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A Novel Approach for Sustainable Product Development Education

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Practical Teaching

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

23.84.1 - 23.84.14

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Paper Authors


Lam F. Wong Cuyahoga Community College, Metropolitan

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Lam Wong joined Cuyahoga Community College in 2012 as the Associate Dean of Engineering and Engineering Technology. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Columbia University, a Master of Science degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Science from the University of Rochester, and a Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the National Technological University. He has taught courses in engineering technology, operations management, and mathematics at three different institutions. Mr. Wong has extensive industrial experience in applied research, systems design, as well as leading large consumer and industrial product programs through all phases of the product development process.

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Henry Griffith Wright State University

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Henry Griffith holds both a B.S. and Ph.D. degree from Wright State University in Electrical Engineering. In addition, he has obtained an M.S. degree in Management Science from the University of Dayton, as well as post-graduate certificates in Quality Assurance and Design of Experiments. He has 6 years experience as a full time research engineer working in the development of radio frequency systems for the defense industry. In addition, he has eight years experience in academia, including three years of full time instruction at Cuyahoga Community College in the Electrical Engineering Technology Department.

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A Novel Approach for Teaching Sustainable Product Development in Technology ProgramsThe classical principles of product development have been formulated through aframework that relies heavily upon assumptions of continuously declining validityin the modern marketplace. Such principles have traditionally led to a narrowlyfocused development approach, where systems and processes are optimized solelyin terms of maximizing corporate profit. Historically, this approach has beenreinforced through positive feedback provided by a consumer that has solelydemanded minimal acquisition cost. In light of numerous motivating factors in themodern marketplace, including an exponential increase in commodity demandand price, as well as an increase in consumer affluence as it relates to demandsregarding the culture of the product or service provider, such an approach is nolonger sufficient.In light of these aforementioned realities, industry has quickly adapted to producenew product development processes which better reflect current marketconstraints and demands. Such approaches, typically classified as sustainableproduct development processes, typically leverage the well-known principles ofLife Cycle Analysis (LCA), while maintaining a broad focus on optimizing valuewhich is quantified in terms of economic, social, as well as environmental impact.It is the objective of this research to propose a novel framework for a sustainableproduct development process based upon seven core principles, which have beendeveloped through a holistic review of the literature on both classical and moderndesign processes. The seven principles for the aforementioned process are – 1)Policy, 2) Purpose, 3) Process, 4) People, 5) Planet, 6) Product, and 7) Profit. Inaddition to proposing this aforementioned framework, the paper will also proposebest practices for integrating the core learning outcomes of the process intoexisting engineering technology academic programs. The proposed integrationwill rely heavily upon an integrated learning pedagogy, in which the principlesare continuously introduced and reinforced throughout the entire curriculum.  

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