June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
12.404.1 - 12.404.11
Contribution of Engineering Management & Systems Engineering Concepts to Engineering Design
Engineering design is widely taught at colleges and implemented in industry as a stand-alone activity, rather than a part of the entire business system of a company. Product development consists of activities related to understanding customer requirements, collaboration with other functional areas in an organization such as marketing, sales and industrial design, as well as production design and manufacturing. As a part of this process, engineering design should reflect the results of a multifunctional team’s work based on customer-focus, multidisciplinary design optimization, reduced cycle time, and ease of manufacturability. If planned and executed well, this design approach would serve businesses’ expectations for high quality, low cost, and competitive products. As a result, today’s engineers need necessary probabilistic decision- making and management skills to effectively work in a multidisciplinary project team, and to create designs based on the requirements of this larger system.
However, the typical engineering design curriculum does not include adequate discussion on probabilistic decision support and project management techniques. In addition, literature does not contain sufficient resources that are relatable by engineers from different disciplines and they also do not include adequate and/or useful examples for engineers from diverse backgrounds. This study suggests that new multidisciplinary educational material is needed, covering various stages of engineering design from a systems point of view. It starts with a summary of engineering design issues in industry and in higher education. After that, it proposes new educational material for engineering design to be incorporated into engineering curriculum. Finally, it discusses University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s ongoing work in this context.
2. Engineering Design Issues in Industry
Engineering design is a vital element of a company’s business activities. It significantly affects a firm’s product quality, its ability to satisfy customer needs, its competitiveness, and ultimately its profits. However, in spite of its status, in many cases the design process falls short of meeting business expectations. Major issues related to engineering design in industrial projects are summarized below, based on a variety of research available in literature.
Systems perspective: Engineering design is a part of the product development process and therefore a firm’s entire business practice. However, it is often not planned and/or executed as an integrated sub-process of this larger system. For example, if the costs of the product design processes are not tied to the total cost of product development and manufacturing properly, the final product cost might be much higher than originally expected. This suggests that a systems point of view should be integrated into design activities, so that the outcome of the design process can serve the other business goals such as high profits and good company reputation1. Lack of systems perspective in design in general contributes to the inter-related issues identified below.
Sireli, Y., & Conrad, J., & Kane, M., & Skinner, F. (2007, June), Contribution Of Engineering Management & Systems Engineering Concepts To Engineering Design Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/1906
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