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Introducing Design Throughout The Curriculum

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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

Introduction to Engineering Courses

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.745.1 - 7.745.11



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Paper Authors

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Lorcan Folan

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David Doucette

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Gunter Georgi

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

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Session 2253

Introducing Design Throughout the Curriculum

Gunter W. Georgi, Lorcan M. Folan, and David R. Doucette Department of Introductory Design and Science Polytechnic University, Brooklyn, NY 11201


Polytechnic University has embarked on a major effort to introduce Engineering design across its entire curricula. This effort is across all majors and affects essentially every course. There are several features at its core:

1. A 4-credit course in Freshman Engineering that introduces students to software and hardware tools, teamwork, written and verbal communication skills, project management, as well as overview lectures on major technical and non-technical disciplines.

2. Creation of a large, interdisciplinary undergraduate laboratory, used by students from many disciplines to plan a variety of engineering experiments in a common space.

3. Use of laptop computers as design tools that are integrated into the Engineering courses.

I. Introduction

Our world is becoming ever more complex. It is no longer possible to cope by relying on expertise from a single discipline. Concurrent Engineering is now a practice used throughout industry, and its participants are expected to be able to work in an inter-disciplinary environment. A second trend is the renewed emphasis on design, as opposed to analysis, in Engineering. This leads to a requirement for engineering curricula to emphasize design and interdisciplinary thinking from the very start. Freshmen in engineering schools must come aboard the “speeding train of runaway information overload” and be able to sort out what is and what is not relevant. They must be able to work in multi-disciplinary teams and be able to present their activities to peers as well as supervisors. To this end Polytechnic University teaches EG1004, Introduction to Engineering and Design, a course that provides freshman students with an overall perspective on engineering and with useful tools and work methods that will be of great utility to the students in the years to come. This also leads to a requirement for interdisciplinary labs and for providing the proper tools to the students to encourage design efforts.

II. Background to EG1004, Introduction to Engineering and Design

EG1004 consists of lectures (1 hr/wk), laboratory work (3 hrs/wk), and recitations (2 hrs/wk) for an academic semester. Activities and examples from a variety of engineering disciplines are presented, and a selection of professional tools (MS Word, MS Excel, MS PowerPoint, MS Project, AutoCAD, LabView) is introduced. Students are exposed to team building activities and must make presentations (both written and oral) as an individual and as a member of a team. Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Folan, L., & Doucette, D., & Georgi, G. (2002, June), Introducing Design Throughout The Curriculum Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10990

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