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Roles in the Design Process: A Survey of Engineering and Industrial Design Educators

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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

DEED Poster Session

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1265.1 - 22.1265.6



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Paper Authors


William Besser University of Saint Thomas

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William Besser is a graduate of the University of St. Thomas in Saint Paul, MN with degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Business Management. His academic interests include design, design processes and design thinking, multidisciplinary collaboration, consumer behavior and organizational behavior. William is currently working as a product design engineer for a medical device company.

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AnnMarie Thomas University of Saint Thomas

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AnnMarie Thomas is an assistant professor of Engineering at the University of St. Thomas, and co-director of the UST Center for Pre-Collegiate Engineering Education. Her teaching and research focus on Engineering Design and K-12 Engineering Education. Prior to her appointment at UST, she was a faculty member at Art Center College of Design.

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Roles in the Design Process: A Survey of Engineering and Industrial Design EducatorsIn industry, engineers are often called on to work closely with designers. Very few academicprograms, however, incorporate collaborations between these two fields. This paper looks at theviews of educators from mechanical engineering and industrial (product) design. A survey, takenby 55 professors, covered topics such as curriculum, creativity and working relationshipsbetween the two fields. From the results of this survey, it was found that professors from bothdisciplines feel that mechanical engineers and industrial (product) designers would benefit froma better understanding of one another, which could lead to more respectful and healthy workingenvironment.Additionally, one-on-one interviews were conducted with faculty from both fields. Theseinterviews focused on how these faculty members viewed the topic of design and what theirthoughts on interaction with the other discipline were. From the interviews it was realized thatthe thought of interaction between the two disciplines was welcomed and encouraged, but it wasfeared that it could take away from the core curriculum of the individual programs. In this paperwe will present results from both the survey and the interviews, and the implications that theseresults have for engineering design education.

Besser, W., & Thomas, A. (2011, June), Roles in the Design Process: A Survey of Engineering and Industrial Design Educators Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18457

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