Knowledge Based Engineering (KBE) can be defined as engineering on the basis of electronic knowledge models. Such knowledge models are the result of knowledge modeling that uses knowledge representation techniques to create computer interpretable models. The knowledge models can be imported in and/or stored in specific engineering applications that enable engineers to specify requirements or create designs on the basis of the knowledge in such models.
There are various methods available for the development of knowledge models, most of them are system dependent.
An example of a system-independent language for the development machine-readable ontology databases, including support for basic engineering knowledge, is called Gellish English.
An example of a CAD-specific system that can store knowledge and use it for design is the CATIA programme through its KnowledgeWare module.
An example of a CAD-independent, language-based KBE system with full compiler and support for runtime application deployment is General-purpose Declarative Language (GDL) from Genworks International.
KBE can have a wide scope that covers the full range of activities related to Product Lifecycle Management and Multidisciplinary design optimization. KBE's scope would include design, analysis (computer-aided engineering – CAE), manufacturing, and support. In this inclusive role, KBE has to cover a large multi-disciplinary role related to many computer aided technologies (CAx).
An interesting paper with practical content on the topic can be found here