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Visiting Scholar in Mechanical Engineering

PhD Candidate in Industrial Design, TU/e


Manufacturing Research Center (MaRC), Room 264                           
Georgia Institute of Technology
813 Ferst Drive, NW
Atlanta, Georgia

Phone: (404) 894-8170

Fax:      (404) 894-9342







Research Objective

The merging of digital technologies allows for the development of very innovative, multifunctional and adaptive products for use within rich socio-cultural contexts such as the high-end office, the digital home, and professional or personal healthcare. However, an important consequence is the growing market uncertainty regarding 'if,' 'how,' and 'when' users can and will adopt such products. In fact, this uncertainty has already become an evident concern in the field where a large and rapidly increasing share of user complaints are reported that cannot be attributed to any violation of products’ technical specifications. Nonetheless, current operational quality analysis and evaluation methods are not user focused and hence such field reports cannot be utilized to improve the quality of products and processes. Consequently, unforeseen poor user experiences relating to functional, emotional and social aspects of product use in various geographical, cultural, or situational contexts remain as a growing and uncontrollable problem, which yields increasing "cost of non-quality."

In order to render the currently deployed new product development processes systematically responsive to the growing and uncontrollable problem of unforeseen poor user experiences not attributable to products’ technical specifications, the overall research objective is to establish the underpinnings of the driving Soft Reliability paradigm (, and to devise operationalizable models for actively managing it. In particular, the relevant link from real end-users back to the corresponding activities and stakeholders in new product development is set up to be efficient and effective, and hence enable exploiting the information on disconfirmed expectations of users for quality improvement. This research is based on industrial case studies (i.e. empirical investigation of failure data and general user feedback during or after development) and theory building.


Refereed Conference Papers

  • A Koca, M Funk, E Karapanos, A Rozinat, N van der Gaarden. “Grasping Product Pragmatics: A Case with Internet on TV” In Proceedings of International Conference on Designing Interactive User Experiences for TV and Video (UXTV '08), presented in Silicon Valley, 2008.
  • A Koca, AC Brombacher. “User-Centered Analysis of Feedback Information Sources for Reducing Cost of Non-Quality of Products and Services: A Comparison of Two Cases” In Proceedings of 15th International Annual EurOMA Conference (EUROMA ‘08), presented in Groningen, 2008.
  • A Koca, AC Brombacher. “Extracting 'Broken Expectations' from Call Center Records: Why and How” In Proceedings of 26th International CHI Conference, Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI '08), presented in Florence, 2008.
  • A Koca, AJM Schouwenaar, AC Brombacher. “Analysis of User-Centered Failure Mechanisms in New Product Development for Quality Improvement” In Proceedings of 14th International Annual EurOMA Conference (EUROMA ‘07), presented in Ankara, 2007.
  • A Koca, AJM Schouwenaar, AC Brombacher. “Field-Feedback in Innovative Product Development: A Comparison of Two Industrial Approaches” In Proceedings of 14th International Product Development Management Conference (IPDM ‘07), presented in Porto, 2007.
  • A Koca, Y Lu, AC Brombacher, JH Hartmann. “Towards Establishing Foundations for New Classes of Reliability Problems Concerning Strongly Innovative Products” In Proceedings of IEEE International Conference on Management of Innovation and Technology (ICMIT ’06), presented in Singapore, 2006.
  • A Koca. “Identifying and Assigning Semantic Categories of Turkish Existential Sentences via Support Vector Learning” In Proceedings of 12th International Conference on Turkish Linguistics (ICTL '04), presented in Izmir, 2004.
  • V Akman, A Koca. “Specificity, Automatic Designation and 'I'” In Proceedings of Direct Reference and Specificity, a workshop in 15th European Summer School in Logic, Language and Information (ESSLLI '03), presented in Vienna, 2003.
  • N İkizler, İE Şahin, A Koca. “An Algorithm Testbed for Cost-Sensitive Classifiers” In Proceedings of Turkish Aspect-Oriented Software Development Workshop (TAOSD ‘03), presented in Ankara, 2003.

Journal Articles

  • A Koca, M Funk, E Karapanos, A Rozinat, WMP van der Aalst, H Corporaal, JBOS Martens, PHA van der Putten, AJMM Weijters, AC Brombacher. “Soft Reliability: An Interdisciplinary Approach With A User-System FocusQuality and Reliability Engineering International, DOI: 10.1002/qre.937, 2008.

Master of Science Thesis

  • A Koca. “Semantic Argument Classification and Semantic Categorization of Turkish Existential Sentences Using Support Vector Learning” M.S. Thesis, Department of Computer Engineering, Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey, 2004.


Other Information

Aylin Koca received her B.S. (2002) and M.S. (2004) degrees in Computer Engineering from Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey. Both her M.S. thesis (supervised by Prof.Varol Akman) and subsequently her yearlong research (supervised by Dr.Roger Evans and Dr.Sebastian Varges) at the Information Technology Research Institute (ITRI), University of Brighton, England, were in the field of computational linguistics. During her studies and her work experience as software developer at William O’Neil + Co. Incorporated, Los Angeles, USA, she became increasingly interested in the user factor and incorporating that in the development processes. Her current work as a Ph.D. candidate (supervised by Prof.Aarnout Brombacher and Prof.Farrokh Mistree) in the Business Process Design Group at the Faculty of Industrial Design, Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands, investigates this in depth, within a project called Soft Reliability that has strong connections with the industry (e.g., Philips, Océ) and is sponsored by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, under the IOP-IPCR program.

Aylin is currently pursuing her Ph.D. research at the Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, USA, as a visiting scholar.

A curriculum vitae is available upon request.

Created by rmalak
Last modified 11/03/2008 03:44 AM
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