Washington, District of Columbia
June 23, 1996
June 23, 1996
June 26, 1996
1.195.1 - 1.195.6
.— -- . . . ..— Section 2625
..... Enhancement of Faculty Design Capabilities
Charles M. Lovas, Paul F. Packman SEAS/Southern Methodist University
Abstract A crucial factor affecting U. S. productivity is the decline in the quality of engineering design. The response of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology to the pressures to strengthen under- graduate design requirements has not only not improved design education significantly, but has resulted in more programs not meeting the established standards. Vital to the strengthening of the design requirement is the improvement of faculty design capabilities. The two-week workshop on Enhancement of Faculty Design Capabilities held at Southern Methodist University from July31 -August 10, 1995 is part of a three-year plan for enhancing engineering design skills of faculty from all engineering disciplines. Engineering i%culty participating in this workshop developed and documented 70 design exercises for use in the engineering sciences: mechanics of solids, electrical theory, fluid mechanics, and transfer and rate mechanisms. A significant number of these exercises were developed for introduction into the first year course with the potential for follow-on activities in the engineering science courses. Emphasis was placed on developing design materials which could be integrated throughout the engineering curriculum and which were easily transportable to engineering programs at other institutions.
The Need for Improving Design Education There is a widely held perception that U. S. industry’s extended period of world dominance in product development, manufacturing innovation, process engineering, and productivity has ended. The relative decline of U. S. productivity and competitiveness can be attributed to several factors, including national fiscal policies, exchange rates, international labor rates, deficiencies in manufacturing, industrial management and accounting practices, unfair labor practices, and methods of generating capital.
A crucial factor that is often overlooked is the decline in the quality of engineering design in U. S. industry. Engineering design is the crucial component in the product realization process, the means by which new products are conceived, developed, and brought to market. It has been estimated that 70% or more of the life cycle costs of a product are determined during design.
Unfortunately, the overall quality of engineering design and engineering design education in the United States is inadequate. The National Research Council in its 1991 reportl “Improving Engineering Design: Designing for Competitive Advantage” includes in its observations:
1. The best engineering design practices are not widely used in U. S. industry. 2. The key role of engineering designers in the product realization process is not well understood by management. 3. Current engineering curricula do not focus on the entire product realization process. 4. Although universities nominally bear responsibility for producing both practices and practitioners, they do not fulfill this role in engineering design in the United States.
Engineering education must include the foundation of successful practice, effective teaching, and relevant research in engineering design. Few curricula consider srdte-of-the-art design methodologies. Perhaps
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Packman, P. F., & Lovas, C. M. (1996, June), Enhancement Of Faculty Design Capabilities Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia. https://peer.asee.org/6032
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