A Practical Introduction to Design of Experiments for Product and Process Optimization and Robustness

International competition is getting tougher, product development cycles shorter, manufacturing processes more complex, and customers expectations of quality higher. Dealing with these problems and generating new knowledge often require extensive experimentation. R&D scientists and engineers are therefore under pressure to be more effective in conducting experiments for quality, productivity and yield optimization. In particular, it is recognized that quality cannot economically be inspected into products and processes, but must be designed in upstream in the design and development phases.

Design of experiments is a powerful and economically efficient strategy employing modern statistical principles for solving design and manufacturing problems, for the discovery of important factors influencing product and process quality and for experimental optimization. Experimental design is also an important tool for developing new products that are robust (insensitive) to environment and internal component variation. Carefully planned statistical studies can remove hindrances to high quality and productivity at every stage from concept development to production, saving time and money.

This practical course offered for the first time by the European Network for Business and Industrial Statistics, ENBIS, takes a new approach to teaching statistical experimental design and analysis. The emphasis is on representing concepts and information with graphics rather than formulas and numbers. You will learn by doing - through workshops and experiments designed, conducted and analyzed in the classroom. You will learn about cost effective tools you can use daily in quality and productivity improvement.

The course instructor, Professor Søren Bisgaard, who recently transferred from University of Wisconsin-Madison to University of St. Gallen's Institute for Technology Management, ITEM, has for the past 14 years developed and taught similar courses in the United States with Professor George Box and Dr. Conrad Fung, all acknowledged world experts in the subject matter. Professor Bisgaard is internationally recognized for his many publications in quality improvement and design of experiments and his practical approach to teaching engineers and scientists.


  • Scientific method, quality improvement and the art of discovery
  • Basic principles of experimentation, randomization and blocking
  • Factorial and fractional factorial experiments
  • Sequential experimentation
  • Plots for the analysis of experimental data
  • Robust products and processes
  • Evolutionary operation
  • Simple response surface methods
  • Numerous hands-on workshops
  • Helicopter experiment
  • Many examples from industry


Dr. Søren Bisgaard is Professor of Quality Management and Technology at the Institute for Technology Management (ITEM) at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland. He holds degrees in industrial and manufacturing engineering from Denmark and MS and Ph.D. degrees in statistics from UW-Madison. Before coming to the University of St. Gallen he was a Full Professor of Industrial Engineering at the University-Madison where he developed a graduate program in Quality Engineering. At the University of Wisconsin he was since 1991 the Director of the Center for Quality and Productivity Improvement, a leading research institution founded in 1985 by William G. Hunter and George Box and recognized throughout the world for its research, teaching and conferences in the area of quality management, design of experiments and statistical techniques for quality improvement. Professor Bisgaard is an elected Fellow of the American Statistical Association and the author of more than 45 published papers on Quality Management and Design of Experiments. He has received numerous awards, including the Ott Award, the Wilcoxon Prize, the Shewell Award (three times), and the Brumbaugh Award (twice). He is also the author of the manual A Practical Aid for Experimenters. Professor Bisgaard has taught numerous short courses and workshops throughout the United States and Europe, is a frequent keynote speaker at international conferences, a consultant to leading US and European corporations and serves on the editorial board of the journals Quality Engineering and Quality Science and is on the management board of Technometrics.


This course is designed for engineers and scientists involved in all aspects of research and development, design, manufacturing and quality. Acquaintance with elementary statistical concepts is helpful but not necessary.

This course offers you the opportunity to gain a sound understanding of powerful statistical tools for quality and productivity improvement directly from a researcher who has contributed to the development of many of the techniques.


  • How to design, conduct and analyze your own experiments
  • Ideas and philosophies supporting modern quality improvement
  • The most recent research results


The three days course was hosted by EURANDOM in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. The dates were 12-14 December 2000.