June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
Design in Engineering Education
12.235.1 - 12.235.16
An Undergraduate, Entrepreneurial Design Sequence: A Decade of Development and Success Abstract - A commitment by the ECE Department of Rose-Hulman to develop and offer an entrepreneurial design sequence as a curricular hallmark has been rewarded by satisfied clients and design-savvy graduates over the past decade. The highly-coordinated, four-course sequence features a wide range of topics including creativity, teamwork skills, design methodology, systems engineering, product design specifications, conceptual design, design reviews, intellectual property, project management, budgeting, scheduling, proposal writing, social impact considerations, prototype fabrication and testing, client briefings, and project reporting. Students apply these concepts as they propose, undertake, and complete projects for a variety of clients. The tenor of the sequence focuses on the underlying principle that engineering is a profession in which services for clients are rendered in an equitable, economical and ethical manner. This paper describes the learning objectives, evolution, current status, and assessment of the four-course sequence. This paper details the content, implementation, activities, teaching loads, assessment, and student reactions to the design sequence.
Index Terms – Creativity, Teamwork, Design, Project, Professional . Introduction “. . . the proper study of mankind is the science of design . . .”, Herbert A. Simon1 In the mid-90’s, the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology completed a thorough curricular review with a special focus on the design component. Many (and sometimes contradictory) views of the design process were presented and discussed during the intense and lengthy process. The process was concluded by a deep departmental commitment to enhance and strengthen the design component of the curriculum. In reaching this decision, the department made the painful decision to replace three, senior-level technical electives—those courses that are fun to teach since they are taken by students who choose to be there— with a coordinated, four-course, design sequence.
During this curricular design process, a number of underlying principles emerged and provided the guidelines by which the ECE design sequence was developed.
Engineering is a serving profession. Design is the basis of all engineering activities. Modern engineering design requires teamwork skills. Decision-making and communications are vital components of design. Learning the process of design is best accomplished by designing solutions to real problems. Useful design techniques and models must be provided to students. Students must be responsible for the success of their project. The design sequence must be well-coordinated. Faculty workloads within the design sequence must not be burdensome. High-quality design is challenging, but this creative process is highly rewarding and FUN.
Based upon these principles a four-course design sequence has evolved over the past decade; the process, its implementation, and its results are described in the remainder of this paper.
The Design Sequence v1.0
The professional nature of engineering is a value that must be deeply ingrained within the students. Accordingly, the original version of the design sequence spanned the sophomore, junior, and senior years. Personal responsibility and team work were the hallmarks of the design sequence. Students were confronted with situations that required them to practice the principles of design and to make decisions. The problems were devised to be increasingly challenging, required additional team skills, and demanded more creative thinking as the students progressed through the sequence. Each team had a faculty mentor who asked probing questions and raised important issues, but very purposely avoided the role of problem solver. The sequence concluded with each team developing and realizing
Berry, F., & Carlson, P., & Eccles, W., & Ferguson, B., & Moore, D., & Radu, M., & Schumacher, T., & Voltmer, D., & Yoder, M., & Wheeler, E. (2007, June), An Undergraduate, Entrepreneurial Design Sequence: A Decade Of Development And Success Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2452
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