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Introductory Project-Based Design Course to Meet Socioeconomic Challenges

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Project-Based Learning

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.969.1 - 22.969.12



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Paper Authors


Ali M. Al-Bahi King Abdulaziz University

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Dr. Ali M. Al-Bahi is Professor of aerodynamics and flight mechanics in the Aeronautical Engineering Department of King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. He has a 25
years teaching experience in Aeronautical Engineering and was graduated from Cairo University, Egypt and ENSAE, France. Prior to joining the department he built a practical engineering
experience by working for the aircraft industry in Egypt. He published numerous papers in CFD, applied aerodynamics, and flight mechanic. Since 2002 he became interested in Engineering Education, assessment, and accreditation. He is actually the acting director of the College Academic Accreditation Unit. Dr. Al-Bahi is a Registered Professional Engineer in Egypt and senior member of AIAA.

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Reda M Abdulaal P.E. King Abdulaziz University, Faculty of Engineering, Industrial Engineering Department

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Dr. Reda M.S. Abdul Aal received his Ph.D. from the School of Industrial Technology, Bradford University, (1986) England. Actually, he is a Professor of Operations Research and System Analysis and Design in the Industrial Engineering Department of King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia and the vice-director of the college Academic Accreditation Unit. He participated in constructing and implementing the Strategic Plans for several public and private organizations and participated in numerous consultations for different Egyptian industries. He has obtained 15 honors and awards from 1983 to 2010 and his bibliography was included in Marquis Who's Who in the World (14th ed., 1997). Dr. Abdul Aal, is member of ASEE (USA) and ESICUP (Germany) and a registered member of the Egyptian Syndicate of Professional Engineers. He organized more than 20 training programs and authored or co-authored more than 40 published papers. Since 2002, Dr. Abdul Aal became highly interested in Engineering Education, Assessment, and Accreditation.

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Abdelfattah Y. Soliman King Abdulaziz University, Faculty of Engineering

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Dr. Abdelfattah Y. Soliman is Assistant Professor of nuclear engineering. He worked as a reactor physicist, reactor operator and reactor experimentalist. He also worked as an assistant professor of nuclear engineering at Alexandria University in 2005 before joining the Faculty of Engineering at King Abdulaziz University. In addition to his primary interest in innovative curriculum development, Dr. Soliman carried out research work in several areas of nuclear engineering including silicon doping facilities optimization, cold neutron source design, verifications of neutronic calculation lines, optimization of reactor experiments for the fulfillment of the reactor safety criteria, non proliferation issues, and innovative reactor design. He was awarded the World Nuclear University Fellowship in 2006. He is a member of the American Nuclear Society , IEEE, and ASEE.

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Faisal I. Iskanderani King Abdulaziz University, Faculty of Engineering

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Dr. Faisal I. Iskanderani, the Dean of the College of Engineering at King Abdulaziz University, is associate professor of Chemical and Materials Engineering. Dr. Iskanderani received his M.S. from Stanford University and his Ph.D. from the University of Florida; both in Chemical Engineering. His research interests vary from Tertiary Oil Recovery, Hydrogen Embrittlement, and Chipboard Technology to Engineering Education and assessment. In addition to a long list of published research papers in chemical engineering and education Dr. Iskanderani has several years of industrial experience and consultations. In 2008, under his leadership, the 12 engineering programs of King Abdulaziz University became the first ABET accredited engineering programs in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

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INTRODUCTORY PROJECT- BASED DESIGN COURSE TO MEET SOCIOECONOMIC CHALLENGESABSTRACTAn active/cooperative, introductory engineering design course is planned, implemented,assessed, and evaluated using the project-based learning approach to allow freshmanlevel students to gain professional hands-on engineering design experience. The courseproject exposes the students to important contemporary issues, and excites their interestto address them in a creative way. The students are guided to discover by themselveshow and why engineering approaches work, rather than simply providing a recipe for asolution. The open-ended design process allows the students to discover underlyingcomplex engineering and scientific principles, and provide motivation for further studyand engagement.Throughout the course the students function on effective design teams to practice guidedconceptual design, project planning, and manufacturing of the designed artifact. Thefactory based learning environment is applied during the artifact implementation. Theworkshop activities are structured to permit the students to practice the roles of qualityassurance, quality control, supervision and process planning.The course introduces engineering design practices through guided design phases andprovides the students with an opportunity to practice team work, quality principals,communication skills, life-long learning, realistic constraints, and global awareness ofcurrent domestic and global challenges. Each semester a new project is introduced in theform of a real-life design proposal prepared by an assumed customer to address onecontemporary issue. The course is carried out in an active/cooperative learningenvironment with suitable class layout integrated with a workshop that simulates a smallindustrial factory. In addition to several successive design reports and two in-classassignments, the students are required by the end of the semester to communicate, clearlyand concisely, the details of their design both orally and in writing through a functionalartifact/prototype, a design notebook, an A0 project poster, and a final oral presentation.In addition to these direct assessment tools several indirect measures are used to insuretriangulation including class feedback forms, process checks, entry and exit surveys andcourse evaluation questionnaire. Students are asked to peer assess the work of theirclassmates and to self-assess their own work before submission. Quality principles areenforced in each learning activity. Assignments are based on customer expectations andare assessed using a detailed checklist as: Exceeds expectations, Meets expectations,Acceptable, Needs Improvement, or represents No Credible Effort. Engineeringprofessionalism is enforced and lapses are used to punish any unprofessional behavior.Bonus points are used, on the other hand, to encourage top performance. End ofsemester course evaluation is based on satisfying both course learning outcomes andcourse-supported program outcomes.The course was implemented for the first time in fall 2009. The students were asked todesign a small wind turbine suitable for home use as a part of a long term design projectof smart houses of zero electricity consumption and zero emission to the environment.During the summer semester the students were asked to design a stand-alonephotovoltaic system for a small clinic situated in a natural reserve away from the nationalelectricity grid. Direct and indirect assessment tools indicated high level of achievementof course learning outcomes together with a high level of students’ self- satisfaction.

Al-Bahi, A. M., & Abdulaal, R. M., & Soliman, A. Y., & Iskanderani, F. I. (2011, June), Introductory Project-Based Design Course to Meet Socioeconomic Challenges Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18191

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