June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
Design in Engineering Education
15.742.1 - 15.742.26
Innovative Conceptual Engineering Design—A Template to Teach Innovative Problem Solving of Complex Multidisciplinary Design Problems
The NASA Engineering and Safety Center (NESC), in conjunction with the National Institute for Aerospace (NIA), CIBER, Inc. and faculty from NASA, Georgia Tech, MIT, and Penn State recently developed and taught a short five-day course entitled: “Innovative Engineering Design.” Unlike previous NESC Academy courses, which stressed discipline knowledge capture and transfer from past NASA experiences (e.g., developing complex hardware for programs like Apollo), this course teaches techniques for conceiving innovative concepts to solve complex multidisciplinary problems. The methodology used for this course was one that evolved from experiences working several NASA and joint NASA and DOD advanced development programs.
The processes for rapidly conceiving, evaluating, and developing concepts are explained as well as methodologies for accelerating the maturation of said concepts. The formulation of a five-day short course was a collaboration of faculty and organizations mentioned above. The course centered on the solution of a current critical problem facing NASA: the contingency land landing of the Orion capsule. The Orion capsule is a four-to-six-person spacecraft launched atop the Ares I rocket as part of the Constellation Program (CxP). The current Orion design would result in injury to the crew in the event of a land landing.
This paper is an overview of the format, teaching methodology, and resultant ideas/concepts that students conceived and developed by analysis and, in some cases, both analysis and test in only five days. Several of the ideas were novel and had not been pursued by the CxP. Several of the ideas are currently being pursued by commercial space launch companies. Viable solutions conceived by the students received funding by NASA and are currently under study by several of the faculty and students of Penn State and MIT.
The paper presents an overview of the course philosophy and format as well as some of the concepts that were presented by the five student teams on the last day of the course.
NASA is currently struggling to develop innovative solutions to human spaceflight challenges that the Agency had solved successfully over thirty years ago. The development of a new launch system that mimics much of the technologies developed for the Apollo Program has been beset with program delays, technical design problems, and cost overruns. While the Vision for Space Exploration’s (VSE) requirements include a larger crewed vehicle and different objectives than the Apollo Program, the new vehicles (Ares I launch vehicle, Orion Capsule, Ares V launch vehicle, etc.) are supposed to take advantage of Shuttle-derived systems such as the solid rocket boosters (SRBs). The bureaucratic morass of rules, processes, and procedures developed for a once-thought “operational” vehicle such as the Space Shuttle are still evident and have dimmed the spark of creativity and innovation, which was once the hallmark of a once great and highly
Camarda, C., & Bilen, S., & de Weck, O., & Yen, J., & Matson, J. (2010, June), Innovative Conceptual Engineering Design A Template To Teach Innovative Problem Solving Of Complex Multidisciplinary Design Problems Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. https://peer.asee.org/16691
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: © 2010 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