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Elements of Teaching Design under Uncertainty

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Design in Engineering Education Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.468.1 - 24.468.30



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Paper Authors


Stephen Ekwaro-Osire Texas Tech University

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Dr. Stephen Ekwaro-Osire is the associate dean of research and graduate programs in the Whitacre College of Engineering at Texas Tech. He is also a full professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and a licensed professional engineer in the state of Texas.
He most recently served as the interim chair of the Department of Industrial Engineering. Before that, he served as the director of the graduate program and graduate advisor. Prior to that, he was the director of the undergraduate program in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Ekwaro-Osire's research interests are engineering design, wind energy, vibrations, and orthopedic biomechanics. He has supervised more than 29 doctoral and master's students.
Ekwaro-Osire was recently a Fulbright Scholar. As a Summer Faculty Fellow, he has conducted research at NASA and the Air Force Research Lab. He has published, from his research efforts, more than 150 peer-reviewed technical papers, among which 44 of these in archival journals. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, the state of Texas, and industry.
He is a member of Texas Tech University's Teaching Academy, which promotes and recognizes teaching excellence at the university. He has received numerous awards and recognitions for his contribution in teaching, research, and service. He is an active member of the American Society for Engineering Education, the American Society of Biomechanics, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Society for Design and Process Science, and the Society for Experimental Mechanics.

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Fisseha Meresa Alemayehu Texas Tech University

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Currently working as Post Doctoral Research Associate
Phd: Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, USA
MSc: Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands (Cum Laude)
BSc: Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia (Distinction)

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Haileyesus Belay Endeshaw Texas Tech University

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Haileyesus Endeshaw received his B.Sc. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Mekelle University, Mekelle, Ethiopia in 2005 and his MSc degree in Mechanical Engineering from Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas in 2011. He is currently working towards his PhD in Mechanical Engineering at Texas Tech University. His research interests include biomechanics, uncertainty in design, renewable energy, and piezoelectric materials for energy harvesting.

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Ricardo Cruz Lozano Texas Tech University

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Mr. Ricardo Cruz-Lozano

B.E. Industrial and Systems Engineering (2007)
Tecnológico de Monterrey Campus Estado de México (Mexico)

M.S. Interactive Design and Manufacturing (2012)
Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del IPN (Mexico)

PhD. Student in Mechanical Engineering (January 2013 - Present)
Texas Tech University Lubbock, Texas (USA)

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Elements of Teaching Uncertainty in Design Engineering design requires skills of not only analysis but also judgment and experience.The consideration of several factors including efficiency, reliability and cost assessment is alsocritical. However, these factors are influenced by another key factor: uncertainty. Hence, thebasic understanding and implementation of uncertainty in design among respective highereducation engineering students should be given the proper focus. Several major industry nowroutinely consider uncertainly in design, since this is the basis of warranty, reliability, and riskassociated with complex technologies. Preliminary assessment of design curricula of severalinstitutions revealed that only a few higher institutions in the US have courses in their curriculumthat address design under uncertainty (DUU). This implies that the importance of teachinguncertainty in design has been overlooked by the majority. This research proposes possibleoptions of integrating uncertainty in the curricula of design and studies its effectiveness. Theimportance and practical applications of DUU are discussed and exemplary institutions withinfrastructure and curriculum for teaching DUU and their experiences are assessed. This paperpresents the effectiveness of DUU to enhance students’ understanding of mechanical systemdesign and discusses the implementation of such course in higher institutions. Performance ofstudents both in design classes and in other hands-on projects show that those who have takensuch courses demonstrated better understanding of the problems at hand and they were also ableto provide better and pragmatic solutions. Finally, sample curricula of typical courses withsuggestions of corresponding infrastructure and recommendations on their implementation arepresented.

Ekwaro-Osire, S., & Alemayehu, F. M., & Endeshaw, H. B., & Cruz Lozano, R. (2014, June), Elements of Teaching Design under Uncertainty Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20359

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