June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
Ocean and Marine
26.843.1 - 26.843.13
Hex-Oid Habitat Design Challenge: Teaching Engineering Design in a Multidisciplinary Role-Play ScenarioThe Hex-Oid Habitat Design Challenge is an academic exercise providing students with adesign-team experience involving multiple phases of the design process. Besides developing thedesign of a creative underwater habitat, this multidisciplinary design project involves applicationof various design tools and includes an opportunity to refine technical communication skills bothwithin and external to the design team. Working in teams of 4-6, each team member is assigneda distinct design role, e.g., Architect, Buoyancy Control Engineer, Foundation Engineer, CostEngineer, etc. Each is provided a ‘skill primer’, i.e., a brief document describing theirexperience base, criteria and data pertinent to the design effort, and includes a set of strategiesrelevant to their specific role. The habitat-like structure is to be designed by arranging a varietyof hexagonal prisms – differing in weight and functional characteristics – upon a site map ofhexagonal spaces. The overlying team goal is to design a buoyant structure that is aestheticallyappealing and functionally sound, with adequate anchorage and at a competitive cost.The project is introduced early in fall-semester of an introductory design course that serves as aprecursor to capstone design in the spring. Project and role-play instruction, the student designeffort, and classroom presentation of team designs are accomplished in but two weeks ofclassroom time. During the initial project session of the 3-hour-per-week course, the instructorintroduces the project and meets separately with each distinct group of design engineers, i.e., theappropriate skill representative from each team. During the next 3-4 one-hour sessions andoptionally after hours, team members meet together to develop, assess and refine their proposeddesign while resolving conflicts arising from competing criteria, e.g., aesthetics and functionalityvs. cost considerations. During the latter sessions of the second week, one or more teammembers develop a PowerPoint© slide show which is to be presented to the class on the finalday. Each team member is expected to present the key aspects of their area of responsibility totheir classmates and volunteer faculty members who critique both the team design and the oralpresentation.This paper will provide insights into the project tasking; the roles and responsibilities of thedifferent design engineers; the basic engineering computations required of the final design; andthe methods employed for developing cost and construction schedule estimates. It will suggesttypical conflict issues arising and the means to their resolution, and address elements – bothpositive and negative – of the typical team presentation. A summary of project learning goalsand methods of assessment will also be discussed. (Word Count = 420) Sample of Hex-Oid Habitat Design Graphics◦ The Hex-Oid Habitat Design Challenge, set in an underwater environ, was modeled after the MIT Delta Gamedeveloped by L. Bucciarelli and H. Einstein for their course: 1.101 Introduction to Civil and EnvironmentalEngineering Design I, Fall 2006, retrieved from MIT OpenCourseWare, http://ocw.mit.edu, 11/30/2009.
Mayer, R. H., & Schedel, A. (2015, June), Hex-Oid Habitat Design Challenge: Teaching Engineering Design in a Multidisciplinary Role-play Scenario Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24180
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