Workshop on Interviewing
From Clemson Engineering Design Applications and Research
 Design Research Methods: Interviewing
2013 at ASME IDETC and CIE Conference in Portland, OR
The objective of this workshop is to present design researchers, students, faculty, and industry, with a tutorial on systematic structured interviewing as a case study research instrument. It is widely recognized that the topics of investigation in engineering design research include complex phenomena and behavior that challenges the researcher to explore new methods of inquiry. Qualitative research and case study analysis have been employed to varying degrees within the research community to capture and study these topics. A specific tool, interviewing, that is available to the engineering design researcher within these research methods is one that also is not widely practiced or taught within the engineering curricula from which new student researchers are recruited. Interviewing is to a large extend common sense, but there are ways of preparing, approaching, and conducting an interview that can make it more productive than others, providing value to the researcher and the interviewee. Therefore, we propose in this workshop to provide a background on structured interviewing, best practices, and a systematic method for designing and executing the interviews based on our practiced use of this instrument. The workshop is an outgrowth of our individual research directions and of various graduate design research courses that we have taught at Clemson University, the Open University, and Grenoble-INP. Included in the workshop will be an opportunity to practice interviewing.
- Joshua D. Summers, Ph.D.
- Claudia Eckert, Ph.D.
 Presenter(s) Biographical Sketches
Joshua D. Summers, Professor in Mechanical Engineering and named College IDEaS Professor at Clemson University, co-directs the CEDAR Group (Clemson Engineering Design Applications and Research). Dr. Summers earned his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Arizona State University researching design automation. Dr. Summers received his BSME and MSME from the University of Missouri-Columbia working on VR-based submarine design. Dr. Summers has worked at the Naval Research Laboratory (VR Lab and Naval Center for Applied Research in Artificial Intelligence) and served on the Foreign Relations/Armed Services staff of Senator John D. Ashcroft. Dr. Summers’ research has been funded (~$6M) by government (NASA, NSF, US Army TACOM), large industry (BMW, Michelin, General Motors), and small-medium sized enterprises (Wright Metal Products, Hartness International, and others). Dr. Summers’ areas of interest include collaborative design, knowledge management, and design enabler development with the overall objective of improving design through collaboration and computation. His research and teaching has been recognized with awards from SAE (Ralph Teetor Award and Arch T. Colwell Merit Award), TMCE (Outstanding Researcher Award), Innovision (Innovations in Education), the South Carolina Governor’s Award for Scientific Awareness, and others. Most significantly, Dr. Summers has been the advisor of record for five post-doctoral students, 6 completed PHD dissertations, 33 MS theses, 5 MS projects, two honor’s undergraduate thesis, and currently supervises over twenty graduate and undergraduate students.
Claudia Eckert is a Professor of Design at the Open University, the British distance education university in 2008. She send 10 years in the engineering design Centre in Cambridge, where she was a lead researcher on design process improvement focusing on design process planning, engineering change and communication in design processes. She received her PhD on intelligent support for knitwear design from the Open University. Having switched research from the fashion industry to engineering design, she developed a long standing interest in comparison between design domains. Dr Eckert’s research spans empirical studies as well as method and theory development. Her methodological strengths lies in conducting empirical studies in design firms to describe design behavior and identify the needs for tools and methods. She has conducted empirical studies in a number of large European aerospace and automotive companies in the UK, Germany, Sweden and France. Dr Eckert has supervised 9 PhD students to completion and is currently supervising 7 full time PhD students and 6 part-time PhD students, most of whom are carrying out empirical studies as part of their own PhDs
 Expected Background of Participants
Participants are expected to bring an interest in qualitative, empirical research.
 Expected Audience
This workshop is addressed to faculty, PhD students, MS students as well as researchers from industry with an interest in systematically studying complex engineering design behaviors, activities, and processes.
 Need for the Workshop
The engineering design research community, served by the ASME CIE and DE Divisions, are practicing empirical, case based research and would benefit from a structured research instrumentation tool, such as interviewing. This will help provide common language and understanding of the challenges associated with research tools for qualitative research.
This workshop will provide student researchers with tools to aid in their investigations, provide faculty with a common framework for conducting empirical design research, and introduce engineers from industry to a powerful research tool
 Workshop Agenda
- 8:00 – 8:15
- Who are we and why should you trust us?
- 8:15 – 8:45
- Who are you and why are you here?
- Find out why your neighbor is here. 10 minutes
- Report on your neighbor. 10 minutes
- What did you do? 10 minutes
- 8:45 – 9:00
- Big Picture of Interviews
- 9:00 – 9:10
- Interviewing as a “research instrument”
- 9:10 – 9:45
- Defining the Context
- 9:45 – 10:00
- 10:00 – 11:00
- Designing the Interview
- 11:00 – 12:00
- Reporting of the Interview
 Best Practice Papers
- Almefelt, L., Berglund, F., Nilsson, P., and Malmqvist, J., 2006. Requirements management in practice: findings from an empirical study in the automotive industry. Research in Engineering Design, 17 (3), 113–134. online
- Eckert, C.M. and Clarkson, P.J., 2010. Planning development processes for complex products. Research in Engineering Design, 21 (3), 153–171. online