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Facilitating the Teaching of Product Development

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Developing the Design Skillset

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.590.1 - 24.590.21



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Paper Authors


Claes Fredriksson Granta Design, Cambridge (UK)

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Currently working as Senior Materials Education Consultant at Granta Design in Cambridge, UK. Until recently Program Director for a Master's Programme in Manufacturing Engineering at University West in Sweden. Experience in teaching subjects like Materials Science & Technology and Environmental Technology to students of mechanical engineering at the department of Engineering Science since 1999.

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Mats Eriksson Univeristy West


Hannah Melia Granta Design, Ltd.

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Hannah Melia is the leader of the Teaching Resources Team at Granta Design, Cambridge, UK. She has a Post Graduate Certificate in Design, Manufacturing and Management and a Bachelor's degree in Materials Science and Metallurgy from the University of Cambridge, England and has worked in teams on various parts of product development, in different industries for 15 years.

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Facilitating the Teaching of Product DevelopmentProduct Development is a key topic for many engineering courses and educationalprogrammes. The Product Development Process, as applied in industry, consists of all thenecessary steps to bring a new or redesigned product to the market. Although the process istaught and practiced in many different ways, depending on e.g. company size and costumerrequirements, there are many common elements. These need to be covered by teaching atUniversities and range from mechanical design to the life-cycle perspective on a product.This paper considers how students can be supported to make open, creative and wellinformed decisions in several stages of the product development process.A teaching approach suitable for the product development process is described andinvestigated in this paper. The pedagogic context of the approach is project based learning(PBL) in small student groups with short regular meetings with a teacher for supervision.Educational resources that are used consist of a combination of a materials andmanufacturing process databases, Eco performance indicators, as well as computer basedselection and visualization tools.The methodology has been tested in a class of third year undergraduate students ofMechanical Engineering taking a course in Product Development. One student group of 4was followed during the development of a combined liquid container and constructionelement for use in developing countries or in disaster areas. Specific details of the teachingapproach, the use of computer resources as a project tool, examination of the project andassessment of the results by the teacher and by the students are reported.It was found that the studied computer based tools could be used in a relatively genericmanner to aid in the learning related to the following steps of a product development process: • specification of product function and requirements, • screening and scoring (ranking) of concepts, • optimization of properties for the final design, • manufacturing selection and costing, as well as • evaluation of properties of the final product for marketingWe believe that the findings are useful for many different directions within productdevelopment, for example Design for X (DfX) which is commonly used to represent differentdesign focuses. In particular, X could stand for Manufacturability, Value or Environment inour approach. Furthermore, the approach is compatible with e.g. Concurrent Engineering.

Fredriksson, C., & Eriksson, M., & Melia, H. (2014, June), Facilitating the Teaching of Product Development Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20481

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