Asee peer logo

Engineering Design In The Creative Age

Download Paper |

Conference

2009 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

DEED Poster Session

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count

11

Page Numbers

14.548.1 - 14.548.11

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/5445

Download Count

60

Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Robert Fleisig McMaster University

author page

Harry Mahler Ontario College of Art and Design

author page

Vladimir Mahalec McMaster University

Download Paper |

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

Engineering Design in the Creative Age

Abstract

McMaster University has initiated a new graduate program in engineering practice aimed at educating tomorrow’s engineering design leaders. Graduates of engineering schools are well versed in technology and its application but must acquire new skills and competencies in innovation and design in order to become global leaders in their industries. The leading thinkers in engineering design innovate continuously to succeed in the global marketplace. This paper discusses the value and importance of teaching and learning human-centered design thinking for engineering graduates. Achieving significant and continuous innovation through design requires looking beyond current systems design practices. Engineering educators must adapt new ways of thinking, teaching, and learning engineering design from other disciplines. This paper discusses the modes of engineering thinking and how they differ from those of contemporary innovators and examines how a human-centered approach to design can replace approaches that consider human values and ethics as constraints to the design. The authors will discuss current efforts to insert the teaching and learning of a human-centered approach to engineering design at the graduate level in an engineering curriculum. The aim of the curriculum is to introduce students to collaborative, inter-disciplinary, human-centered thinking, with a strong emphasis on generating continuous innovation through creativity.

Introduction

The authors of this work, faculty members of both industrial design and engineering schools, have been collaborating for the past year on the development of a course within the context of a Master’s level graduate program at McMaster University aimed at increasing the creative ability of graduate engineering students studying engineering design. This labor, while both emotionally and intellectually stimulating and invigorating, has also created some clarity regarding some unexpectedly difficult challenges in teaching our students. The experience has strengthened our belief that engineering students can be taught to be creative but that significant barriers exist in the current engineering education. It is our feeling that to overcome the challenges faced in today’s world engineers must learn to be creative and innovative. Our aim in this paper is to elucidate the pressing need for creativity in engineering innovation, the role of design thinking in innovation, and our approach and current learnings in this endeavor.

This graduate program and its courses are situated in Canada and thus this is the context for the remainder of the paper.

Fleisig, R., & Mahler, H., & Mahalec, V. (2009, June), Engineering Design In The Creative Age Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/5445

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2009 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015