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A New Engineering Program That Introduces Design Workshop Courses

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.42.1 - 5.42.11



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Paper Authors

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Louis Cloutier

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Jean-Francois Methot

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Jean Brousseau

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Bernard Larocque

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1625


Jean Brousseau, Université du Québec à Rimouski Louis Cloutier, Université Laval Bernard Larocque, Université du Québec à Rimouski Jean-François Méthot, Université du Québec à Rimouski


While the accreditation board clearly indicated which components that must be included in the engineering programs, we are free to arrange them so as to achieve our goals. It is the need for an engineering program oriented towards creativity, design ability and multidisciplinary approach, which led Université du Québec à Rimouski to include engineering workshops throughout the curriculum. The workshops use a problem based learning approach as distinct from the engineering science approach that has been the traditional norm. They allow the continual integration of knowledge and the development of designing skills. These workshops are arranged in a sequence, which assumes that design is a skill acquired with experience and based on a methodological process, tools and techniques. The paper describes the program’s structure and the content of the design workshops. It gives examples of real problems solved by students. Finally, it presents and discusses the nature of the foreseen changes that will be brought to the program.

I. Introduction

Founded in 1969, the Université du Québec à Rimouski (UQAR), a constituent of the Université du Québec, has been offering an engineering degree program since September 1994. As a result of a vast consultation that included the business, industry, public and parapublic sectors, the program has been geared towards training versatile engineers capable of designing, implementing and analyzing elements and systems of the physical environment using a multidisciplinary approach, while considering ethical, social and economic factors. In the development of the program, the Université du Québec à Rimouski recognized that the practice of design is central to the education of the next generation of engineers. Engineering design is the process by wich raw scientific knowledge is encapsulated within useful products. The features and value of a product are largely determined by design.

When the program was established, significant reports concerning the future of engineering degree programs1-5 stated the importance of developing skills, which surpass the various topics touched upon in the curriculum. These studies insisted on the importance of a solid basic training in engineering science, additional training directed towards the professional practice, design

Cloutier, L., & Methot, J., & Brousseau, J., & Larocque, B. (2000, June), A New Engineering Program That Introduces Design Workshop Courses Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. 10.18260/1-2--8589

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