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Cumulative Knowledge And The Teaching Of Engineering Design Processes

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Innovation in Design Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.351.1 - 7.351.8



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Paper Authors

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Gul Okudan Kremer

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Sven Bilen

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Richard Devon

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Session 2325

Cumulative Knowledge and the Teaching of Engineering Design Processes

Sven G. Bilén, Richard F. Devon, and Gül E. Okudan

Engineering Design and Graphics Division The Pennsylvania State University University Park, PA 16802

1. Introduction

The engineering design process, whether implicitly or explicitly employed, is central to the practice of engineering. Because of this, and because of pressures from the economy and ABET, engineering programs have made an increasing commitment to teaching design and the question “What is design?” is being addressed more and more successfully. One can now see a partial consensus around a new set of ideas that are closely related to the process of product design and development employed by industry. This allows us to employ a pedagogical construct that is standard in other areas of the engineering curriculum: cumulative knowledge. Our students follow curricular paths that are full of necessary prerequisites, but generally not with respect to the design curriculum. We need to identify a cumulative learning process in design from the first course to the first job.

The ABET definition of engineering design is “the process of devising a system, component, or process to meet desired needs.”1 The design-related requirements that ABET places on U.S. engineering programs for accreditation state that a curriculum must include most of the following features: · development of student creativity; · use of open-ended problems; · development and use of modern design theory and methodology; · formulation of design problem statements and specifications; · consideration of alternative solutions; · feasibility considerations; · production processes; · concurrent engineering design; and · detailed system descriptions. When providing design projects, ABET also indicates that the design experience should: · include a variety of realistic constraints, such as economic factors, safety, reliability, aesthetics, ethics, and social impact;

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2002, American Society from Engineering Education

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Okudan Kremer, G., & Bilen, S., & Devon, R. (2002, June), Cumulative Knowledge And The Teaching Of Engineering Design Processes Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10791

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