Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Hudson, Susan T.

Committee Member

James, Carl

Committee Member

Newman, James C.

Committee Member

Shenefelt, Jeffrey

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Mechanical Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Engineering


Department of Mechanical Engineering


With limited resources and time available for a typical design project, it is difficult to decide how to allocate these resources and time to produce an optimum design. Also, the question arises, ?Given the design process, available resources, and available time, will the design meet the program goals?? Uncertainty analyses of design processes addresses these issues and could substantially improve design quality, cost, and cycle time. Research to examine uncertainty in the design process employs previous experience in experimental, model, and manufacturing uncertainty, in an innovative approach for analyzing the entire design process. This research was initiated with a pilot project, a 4-bar-slider mechanism. Two new theories for the research have arisen from this pilot project. First, design optimization techniques could be used to compare steps of the design process and to help determine the overall uncertainty of the final manufactured product. Second, manufacturing uncertainty can be included as an additional random uncertainty in the analysis of the final manufactured product. While more research needs to be completed to test, apply, and expand on these theories, the pilot project has been a positive step forward. It has already produced two proposals with one funded and one awaiting a decision. This research, although in its beginning stages, could substantially improve the design process.