June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
Design in Engineering Education
22.614.1 - 22.614.11
Title: Enhanced Concept Selection for StudentsAbstract:Free-form problem solving is an important part of undergraduate studies. Open ended design isa particularly poignant activity for engineering students.The Pugh concept selection matrix is widely taught for design concept selection. The power ofthis method is that students may rapidly select design criteria and compare concepts to identifythe best options. During the application of the method the students must i) have a clear set ofconcepts, ii) have a clear set of evaluation criteria, iii) declare the relative importance of eachcriteria, iv) rate the concepts against the criteria, and v) then develop numerical scores/rankingsfor each design concept. When done objectively the results of this process can be very good,however when subjective bias is introduced the method falters. Typical procedural problemsthat students encounter are i) eliminate viable design concepts before using the matrix, ii)evaluation criteria are under- or over-stated, and iii) the relative weight is not appropriate.These problems arise from a number of factors including personal bias, a rush to finish, andmisunderstanding. While it is sometimes useful for students to experience constructive failure,it can be avoided by adding a few steps to the process to reduce the arbitrary nature of thedecisions.The authors will describe enhancements for the method that guide students during the conceptselection process. This will include i) the identification of constraints as opposed to objectives,ii) recognition of the concept risks , iii) methods to reduce concept risks, iv) the use of estimatesand calculations for design objectives, iii) guided criteria for selection criteria weights. Examplesof applications in student projects will be used to illustrate the method.
Farris, J., & Jack, H. (2011, June), Enhanced Concept Selection for Students Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. https://peer.asee.org/17895
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