Significant expenditure and effort is devoted to the never ending search for reduced product development lifecycle time and increased efficiency. The development of Semantic Web technologies promises a future where knowledge interchange is done seamlessly in open distributed environments. This paper illustrates how Semantic Web technologies in their current state of development can be effectively used to deploy an infrastructure supporting innovation principles and the engineering design processes. A mechanical design was chosen to model the initial phase of a design project using semantic ontologies. This included a set of design requirements, creating a functional model, and making use of the Theory of Inventive Problem Solving (TIPS). The ontology development strategy is built on a combination of larger domain knowledge ontologies and simple process ontologies. Linked user requirements, engineering design, and functional modeling ontologies facilitated the application of TIPS through a set of semantic rules to generate design recommendations. The developed semantic knowledge structure exemplifies a practical implementation of a functional model which served as a record of the design process and as a platform from which to gain additional usefulness out of the stored information.

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