Design Methods and Design Management

Academic Staff

Fields of competence

The goal of our research group is the development and adaptation of methods and processes of systems engineering for industrial product development and university teaching in mechanical engineering. The focal point of our research are current challenges of agile PGE-Product generation engineering. With our expertise we provide incentives and specific concepts to develop innovative product ideas efficiently and qualitatively.

  • ASD - Agile Systems Design: Plan structured – act agile: Targeted and cost-efficient innovations with the necessary flexibilit.
  • PGE - Product Generation Engineering: Develop where, there is potential. We support you in aligning your development activities for a new product generation.
  • Knowledge management: We enable your development by a pro-active integration of knowledge management methods.
  • Development in distributed teams: Product engineering in times of globalisation: We digitize collaboration and enable worldwide cooperation across development sites.
  • Innovation management & product strategy: Looking ahead is vital, to be successful tomorrow! The use of appropriate and need-based methods of strategic identification of potential is therefore imperative in order to make decisions at an early stage.
  • Technical problem solving: The Problem solving methodology SPALTEN is a universal methodology to systematically solve problems.
  • Development methods: We support your approach to methodical work.
  • Validation: Validating products in mixed-reality-environments enables the safeguarding of the maturity level already in early development phases and thus helps to reduce late changes.
Fields of competence


Range of services

  • Live-Labs: Open-Innovation make the most of your potentials! – From analysis to Innovation, together with student teams!
  • Workshops: Present us with problems  – we provide you with many innovative solutions!
  • Training: Appropriate knowledge transfer: Learn and apply methodical competence in interactive training!
  • Transfer projects: Profit from state-of-the-art research in joint projects!
Range of services



Selected publications

Albers, A., Heimicke, J., Spadinger, M., Reiss, N., Breitschuh, J., Richter, T., Bursac, N. and Marthaler, F. : „A systematic approach to situation-adequate mechatronic system development by ASD - Agile Systems Design“. In Procedia CIRP. 2019

Albers, A., Heimicke, J., Müller, J. and Spadinger, M.: „Agility and its Features in Mechatronic System Development: A Systematic Literature Review“. In Proceedings of 30th ISPIM Innovation Conference. 2019

Albers, A., Rapp, S., Peglow, N., Stürmlinger, T., Heimicke, J., Wattenberg, F., Wessels, H.: „Variations as Activity Patterns: A Basis for Project Planning in PGE – Product Generation Engineering“. In CIRP Design Conference 2019. 2019

Albers, A., Rapp, S., Spadinger, M., Richter, T., Birk, C., Marthaler, F., Heimicke, J., Kurtz, V., Wessels, H.: „THE REFERENCE SYSTEM IN THE MODEL OF PGE: PROPOSING A GENERALIZED DESCRIPTION OF REFERENCE PRODUCTS AND THEIR INTERRELATIONS“. In International Conference on Engineering Design 2019. 2019

Marthaler, F., Orsolani Uhlig, E., Siebe, A., Bursca, N., Albers, A.: „Strategische Potentialfindung zur generationsübergreifenden Produktentwicklung mit langfristigem Zeithorizont: Eine qualitative Studie im Live-Lab IP – Integrierte Produktentwicklung“. Karlsruhe, Germany, 2019

Albers, A., Heimicke, J., Walter, B., Basedow, G.N., Reiß, N., Heitger, N., Ott, S. and Bursac, N.: „Product Profiles. Modelling customer benefits as a foundation to bring inventions to innovations“. In Procedia CIRP, Vol. 70 No. 1, pp. 253–258. 2018

Albers, A., Rapp, S., Birk, C., Bursac, N.: „Die Frühe Phase der PGE–Produktgenerationsentwicklung“. In Stuttgarter Symposium für Produktentwicklung. Stuttgart, Germany, 2017

Albers, A., Reiß, N., Bursac, N. and Richter, T.: „iPeM – Integrated Product Engineering Model in Context of Product Generation Engineering“. In Procedia CIRP, Vol. 50, pp. 100–105. 2016

Albers, A., Reiß, N., Bursac, N. and Breitschuh, J.: „15 Years of SPALTEN Problem Solving Methodology in Product Development“. In Proceedings of NordDesign 2016. Trondheim, Norway, 2016

Albers, A., Bursac, N., & Wintergerst, E: „Produktgenerationsentwicklung – Bedeutung und Herausforderungen aus einer entwicklungsmethodischen Perspektive“. In Stuttgarter Symposium für Produktentwicklung 2015. Stuttgart, Germany, 2015

An overview of all IPEK publications can be found here.