The number of companies and organizations developing facilities oriented towards the application of the principles of Concurrent Engineering is steadily growing worldwide. Concurrent Engineering is a systematic approach to integrated product development focused on the team values of cooperation, trust and sharing, that focuses in the response to customer expectations.
At ESA establishment European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC), Noordwijk, the Netherlands, the application of concurrent engineering principles is undertaken at the site known as Concurrent Design Facility (CDF) (www.esa.int/CDF).
At the completion of 10 years of CDF operations in 2008 the portfolio of studies undertaken at this facility already included more than 80 potential future missions studied, 3 new launcher concept design, and 5 ISS on-board facilities/experiments accommodation studies, among others.
Of particular relevance is also the realization of educational activities at the CDF installations that allow students to get familiarized with concurrent engineering and its application processes. The conceptual studies of some of ESA promoted educational projects, as the European Students Earth Orbiter (ESMO) or the European Students Earth Orbiter (ESEO) missions, were carried at the CDF, thus allowing the participants to increase their added value from this experience by performing the task of mission development through the concurrent engineering process.
As a new CDF installation was devised at ESTEC, the initial CDF arrangement was offered to ISU and was setup at ISU central campus during summer 2008.
The CDF installation brings ISU Masters students the possibility of familiarization with concurrent engineering and its processes of application through the organization of workshops and assignments, which shall always be double-oriented tasks, by combining the CDF process with the development of space related subjects.
As the usefulness of concurrent engineering extends much further than space mission design, the use of ISU CDF for other design processes in other industry fields is also under consideration.