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Design Projects In The Mechanical Engineering Curriculum At Sherbrooke University Past, Present, And Future

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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

Capstone Mechanical Engineering Design

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.376.1 - 7.376.11

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Paper Authors

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Yves Mercadier

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Pierre Vittecoq

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Patrik Doucet

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Jean-Sébastien Plante

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Francois Charron

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Yves Van Hoenacker

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

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Session 3566


François Charron, NSERC Design Engineering Chair Patrik Doucet, Yves Mercadier, Yves Van Hoenacker, Pierre Vittecoq, and Jean-Sébastien Plante

Department of Mechanical Engineering Faculty of Engineering University of Sherbrooke Sherbrooke, QC Canada


Since 1992, students in our undergraduate mechanical engineering program have been carrying out major design projects. The process of integrating major design project activities was spread over three phases. The first phase, which took place between 1992 and 1994, consisted of a pilot program with forty students. The implementation of an engineering design option between 1995 and 1999 constituted the second phase. The last phase embraced the complete reform of the undergraduate curriculum based on the development of competencies and the horizontal/vertical integration of engineering sciences and engineering design.

One of the principal objectives of the major design projects is to allow the students to live a major design experience within the undergraduate curriculum. The students work on the same project during the last four terms of their program (more than two calendar years as a result of the work terms). They receive 12 credits for their design project work.

This paper presents our ten years of experience in using design projects as a tool for teaching engineering design. It also sets out our development plan for teaching engineering design over the next five years. NSERC (National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada) Engineering Design Chair will support these future developments.


2.1 1992 to 1994 - Pilot Program in Engineering Design

Following a literature review on the use of design projects as a tool for teaching engineering design in other universities and an assessment of the scale of the work required for introducing major design projects in our program, our department decided to start with a pilot program. The principal advantage of this approach was the state of mind of the project stakeholders (professors Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Mercadier, Y., & Vittecoq, P., & Doucet, P., & Plante, J., & Charron, F., & Van Hoenacker, Y. (2002, June), Design Projects In The Mechanical Engineering Curriculum At Sherbrooke University Past, Present, And Future Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada.

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