Asee peer logo

Facilitating Distributed Collaborative Product Development In An Undergraduate Curriculum

Download Paper |


2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Using IT to Enhance Design Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.603.1 - 9.603.12

Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Tord Dennis

author page

Robert Fulton

Download Paper |

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

Session 1625

Facilitating Distributed Collaborative Product Development in an Undergraduate Curriculum

Tord W. Dennis, Robert E. Fulton Georgia Institute of Technology


In the quest to be more competitive, many corporations have embraced Lean Management, Just-In- Time and Total Quality Management coupled with cutting edge Information Technology. Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) tools enable engineers to efficiently and quickly realize and simulate concepts virtually, reducing the need for expensive prototyping and testing. Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) enables manufacturers to directly utilize information generated by designers to manufacture parts. Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) ties all of these innovations together tracking mountains of data, enabling distributed multidisciplinary teams to share information in real-time over the Internet. In 2002 Georgia Tech and PTC of Needham, MA founded the PLM Center of Excellence at Georgia Tech to explore the concepts of fostering and teaching multidisciplinary Distributed Collaborative Product Development (DCPD) in an academic curriculum. With several pilot programs securely under our belts, we embarked upon a “Grand Experiment” involving students from multiple schools and many disciplines collaborating virtually to design and deliver a product over a two- year period. This paper documents one of the pilot DCPD projects conducted by students and faculty at Georgia Tech and the University of Maryland College Park during the spring semester of 2003 to identify and explore potential issues relating to the “Grand Experiment". We introduce our 2-year capstone DCPD project which began in the fall semester of 2003 with Mechanical Engineering students from Georgia Tech, University of Maryland and University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign collaborating to design an amphibious utility vehicle for the John Deere Corporation. We also outline our plans for involving students from Industrial Design, Manufacturing, Business and other disciplines in the spring semester of 2004 to complete the product development lifecycle complete. We firmly believe that the future of engineering education must involve integrating IT into the classroom to foster multidisciplinary distributed collaborative product development in the undergraduate curriculum and we welcome this opportunity to share our experiences with our colleagues.

I. Introduction

The supply-chain network has become the modern paradigm of the efficient product development environment. Corporations have formed cooperative networks of entities collaborating to produce quality products quickly at low cost. To make such an enterprise system effective, corporate entities have retired “business-as-usual” in favor of lean business practices (i.e. Just-In-Time, Total Quality

“Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education"

Dennis, T., & Fulton, R. (2004, June), Facilitating Distributed Collaborative Product Development In An Undergraduate Curriculum Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah.

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: © 2004 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