James R. Rinderle
Designing is a process of making decisions which fix the configuration of a product or process. Design decisions are not, however, independent of each other. Rather, they are coupled as a consequence of physical interactions among components and because of the absence of a close correspondence between functions and single components. Although physical modeling is commonly employed in engineering to predict product performance, physical characteristics can also be used to direct the generation of design alternatives and to facilitate the understanding of fundamental design tradeoffs.