Semantics for Digital Engineering Archives Supporting Engineering Design Education

  • William C. Regli Drexel University
  • Joseph B. Kopena Drexel University
  • Michael Grauer Drexel University
  • Timothy W. Simpson Penn State University
  • Robert B. Stone Oregon State University
  • Kemper Lewis University at Buffalo - SUNY
  • Matt R. Bohm Oregon State University
  • David Wilkie Drexel University
  • Martin Piecyk Drexel University
  • Jordan Osecki Drexel University
Keywords: semantic web, digital preservation, engineering education


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.

Author Biographies

William C. Regli, Drexel University
Professor of computer science with joint appointments in Mechanical Engineering and Electrical and Computer Engineering.
Joseph B. Kopena, Drexel University
Researcher in the Secure Wireless Agent Testbed Laboratory.
Michael Grauer, Drexel University
2008 MS graduate in computer science.
Timothy W. Simpson, Penn State University
Professor of mechanical and industrial engineering with affiliate faculty appointments in engineering design and in the College of Information Science and Technology and director of The Learning Factory.
Robert B. Stone, Oregon State University
Professor in the School of Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
Kemper Lewis, University at Buffalo - SUNY
Professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and executive director of the NYS Center for Engineering Design and Industrial Innovation.
Matt R. Bohm, Oregon State University
Assistant professor, senior researcher in the School of Mechanical, Industrial, and Manufacturing Engineering
David Wilkie, Drexel University
Gradute of Drexel University and former member of the Geometric and Intelligent Computing Laboratory. He is currently a PhD student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Martin Piecyk, Drexel University
Undergraduate student and a member of the Geometric and Intelligent Computing Laboratory.
Jordan Osecki, Drexel University
Undergraduate student a member of the Geometric and Intelligent Computing Laboratory.