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Integrated Product Development In The Classroom

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1997 Annual Conference


Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Publication Date

June 15, 1997

Start Date

June 15, 1997

End Date

June 18, 1997



Page Count


Page Numbers

2.242.1 - 2.242.8

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Paper Authors

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Cal Caswell

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Mel I. Mendelson

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

Session 2563

Integrated Product Development in the Classroom

Mel Mendelson, Cal Caswell Loyola Marymount University


A course entitled, "New Product Design and Development" was introduced to meet the needs of industry and to address reform in engineering education. It was modeled after a similar one taught at MIT; however, it had distinctly different features. The course used multi-discipinary teams and product planning to create commercial products. Our course emphasized team building, marketing, design, prototyping, and the business aspects of launching a new product on the market.

I. Introduction

Integrated product development (IPD) is also referred to as concurrent engineering. It is defined as the simultaneous integration of the design, engineering, manufacturing, business and management activities that are necessary for developing a product from its conception to market- launch and maintaining the product throughout its life cycle [1]. IPD is important because it represents the building block of the future for U.S. manufacturing, and it is the key to survival for aerospace/defense [2]. Two-thirds of the U.S. companies use integrated product teams [3].

Over the last two years, Loyola Marymount University (LMU) has conducted surveys and held focus groups with key executives in manufacturing to identify industry's needs in Southern California [4]. Over thirty manufacturing companies, state and federal agencies responded that their greatest need was educating engineers in integrated product development . Both small and large size companies need to have their employees educated in the skills of IPD for jobs of the future [2].

The Committee on Science, Engineering and Public Policy has recommended that a broader, more flexible, cross-functional education be implemented for graduate scientists and engineers [5]. However, very few U.S. universities offer cross-functional courses that address integrated product development [6]. The major difficulty has been the faculty's lack of motivation, ability and multi-disciplinary experience in teaching integrated courses [7]. MIT was one of the few universities that offered such a course (Product Design and Development), which was used as our model.

Our course was structured to meet industry's needs and to promote collaborative learning. The course was planned over a one year period and addressed curriculum reform in engineering education [7]. The purpose of this paper is to describe LMU's course ("New Product Design and Development"), its requirements and expectations, the product and team selection, the differences between our course and MIT's course, and our lessons learned.

Caswell, C., & Mendelson, M. I. (1997, June), Integrated Product Development In The Classroom Paper presented at 1997 Annual Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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