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Teaching Engineering Design To First Year Engineering Students: A Case Study

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

ASEE Multimedia Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.1071.1 - 7.1071.7



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Paper Authors

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Sohail Anwar

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Eric Granlund

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Session 2793

Teaching Engineering Design to First Year Engineering Students: A Case Study

Sohail Anwar, Eric Granlund, Stephen Fokuo The Pennsylvania State University, Altoona College


Engineering design is the communication of a set of rational decisions obtained with creative problem solving for achieving certain stated objectives within prescribed constraints. 1 Engineering design is a systematic and cognitive process. 2 The methods faculty choose to teach engineering design relate to the skills and competencies they want their students to develop. Design competencies help one define educational outcomes, develop plans for achieving integrated design experience, and document educational program success. 3 Categories of design competencies include: information gathering, problem definition, idea generation, evaluation and decision making, implementation, communication, teamwork, and process improvement. 4

Engineering faculty tend to use at least one of four approaches to teach engineering design: lecture, faculty as guide or coach, case study, and industry involvement. 5 The faculty at the Altoona College of the Pennsylvania State University (Penn State Altoona) uses lecture method as the primary vehicle to teach engineering design process to the engineering freshmen.

Engineering Design and Graphics (ED&G) 100 is an introduction to engineering design course for all freshman baccalaureate-engineering students at the Altoona College of the Pennsylvania State University. In this three credit-hour course, engineering design and principles are taught through team-oriented design projects supported by communication skills: graphical and written. The course has three components with fifteen double periods (two hours each) for each segment of the course. The first component of the course introduces students to computer application skills including CAD. The second component deals with manual graphic and drafting skills. The third component focuses on team-based engineering design projects. Working together in teams, students work on design projects selected from various disciplines of engineering. This paper provides a description of the topics covered in each of the three components of this course. The instructional approaches used to teach this course are described and the engineering design projects conducted by the students are outlined.

Students normally take the course in their first or second semester. The class meets for three double periods per week for a total of 6 hours. The class is divided up into three groups during the first meeting. For example a student may attend computer skills on Monday, graphical skills on Wednesday and Design laboratory on Friday. Three faculty members teach the three components during the same time frame with students attending

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright ã 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Anwar, S., & Granlund, E. (2002, June), Teaching Engineering Design To First Year Engineering Students: A Case Study Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10773

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