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Teaching Conceptual Design to a Heterogeneous Group: A Workshop Method

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Design Methodologies 1

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

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Paper Authors


Sangarappillai Sivaloganathan United Arab Emirates University

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Dr Sangarappillai Sivaloganathan – Siva is a Srilankan by birth and a citizen of the United Kingdom. His experience in Sri-lanka started with an year’s post-graduate apprenticeship in the manufacturing shops of the Government Railway and nine years in the Cement Industry. He graduated as a Mechanical Engineer from University of Srilanka, and obtained his Masters from the University of Aston and PhD from City University of London, both in the UK. He started his career in the UK as the Senior Research Assistant at the SERC Engineering Design Centre. He joined Brunel University in 1995 where he worked for 18 years before joining United Arab Emirates University in August 2011. During his stay at Brunel he has worked with many British industries. Dr Sivaloganathan is a keen researcher in Design and was the Convenor for the International Engineering Design Conferences in 1998 and 2000. He has been a regular participant of the ASEE annual conference during the past few years. He has published more than 100 papers in reputed journals and conferences.

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Ali H. Al-Marzouqi United Arab Emirates University

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Dr. Ali Al-Marzouqi obtained his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Oregon State University, USA, in 1997. He worked as an Instructor in the Chemical Engineering Department of Oregon State University for three years and then joined the Chemical and Petroleum Engineering Department of UAE University in September 2000. He was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor in 2007 and to the rank of Professor in 2017. Dr. Al-Marzouqi has served as the Assistant Dean for Research and Graduate Studies in the College of Engineering for 12 years until he was appointed as the Vice Dean of the College of Graduate Studies in 2017, Acting Dean in 2018 and Dean of the College of Graduate Studies in 2019. His research focuses on CO2 capture, brine management, conversion of biomass to high value chemicals, the use of supercritical fluid technology in food and pharmaceutical applications, and biodiesel production. Dr. Al-Marzouqi has published over 115 journal and conference papers and achieved four granted patents.

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Essam K. Zaneldin P.E. United Arab Emirates University

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Dr Essam Zaneldin earned his PhD in 2000 from the University of Waterloo in the area of Construction Engineering and Management. Dr Zaneldin is a professional engineer currently working as an associate professor of Construction Engineering and Management at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, United Arab Emirates University. Dr Zaneldin is also the head of the College of Engineering Requirements Unit and the Director of the Master of Engineering Management Program at the United Arab Emirates University. In addition to his experience in the academia, Dr Zaneldin has more than thirteen years of work experience in areas related to design, construction supervision, and project management of mega size projects in North America and the Middle East. He has authored and co-authored several journal and conference publications in topics related to engineering education and course management, design coordination, change management, site layout planning, constructability, claims and disputes, and simulation of design and construction operations.

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Teaching Conceptual Design to a Heterogeneous Group: A Workshop Method This paper describes how conceptual design methods have been taught in the ‘Product Development and Marketing’ course, to a heterogeneous group of students in the Master of Engineering Management Program at an international university. Engineering managers have to be involved in the management of product design and development either as a part of a design team or as a purchaser of a system that is being designed. But engineering managers come from different backgrounds and fields of specialisation in their undergraduate studies. The challenge for the curriculum design is to teach the design process and the outputs at various stages so that an engineering manager can provide effective leadership to a design office or team. Design process is often described as a stage model or activity model. The stage model is static with specified number of stages while the activity model can incorporate several design methods. In this context, design methods are tools and techniques used at different stages of the design process. The prime objective of this course is to equip students with the knowledge, skills and competence in design models and methods so that they can handle design process management in their professional careers. In general students are (a) given lectures and handouts on the theory and methodology in which they have to pass a written examination and (b) apply their knowledge and skills in a project where they exhibit their competence gained. Conceptual Design, being a very important part of the design process, a special workshop method is adopted. Students at the beginning follow lectures and quizzes in the early stages of the design process, from design brief to drawing the specifications. They are then taught conceptual design as the process of establishing a scheme to arrange components in a harmonious manner to deliver the required functions satisfying the originating need. More than ten conceptual design methods and approaches are taught during this stage. Groups of four students are formed and each group is given a specific design problem and asked to produce a conceptual design using a specified design method. They describe the method and the conceptual design in a poster and present their work to their class mates for discussion. Students see their colleagues’ work, discuss and learn from them. The instructor then critiques the posters, and students make their second poster which is assigned as assignment 2. A cohort of 34 students in 11 groups went through this workshop. After seeing, and before critiquing, they were asked to answer a questionnaire. After the second poster the students had their written exam. Eight posters came out more than satisfactory in the first round and ten came out well in the second round. Sixteen students said that they understood the C sketch method very well after the first round. The question relating to conceptual design and posters was answered very well by all in the examination. The paper will discuss the answers to the questions and lessons learned.

Sivaloganathan, S., & Al-Marzouqi, A. H., & Zaneldin, E. K. (2020, June), Teaching Conceptual Design to a Heterogeneous Group: A Workshop Method Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35272

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