FBS Linkage ontology and technique to support engineering change management

  • Bahram Hamraz
  • Nicholas H. M. Caldwell
  • Tom W. Ridgman
  • P. John Clarkson
Original Paper


Engineering changes are essential for any product development, and their management has become a crucial discipline. Research in engineering change management has brought about some methods and tools to support dealing with changes. This work extends the change prediction method through incorporation of a function–behaviour–structure (FBS) scheme. These additional levels of detail provide the rationales for change propagation and allow a more proactive management of changes. First, we develop the ontology of this method based on a comprehensive comparison of three seminal functional reasoning schemes. Then, we demonstrate the FBS Linkage technique by applying it to a diesel engine. Finally, we evaluate the method.


Engineering change management Change prediction Functional reasoning Multi-domain model 



The Cambridge Advanced Modeller


The change prediction method


Domain mapping matrix


The design research methodology


Design structure matrix


Engineering change




The function–behaviour–state framework


The function–behaviour–structure framework


Functional reasoning


Multidomain matrix


The structure–behaviour–function framework


Scanning electron microscope



The authors would like to thank Professor David C. Brown (Computer Science Department, Worcester Polytechnic Institute) for the insightful discussions about functional reasoning and his helpful feedback for the model, Seena Nair (Engineering Design Centre, University of Cambridge) for her support with CAM, Paul N. Turner and Sean G. Harman from Dagenham Diesel Centre of Ford Motor Company for evaluating the method and the diesel engine model, and the Perkins Engine Company for enabling the diesel engine case study. This work was funded by a UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council Doctoral Prize.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bahram Hamraz
    • 1
  • Nicholas H. M. Caldwell
    • 2
  • Tom W. Ridgman
    • 3
  • P. John Clarkson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Engineering, Engineering Design CentreUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK
  2. 2.Department of Science and TechnologyUniversity Campus SuffolkIpswichUK
  3. 3.Department of Engineering, Institute for ManufacturingUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK

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