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Integration Of Software Tools Into A Multi Disciplinary Undergraduate Student Design Project

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Using IT to Enhance Design Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.715.1 - 7.715.11



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Paper Authors

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Reza S. Abhari

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Friederike Mund

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Anestis I. Kalfas

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Session 1625

Integration of Software Tools into a Multi-disciplinary Undergraduate Student Design Project

Friederike C. Mund, Anestis I. Kalfas, Reza S. Abhari

Turbomachinery Laboratory Institute of Energy Technology Swiss Federal Institute of Technology 8092 Zurich, Switzerland


This paper presents a pilot scheme for the integration of modern state-of-the-art turbomachinery design tools into project-based education of undergraduate students. This effort has been part of a larger international gas turbine project (IGTP) in which undergraduate students from a German (TU Berlin), a French (EC Lyon) and a Swiss (ETH Zurich) University undertook the design of the cooling system for the high pressure turbine of a 30,000lb thrust aeroengine. In addition, the goals of the project included self-organization and distribution of the tasks by the students themselves, the improvement of their communication skills and teamwork.

At the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETHZ) the design-task was offered to a limited number of students, organized as a project team. Tasks were distributed related to the tools, in particular CAD, CFD and FEA. Appropriate short duration training in the software packages, was provided. The initial design tasks were performed through manual calculations by following traditional lecture notes. The conceptual design was followed by more sophisticated three- dimensional design tasks using computer-aided techniques. Finally, the students were assessed continuously with respect to their technical contribution, working techniques and interaction with their peer group at national and international level. They were also probed regarding their opinion on various aspects of the project using interviews and forms. These surveys have been evaluated together with the opinion of the academic staff in order to form future directions.

For the planning the students had to consider the engine as a whole before distributing the tasks individually. This enabled them to handle the design requirements successfully through effective use of the available software tools. An increased effort of the academic staff was registered in comparison to conventional teaching methods. However, a substantial technical and communicative growth of the students was evident in this early introduction into the application of engineering knowledge to a high technology application.

“Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2002, American Society for Engineering Education”

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Abhari, R. S., & Mund, F., & Kalfas, A. I. (2002, June), Integration Of Software Tools Into A Multi Disciplinary Undergraduate Student Design Project Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10242

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