Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

M. Eng.


Mechanical Engineering

Committee Chair

Bohm, Matt

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Berfield. Thomas

Committee Member

Berfield. Thomas

Committee Member

Saleem, Jason

Author's Keywords

complexity; motivation; design quality


This collection of work comprises a preliminary study of the relationships between product complexity, design motivation, and design quality. Complexity, as it relates to the design process, is largely undefined and there exists no generally accepted method of measurement. This study applies an independent data set to a complexity measurement technique and develops complexity measurements at the pre and post design stages. Pre design is considered when design ideas are in formation and customer needs are being addressed. Post design is considered when a functional prototype is realized, manufacturing and assembly processes have been considered, and the product design is considered finalized. Developing complexity measurements for both stages of design are critical to realizing lean design development. Additionally, this study investigates the effects of personal motivation on design quality outcomes. Taking from the field of sociology, a survey tool is utilized to gauge an individuals’ motivation toward design as a serious leisure activity. Serious leisure is considered an activity in which participants glean an internal reward, pleasure, or satisfaction from participation. Utilizing a proposed design quality survey, this study determines quality metrics based on customer needs, manufacturability, serviceability, and product fit and finish, and considers quality to be the ultimate measure of a design. The intersection of complexity, personal motivation, and design quality is of particular interest in this study, as it may provide insight into engineering team dynamics as it relates to design outcomes.