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PhD Summer School

  • 17 th August 29th August, 2008
  • Deadline for application: 10 th July, 2008
  • Venue: Xian, P R China a historic city in China .
  • Organiser: University of Strathclyde , UK
  • Local Organiser: Northwestern Polytechnical University , China

The PhD training summer school is organised as one of the major activities of the European Commission funded project entitled "A Framework Approach to Strengthening Asian Higher Education in Advanced Design and Manufacture" under the umbrella of Asia-Link programme. This fully funded first ever Asia Link PhD Summer School is initiated and organized by the Project manager- Dr. Xiu-Tian Yan from the University of Strathclyde (UK). PhD students from different countries of Asia ( China , Pakistan , and Bangladesh ) will participate in two week course.

Successful Completion

A very successful summer school run by organizing committee at Xian, China from 17th to 29th August 2008. An overwhelming number of PhD students (more than 60) participated in the summer school from different institutions of China and Pakistan . The school went very well for two weeks. Resource persons from SU, University of Abertay , UK , NPU and HUST, China delivered lectures on various aspects of doing research in the fields of Design, Manufacturing, Control and Mechatronics. Short lectures about the latest developments and research were also given regarding important subjects of the aforementioned fields. All participating students also presented their research problem and initial research results to all the participants of the summer school; thereby stimulating interesting research discussions and getting valuable feedback from all the participants of the summer school.

Opening Day Photos, Lecture Weeks Photos

Summer School Brochure, Summer School Brochure (Chinese), Application Form


The motivation of this summer school is to introduce European style PhD training mechanism, pioneered by Professor M. Andreasen and Professor L Blessing, into Asia higher institutions through providing hands on training experience to current PhD students so that they can benefit from this training and influence others. The aims of the Summer School of Research in Advanced Design and Manufacture are to make the participants more aware the research issues in the fields and latest research methodologies and thinking, so that they are better qualified and equipped to undertake the research activities related to design and manufacture by

  • helping them select a theoretical foundation and develop a research approach,
  • be able to think critically about their research fields, and
  • encouraging discussion and collaboration.


The objectives are to provide the participants with:

  • Introduction to PhD research in advanced engineering design and manufacture;
  • Insight into existing design & manufacturing theories and models to enable them to select a suitable theoretical foundation;
  • An overview of design and manufacturing research methodologies to enable them to develop the most appropriate approach for their own research;
  • optimisation of structures and topologies in engineering design
  • An overview of integration of design and manufacturing through concurrent product and process design;
  • An interactive environment in which individual research topics are presented to and discussed with other participants and the summer school lecturers;
  • The opportunity to get to know and learn from other researchers and develop long-term collaborations.

To achieve the objectives, participants will be actively engaged in the summer school activities: the emphasis is on critical thinking through discussions and exercises based around the research projects of the participants.

The Prerequisites

The summer school is suitable for PhD students or equivalent that has decided on a research topic, have undertaken a literature study, have formulated first set of aims and objectives and have an initial plan of work. For a three-year PhD, this will normally be at least 6 months or at the end of the first to second year; for a four- or five-year PhD, at the end of the second year. Participants will have to attend both weeks.


The training will be undertaken by a combination of lecturing on important topics and presentation and exercises. The summer school runs for two weeks, both of them requiring preparation.

Preparation for Week 1:

Participants have to prepare a short written introduction to their work consisting of:

  • research topic,
  • introduction to the problem to be solved,
  • objectives,
  • outline plan,

This introduction is to be emailed by the selected candidates to organisers by 4th August, 2008 .

E- Mail Address: fayyaz.rehman@strath.ac.uk ; youhua.li@strath.ac.uk ; All participants are expected to present their introductions prior to the summer school and need to prepare up to 10 transparencies or slides (e.g. Power point) for presentation.

Outline of Week 1:

Introduction of participants through presentation of their projects; the nature of design and manufacturing and research (discussion); design exercise/manufacturing process selection exercise; formulating research questions (group work); analysing a design process (protocol analysis); analysing different process models, presentation of findings; important research questions / hypotheses (discussion); different concepts, models and theories of designing and manufacturing; the nature and use of theories (discussion and lecture); design schools and theories (lectures with discussions); identifying areas of relevance and own contribution (group work and presentation); defining research focus (lecture, group exercise, presentation). The following lectures will also be delivered: Design methodologies and processes optimisations of structures and topologies; Product modelling and visualisation approaches; Introduction to rapid manufacture, process planning and computer aided manufacturing ( CAM ).

Preparation for Week 2:

Participants are requested to prepare a research progress report consisting of:

  • detailed description of problem background/statement,
  • goal and research questions/hypotheses and their relationships,
  • adopted research methodology,
  • contribution to date,
  • expected results,

This progress report is to be emailed by selected students to organisers by 4th August, 2008.E- Mail Address: fayyaz.rehman@strath.ac.uk ; youhua.li@strath.ac.uk ; All participants are expected to prepare up to 10 transparencies or slides (e.g. Power point) for presentation.

Outline of Week 2:

Presentation of research progress; research approaches and methods (discussion); research types and research methodology; planning research (exercises and presentations); descriptive design & manufacturing research data collection, analysis, interpretation, drawing conclusions); developing knowledge, methods, models, tools (lectures and discussions); visualisation research objects (exercise and presentations); evaluating research results; writing a thesis or other publication.

Final report:

Within one month after the course, the participants are requested to write a short report reflecting on the course and on the effects of the course on their own research.


There will be no fees to attend the school. All the costs of attending summer school are covered by the fund from Asia-Link FASTAHEAD project. These include the following expenses for both weeks:

  • Accommodation for two weeks
  • All meals during the training
  • Teaching materials two books will be issued to participants

Course Lecturers

  • Prof. Jonathan Corney ( University of Strathclyde , UK )
  • Dr. Xiu-Tian Yan ( University of Strathclyde , UK )
  • Dr. Jonathan Borg ( University of Malta , Malta )
  • Prof. David Bradley ( University of Abertay , Dundee , UK )
  • Prof. Weihong Zhang (Northwestern Polytechnical University , China )
Application Procedure

With a supporting recommendation letter of their institutions by their departments or postgraduate school, applicants should apply by filling the application form in English. The completed application form, scanned University recommendation letter and scanned copy of registration document/certificate should be sent electronically to summer school contact persons by no later than 30th June:

Dr. Fayyaz REHMAN, Department of Design Manufacture & Engineering Management, University of Strathclyde , 75 Montrose Street , Glasgow G1 1XJ , Scotland , UK. Phone: +44 141 548 3020; Fax: +44 141 552 0557, E-mail: fayyaz.rehman@strath.ac.uk

You will be notified by email about your acceptance by 15 th July 2008. After that we will sent further detail information.

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