Asee peer logo

Teaching Engineering Design One University's Program

Download Paper |

Conference

2003 Annual Conference

Location

Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Potpourri Design

Page Count

11

Page Numbers

8.1063.1 - 8.1063.11

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/11607

Download Count

63

Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Patrick Walter

Download Paper |

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

Session 2003-1393

Teaching Engineering Design – One University’s Program

Patrick L. Walter, Ph. D. Engineering Department, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, TX

abstract This paper describes the design process as taught at Texas Christian University (TCU). The intent of the design course is to develop student engineers capable of a seamless transition to industry. Success in industry is primarily based on three criteria: (1) schedule – did the project get completed on time, (2) cost – did the project get completed within budget, and (3) performance – did the delivered product(s) satisfy the customer? The design process at TCU is based on these criteria. A 3-semester, team-oriented, industry-funded, electrical/mechanical, interdisciplinary design sequence, beginning in the second semester of the TCU student engineer’s junior year, is described.

introduction Early in their engineering educational process, students are typically forced to select a specific discipline (mechanical, electrical, civil, etc.). They then dutifully follow a program of studies that embraces the requisite technical courses (thermodynamics, solid mechanics, circuits, etc.) to support this discipline. While laboratory courses may provide an opportunity to stimulate group interaction, success in the majority of their engineering courses is typically assessed based upon individual performance, e.g., examination grades. What’s wrong with this picture? This individual assessment process is largely disconnected from the industrial world where they will win or lose in teams. 1,2,3 Engineers in industry who rise through the managerial ranks are almost always initially identified as a byproduct of being associated with successful engineering teams early in their careers. Assessment of the effectiveness of an industrial team is principally based on three criteria: (1) schedule – did they get the project completed on time, (2) cost – did they get the project completed within budget, and (3) performance – did the delivered product(s) satisfy the customer? Thus, to create engineers capable of rising through the ranks of their peers, engineering programs must generate individuals who can contribute to, and thrive in, an industrial teaming environment.

Before I left industry for academia, it was my observation that during the latter 1980s and the early 1990s the young engineers being produced in universities were well versed in computer skills, but had little insight into the design process. Fortunately, large companies such as Boeing felt the same way and encouraged ABET (the engineering accreditation board) to require more design content in university engineering programs.1,2 The engineering program at Texas Christian University (TCU) in which I teach is relatively new; its first seniors graduated in 1996. This program awards a Bachelor of Science degree in general engineering with mechanical and electrical emphasis options. The timing of the initiation of this program, coupled with my own convictions, afforded an opportunity to change the traditional engineering education paradigm by creating a more industrially focused model. 8 This focus is achieved through a continuous, 3- semester, team-oriented, industry-funded, electrical/mechanical, interdisciplinary design

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Walter, P. (2003, June), Teaching Engineering Design One University's Program Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. https://peer.asee.org/11607

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2003 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015