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Palfinger August 2022

IJME 202

Paper Title: Marine Requirements Elucidation and the Nature of Preliminary Ship Design



D Andrews, University College London, UK


 In 2003 the author produced a paper, entitled “Marine Design ­ Requirements Elucidation rather than Requirements Engineering”, for the 8th International Marine Design Conference. This was intended to follow on from van Griethuysen’s 2000 IMDC paper “Marine Design ­ Can Systems Engineering Cope?”, while drawing on the author’s recent experience in, firstly, directing and then being the MoD Future Surface Combatant (FSC) IPT Team Leader in the concept phase for that programme, where the intentions of Smart Procurement were applied. Since leaving the MoD in 2000, the author’s academic endeavours, at UCL, have both refined the ideas in the 2003 paper and, through a diverse range of ship design studies, provided further substantial evidence in favour of that paper’s argument. The current paper was originally presented to the first Institution conference on systems engineering. This is a revised version in the light of the discussion at that conference on the applicability of systems engineering practice to initial ship design and presents the arguments of both papers to a wider audience. 

The current paper looks at the origins of the concept of Requirements Engineering, within systems engineering, when specifically applied to naval engineering acquisition practice. This is contrasted with consideration of the actual nature of the initial design of physically large and complex systems, typified by modern naval vessels. This is followed by drawing specific insights from a series of design studies undertaken by the UCL Design Research Centre, under the direction of the author. These diverse and wide ranging initial design studies can be seen as examples of the sophistication of Requirements Elucidation, exemplifying how systems engineering practice can be applied to the critical early stages of naval ship design. The paper concludes by looking at the characteristics of the initial or concept design process by seeing Requirements Elucidation, as the strategy to tackle the inherently “wicked problem” of determining what is really wanted of a naval vessel and what can be afforded.


Transactions RINA, Vol 153, Part A1, International Journal Maritime Engineering, Jan-Mar 2011

DOI Number

DOI No: 10.3940/rina.ijme.2011.a1.202

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