Semantics for Digital Engineering Archives Supporting Engineering Design Education

William C. Regli, Joseph B. Kopena, Michael Grauer, Timothy W. Simpson, Robert B. Stone, Kemper Lewis, Matt R. Bohm, David Wilkie, Martin Piecyk, Jordan Osecki


This article introduces the challenge of digital preservation in the area of engineering design and manufacturing and presents a methodology to apply knowledge representation and semantic techniques to develop Digital Engineering Archives. This work is part of an ongoing, multiuniversity, effort to create cyber infrastructure-based engineering repositories for undergraduates (CIBER-U) to support engineering design education. The technical approach is to use knowledge representation techniques to create formal models of engineering data elements, workflows and processes. With these formal engineering knowledge and processes can be captured and preserved with some guarantee of long-term interpretability. The article presents examples of how the techniques can be used to encode specific engineering information packages and workflows. These techniques are being integrated into a semantic wiki that supports the CIBER-U engineering education activities across nine universities and involving over 3500 students since 2006.


semantic web; digital preservation; engineering education

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