© The University of Sheffield

Claire Jeavons

Project Title: A Value-Focussed Decision Framework for Manufacturing Research Environments

Academic Supervisor: Dr Robin Purshouse

AMRC Supervisor: Dr James Baldwin

Sponsor: Rolls-Royce

The approach of my research is to develop a systematic value-driven framework which is able to manage the uncertainties in information, understand the interrelationships and sensitivity of cost drivers and provide an environment for confidently testing alternative scenarios to guide effective decision making. The impact of emerging technologies is exposed, enabling the decision makers to assess options which span multiple time frames, thus helping to direct future research and development focus.


This EngD illustrates that to satisfy the requirement for a robust cost engineering framework, within centres like the AMRC, a thorough understanding of the complexities in decision making combined with a way to manage the uncertainties and knowledge is essential. Using insights from literature and observational methods to diagnose the context and purpose, a conceptual framework for value-focused decision making is created. Next, a conceptual model of decision making is constructed from the explanatory study of a ‘typical’ R&D project at the AMRC. Later the research shows how, with insights from both of these and through a mixture of case studies, a value-focused decision framework will be developed, implemented and evaluated for use by decision-makers at the AMRC.


I applied to do a PhD 15 years ago but changed my mind. As an engineer, I didn’t like the idea of being ‘trapped in a dark room’ and wanted to get out into industry. I discovered the EngD, a mixture of doctoral research and industry problem-solving. The project I chose at the IDC with Roll-Royce was a good match in terms of my skills and interests. My background is in manufacturing process improvement, and the EngD aims to provide a framework for advanced cost modelling at the AMRC which enables novel technologies to be more confidently selected for industry in terms of cost and productivity.


Jeavons, C. E., Baldwin, J. S., McGourlay, J. and Purshouse, R. C. 2016. 'A Value-Focussed Decision Framework for Manufacturing Research Environments'. In M. Borsato, N. Wognum, M. Peruzzini, J. Stjepandic, and W.J.C. Verhagen (eds). Advances in Transdisciplinary Engineering 4: Crossing Boundaries. Proceedings of the 23rd ISPE Inc. International Conference on Transdisciplinary Engineering, October 3-7 2016, Curitiba, Brazil. pp. 662-671( )