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Integrating Creative Problem Solving And Engineering Design

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1999 Annual Conference


Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication Date

June 20, 1999

Start Date

June 20, 1999

End Date

June 23, 1999



Page Count


Page Numbers

4.324.1 - 4.324.10

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Paper Authors

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William Shelnutt

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Monica Lumsdaine

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Edward Lumsdaine

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

Session 2225

Integrating Creative Problem Solving and Engineering Design

Edward Lumsdaine, Michigan Technological University J. William Shelnutt, University of North Carolina at Charlotte Monika Lumsdaine, E&M Lumsdaine Solar Consultants, Inc.

Abstract “Engineering design is the communication of a set of rational decisions obtained with creative problem solving for accomplishing certain stated objectives within prescribed constraints.” How can engineering design be taught within the framework of this definition—what are the goals and building blocks? An innovative textbook demonstrates an integrated approach usable at the fresh- man and senior levels and for multi-level, mutidisciplinary projects. The textbook will be pub- lished by mid-June through McGraw-Hill’s College Custom Series. The paper will describe the approach and discuss experiences with different parts of the course content. By conference time, additional feedback from senior projects in technology will be available.

The integrated approach has a double focus: • Develop the required thinking skills: visualization, cognitive models, communication, team- work, and creative problem solving. Industry as well as the ABET 2000 Criteria demand that engineers have these foundational skills. • Apply the skills in the twelve steps to quality by design. The textbook provides many practical “how to” guidelines, planning and economic analysis tool templates (attached on a CD-ROM), and a library of design documentation samples to enable instructors and students to focus on optimizing their design projects and solutions and prevent dysfunctional teams.

A teaching manual accompanies the textbook and will be available from a web site. It includes sample syllabi for a variety of courses from pre-college programs and freshman engineering orien- tation to senior capstone design and workshops to enhance creativity and innovation in the work- place. This broad range is possible by shifting the emphasis from learning the process of creative problem solving to achieving a quality design product. Also, the textbook is built on the knowledge creation cycle and thus addresses different thinking preferences and learning styles. Formats range from 15-hour course modules or seminars to quarter or semester courses or sequences.

Motivation The purpose of this integrated textbook is to enable engineers and technologists to be more innova- tive in conceptual design. This book has a strong focus on creative thinking and problem solving, visualization, teamwork, and communication. It responds to the needs of industry for employees who have these foundational skills needed for concurrent engineering and to the ABET Criteria 2000 (which require that engineering and technology students are able to work on multidisciplinary teams and understand the global context of their work). The unique integrated approach enables

Shelnutt, W., & Lumsdaine, M., & Lumsdaine, E. (1999, June), Integrating Creative Problem Solving And Engineering Design Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina.

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: © 1999 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