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Bioengineering Design Process: Patterns That Lead To Quality Outcomes

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Design in BME Education

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

15.232.1 - 15.232.15



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Paper Authors


Nur Ozaltin University of Pittsburgh

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Nur Özge Özaltin is a graduate student in the Industrial Engineering department at the University of Pittsburgh. She received her B.S. in Industrial Engineering at Bosphorus University in Turkey, and her Masters degree in Industrial Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh respectively. Her research interest involves improving innovation through modeling the design process.

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Mary Besterfield-Sacre University of Pittsburgh

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Mary Besterfield-Sacre, Associate Professor and Fulton C. Noss Faculty Fellow in the Department of Industrial Engineering and Center Associate for the Learning Research and Development Center at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Sacre’s principal research interests are in engineering education assessment and evaluation methods. She has served as an associate editor for the Journal of Engineering Education and is currently associate editor for the Applications in Engineering Education Journal. She received her B.S. in Engineering Management from the University of Missouri - Rolla, her M.S. in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University, and a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh.

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Larry Shuman University of Pittsburgh Orcid 16x16

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Larry J. Shuman is Senior Associate Dean for Academics and Professor of Industrial Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh. His research focuses on improving the engineering educational experience with an emphasis on assessment of design and problem solving, and the study of the ethical behavior of engineers and engineering managers. A former senior editor of the Journal of Engineering Education, Dr. Shuman is the founding editor of Advances in Engineering Education. He has published widely in the engineering education literature, and is co-author of Engineering Ethics: Balancing Cost, Schedule and Risk - Lessons Learned from the Space Shuttle (Cambridge University Press). He received his Ph.D. from The Johns Hopkins University in Operations Research and the BSEE from the University of Cincinnati. He is an ASEE Fellow.

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

Bioengineering Design Process: Patterns That Lead To Quality Outcomes Abstract To improve design education, engineering instructors need to better understand how student teams navigate that process from concept to prototype. In this research, we examined the bioengineering design process and empirically modeled how engineering teams progressed from initial conception to prototype to determine the extent to which resultant design artifacts are a function of the process used. To do this we collected data from 26 two-term senior capstone engineering projects. The data consisted of twice weekly reflections of the activities that student teams engaged in during their design process, as well as open-ended comments about their design progression. This data was then collapsed into Dym’s model from which empirical associations were made between the various stages. Coupled with the teams’ open-ended weekly reflections, we were able to identify educational patterns that potentially lead to higher or lower quality designs. Based on their final artifact, teams were judged to be innovative or non- innovative. We found that differences exist between those teams innovative non-innovative teams. This paper reports these findings.

Introduction Innovation is highly important as competition between companies and countries continues to increase. The design process is at the heart of innovation; and according to Smith and Tjandra1, in order to improve design, one needs to understand it; and one possible way to achieve this is modeling the process. Hence, it is our assertion that increasing innovation begins with improving the design process and specifically understanding and improving engineering design education.

The overall objective is to improve the effectiveness and innovativeness of design processes. In doing so, we have developed a conceptual model based on Dym’s model2 to investigate the relationships between the design activities conducted over time and their corresponding outcomes. Associations among the various design activities were then empirically analyzed; and from this we identified patterns of “good” and “poor” innovation in designs.

Specifically, the following research questions have been investigated while developing this conceptual model.

1. Do relationships exist between the various sequences of design activities and do these sequences relate to the innovation of the design outcome? 2. Given that some design activities are crucial to the process, is there a relationship between when these “most important activities” occur and the innovation of the design outcome? 3. Do exogenous factors affect the overall innovation of the design (i.e., mentor, advisor, prior internships, work experience, team contribution, etc.)?

We addressed each of these questions utilizing data obtained from 26 bioengineering students at two institutions as they progressed from concept to working prototype for their senior capstone design projects. Through this research, we have identified potential patterns and factors that lead to innovation (as evaluated by their instructors) in senior bioengineering designs.

Ozaltin, N., & Besterfield-Sacre, M., & Shuman, L. (2010, June), Bioengineering Design Process: Patterns That Lead To Quality Outcomes Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16383

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