Massimo Panarotto, Doctor of Philosophy!

Massimo Panarotto, Doctor of Philosophy!

May the force be with you!”.

Well, not exactly what you expect as closing line of a PhD defense. Still, it mirrors very well Massimo Panarotto’s energetic presentation this morning at Blekinge Institute of Technology.

A Model-Based Methodology for Value Assessment in Conceptual Design” is the title of Massimo’s research work. It deals with the complex matter of understanding and modelling the value of a product (and its related services) in the early stages of design.

Massimo Panarotto, Grading Committee, Supervisors and Opponent
Massimo Panarotto, Grading Committee, Supervisors and Opponent

Models are essential for designers to translate ideas into solutions. A range of models is already available today to guide designers’ decisions: they are used, for instance, to predict resistance to fatigue, ergonomic properties or deformations. Still, these models can be used only late in the design process, when a product is already detailed. Also, there is little support with regards to modelling the higher-level but fundamental matter of “customer value”.

In his work, Massimo proposes a methodology for value assessment that combines methods and tools developed during its empirical study in the automotive and road construction equipment industry. These methods were verified both with industrial practitioners and by means of experiments in design episodes with students at BTH.

The research was mainly carried out within two separate research projects. The first one, named “SÅ NÄTT – collaboration as enabler for lightweight structures” was an initiative funded by the Swedish Agency of Innovation Systems (VINNOVA). The second one, named “Value Driven Product Development” is one of 8 ‘Use Cases’ within the Model Driven Development and Decision Support (MD3S) research profile at Blekinge Institute of Technology (BTH). MD3S is an initiative financed by the Swedish Knowledge and Competence Development Foundation (Stiftelsen för kunskaps- och kompetensutveckling).


PhD Danielle Soban, from Queen’s University in Belfast acted as opponent to Massimo’s work. Building on her experience with methods and models for Value Driven Design, she contributed to a lively discussion with the PhD Candidate. Integration with existing Systems Engineering practices, generalization of the models and validation were just some of the areas touched upon during the opposition.

After detailed scrutiny and final approval by the grading committee, composed of Prof. Anna Öhrwall Rönnbäck (Luleå University of Technology), Prof. Caterina Rizzi (University of Bergamo) and Ass. Prof. Mario Štorga (University of Zagreb), the Product Development Research Lab and the supervising team (Asc. Prof. Marco Bertoni, PhD Christian Johansson and Prof. Tobias Larsson) are proud of Massimo becoming Doctor of Philosophy and achieving such an importat milestone in his research carrier!


Massimo Panarotto’s thesis can be downloaded at this link.

Massimo’s presentation can be replayed here:

Massimo’s defense can be replayed here:

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