The paper describes a Qualitative Evaluation System developed using a fuzzy expert system. The evaluation system gives a qualitative rating to design solutions by considering manufacturability aspects, choice of materials and some special preferences. The information is used in decision support for engineering design. The system is an integrated part of a decision support tool for engineering design called the ‘Adaptive Search Manager’ (ASM). ASM uses an adaptive search technique to identify multiple design solutions for a 12 dimensional Turbine Blade Cooling System design problem. Thus the task has been to develop a fuzzy expert system that can qualitatively evaluate any design solution from a design space using a realistically small number of fuzzy rules. The developed system utilises a knowledge separation and then a knowledge integration technique. The design knowledge is first separated into three categories: inter variable knowledge, intra variable knowledge and heuristics. Inter variable knowledge and intra variable knowledge are integrated using a concept of “compromise”. The qualitative evaluation system can evaluate any design solution within the 12 dimensional design space, but uses only 44 fuzzy rules and one function that implements the inter variable knowledge.

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