This thesis presents a literature review of current reverse engineering technologies and processes, with an emphasis on tools commonly used in Software Reverse Engineering (SRE). Using the foundation of the literature review, the thesis will then propose a standard process, referred to as "A Reverse Engineering Process for Mechanical Engineering Systems (REPMES)." The REPMES tool is intended to enable engineers to understand how current products work. Additionally, REPMES may allow engineering design teams to more effectively revise their product designs through competitive benchmarking. The REPMES is illustrated through application to case studies of a consumer flashlight and an automotive torque converter. Unlike the field of Software Reverse Engineering (SRE), there is not currently a published standardized procedure to successfully implement reverse engineering of mechanical engineering systems. The REPMES process introduced here differs from SRE in that the target for SRE is to understand the inner workings of a computer program or system. However, REPMES has to account for the materials used, the limitations of the same materials, the physical conditions under which the system must operate, the mean time between failure, manufacturing processes and tolerances, and a variety of other factors not typically encountered in software systems. Following the introduction and illustration of REPMES using the flashlight case study, the REPMES tool will be applied to the analysis of a traditional mechanical device, a torque converter, to evaluate the robustness of the REPMES in the context of a typical application. Use of the REPMES will be demonstrated to provide a thorough understanding of torque converter operation, design, and manufacturing. The REPMES structure will be employed to provide a list of recommended improvements to the baseline torque converter, following benchmarking against competitive technologies.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Reverse engineering--Standards; Hydraulic torque converters--Design and construction; Mechanical engineering

Publication Date


Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

Mechanical Engineering (KGCOE)


Hensel, Edward

Advisor/Committee Member

Nye, Alan

Advisor/Committee Member

DeBartolo, Elizabeth


Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works. Physical copy available through RIT's The Wallace Library at: TA168.5 .T36 2007


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