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Engineering Design Education: Surveys Of Demand And Supply

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Multidisciplinary Design

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.496.1 - 8.496.11

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Paper Authors

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Rudolph Eggert

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

Session 3125

Engineering Design Education: Surveys of Demand and Supply

Rudolph J. Eggert Boise State University


Two surveys were conducted in 2002 to learn more about the demand and supply of specific engineering design topics and activities, resulting in 1006 industry respondents and 182 academic respondents.

Academia appears to be meeting industry’s demand for Engineering Design Specifications, Teamwork and Overall Design Process topics. However, there appears to be a supply gap in academia’s current coverage of Creativity Methods, Project management, Design for Manufacture, Design for Assembly, and Product Testing. Industry has a higher demand for Individual Design Projects and Interdisciplinary Design Project activities, in relation to Academia’s current coverage. Also, academia appears to overemphasize oral and written design report activities.

A majority of respondents indicated that 25% or less of the department’s faculty participates in planning, monitoring and coordinating the design stem. And lastly, personal computers are the preferred choice of CAD platform in industry and academia as compared to Unix stations.


Developing an engineering design curriculum to meet the needs of industry for higher quality products is quite a challenge for any institution. When preparing revisions to its curriculum, a department faculty will consider input from a variety of sources including Senior Design Project mentors/sponsors, recent graduates, and industry advisory council members. The advice provides focus and helps to fine-tune the curriculum. Oftentimes, industry asks academia for more than it has the resources to deliver. Contrary to this apparent increased “demand” for more education is the trend by university administrators to downsize the 4-yr degree to about 128 semester credit hours, thereby decreasing the available time to “supply” the education desired.

Four major issues arise in the development of the design stem. What design topics (principles, methods, theories etc.) should be taught? When, in the typical four-year program, should they be taught? How (pedagogical methods) should they be taught? And lastly, how should we measure the outcomes. These issues are not new. Participants of the 1996 NSF Strategic Planning Workshop (NSF 1) concluded that the three most important design education needs were: 1. Create teachable principles of design process, methods, and tools. 2. Devise innovative pedagogical methods for engineering design, and 3. Measure effectiveness, correctness, and relevance of teaching methods.

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Eggert, R. (2003, June), Engineering Design Education: Surveys Of Demand And Supply Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee.

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