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Knowledge-enabled Engineering Design: Toward an Integrated Model

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Information Literacy in Context: Enabling Real World Problem Solving

Tagged Division

Engineering Libraries

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.874.1 - 25.874.13



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Paper Authors


Michael Fosmire Purdue University, West Lafayette Orcid 16x16

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Michael Fosmire is an Associate Professor of library science and Head of the Physical Sciences, Engineering, and Technology Division of the Purdue University Libraries. His research interests focus on information literacy instruction and student learning, especially as it relates to engineering design processes.

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David F. Radcliffe Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Knowledge-Driven Engineering Design: Toward an Integrated ModelLibrarians and engineering faculty have long understood that design is one of the core processesthat defines and ties the profession together. In an increasingly knowledge-driven society,students need to efficiently integrate information into their design process so that they canconstructively and productively contribute professionally. Engineering curricula are embracingdesign activities, even as early as the first year, but a question remains as to how wellinformation literacy is being integrated into these new activities. For example, the EngineeringChange study found there has been very little improvement to lifelong learning skills inengineering graduates over the last decade, and indeed lifelong learning, one indicator ofinformation literacy skills, was the lowest rated of the ABET student learning outcomes.1Both librarians and engineering educators have studied the use of information in an engineeringcontext, but the overlap of the two disciplines is still fairly low. This paper, then, presents anintegrated model of Knowledge-Driven Engineering Design, providing a detailed articulation ofthe specific information needs at different stages of the design process. Derived from bothliteratures, this model attempts to bridge the language and conceptual divide between librariansand engineering educators, to facilitate deeper and more meaningful collaborations between thetwo groups.Most engineering design process models contain an information gathering/research stage, butoften the models stop there, without explaining how one actually gathers, evaluates, and uses theinformation. Many library science models, on the other hand, focus on the finding andevaluation of information, but provide little context for how the information is used in theengineering design process. While library models often focus on published documentation, theyalso need to embrace less formal methods of information gathering, such as observations,interviews, and gathering data through modeling of the problem. Consequently, ourcollaboratively developed interdisciplinary model for Knowledge-Driven Engineering Designprovides a more holistic model that can lead to richer, more productive student designs. 1. Lattuca, L. R., Terenzini, P. T., & Volkwein, J. F. 2006. Engineering Change: A Study of th Impact of EC2000. Baltimore, MD.

Fosmire, M., & Radcliffe, D. F. (2012, June), Knowledge-enabled Engineering Design: Toward an Integrated Model Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21631

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