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A Pilot Program On Teaching Dispersed Product Development In Collaboration With An International University

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Capstone Design I

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.88.1 - 12.88.12



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Paper Authors

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Katja Holtta-Otto University Of Massachusetts-Dartmouth

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Pia Helminen Helsinki University of Technology (TKK)

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Kalevi Ekman Helsinki University of Technology (TKK)

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Thomas Roemer University of California-San Diego

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

A Pilot Program on Teaching Dispersed Product Development in Collaboration with an International University


Dispersed product development is becoming ever more prevalent across industries. Most multinational companies have research and development laboratories, design studios, manufacturing facilities, and marketing departments all over the globe. This global dispersion of talent often necessitates that highly skilled and often specialized workforce collaborates across time zones and cultural boundaries. To better prepare their students for this challenge, two prestigious universities from each side of the Atlantic, the “European University” and the “American University” have started a pilot program to jointly teach product development. We report on the structure of and lessons learned from this pilot program.

History of product development courses at the European University and the American University

Even before the start of the collaboration between the two schools, there were are number of key similarities between their respective programs: Both universities have a strong engineering ethos and a relatively long history of interdisciplinary product development classes; both classes are renown beyond the university environment; in both classes student teams must develop a product from concept to prototype during the course of the class; and both schools co-teach the course with a nearby school for industrial design. While evolving independently of each other, both courses have evolved similarly throughout the years and now follow “best practices” as reported by Meier1. Not surprisingly, key course objectives as reported by the faculty are also closely aligned between the two classes (Table 1).

Holtta-Otto, K., & Helminen, P., & Ekman, K., & Roemer, T. (2007, June), A Pilot Program On Teaching Dispersed Product Development In Collaboration With An International University Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2779

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