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Techniques To Enhance Concept Generation And Develop Creativity

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Conference

2009 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Design Cognition

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count

23

Page Numbers

14.1167.1 - 14.1167.23

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/5808

Download Count

183

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Paper Authors

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Daniel Jensen United States Air Force Academy

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Dr. Dan Jensen is a Professor of Engineering Mechanics at the U.S. Air Force Academy where he has been since 1997. He received his B.S. (Mechanical Engineering), M.S. (Applied Mechanics) and Ph.D. (Aerospace Engineering Science) from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He has worked for Texas Instruments, Lockheed Martin, NASA, University of the Pacific, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and MacNeal-Schwendler Corp. His research includes development of innovative design methodologies and enhancement of engineering education.

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Jason Weaver University of Texas, Austin

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Jason Weaver is a graduate research assistant at the University of Texas at Austin. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Mechanical Engineering. Previously, he received a Masters from the University of Texas and a Bachelors from Brigham Young University. His current research focuses include Transformation Design Theory, design methodologies, energy harvesting, and environmental power sources for wireless sensor arrays.

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Kristin Wood University of Texas, Austin

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KRISTIN WOOD is the Cullen Trust Endowed Professor in Engineering and University Distinguished Teaching Professor at The University of Texas at Austin, Department of Mechanical Engineering. Dr. Wood’s current research interests focus on product design, development, and evolution. The current and near-future objective of this research is to develop design strategies, representations, and languages that will result in more comprehensive design tools, innovative manufacturing techniques, and design teaching aids at the college, pre-college, and industrial levels. Contact: wood@mail.utexas.edu

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Julie Linsey Texas A&M University

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Dr Julie Linsey is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Texas A & M University. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Texas, Austin in 2007. Her research interests include development of techniques to enhance creativity in the design process and also techniques to improve engineering education. techniques to enhance creativity in the design process and also techniques to improve engineering education.

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John Wood United States Air Force Academy

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DR. JOHN J. WOOD is an Associate Professor of Engineering Mechanics at the United States Air Force Academy. He completed his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at Colorado State University and is a retired Air Force officer. The current focus of Dr. Wood’s research includes the pioneering development of micro air vehicle systems using innovative conceptual design techniques for current technology implementations, as well as futuristic projections, applied in the framework of a senior capstone design course. Other research areas include the integration of modern pedagogical theory and learning styles with interactive, computer-based multimedia instruction of advanced undergraduate structures-based engineering courses.

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

Techniques to Enhance Concept Generation and Develop Creativity

Abstract The concept generation (CG) step in the design process presents tremendous and unique opportunities for enhancing creativity in students. Other researchers have developed a variety of techniques specifically to aid in the CG or ideation process. Based on their work, as well as original work we have done in this area, we have developed a suite of CG techniques for use by students in design classes. The techniques include a modified 6-3-5 technique, functional decomposition combined with morphological analysis, TIPS/TRIZ, a method to produce products with the ability to transform, a search for cross-domain or far-field analogies, implementation of creativity principles from historical innovators and a design by analogy technique using a WordNet-based search procedure. Various sets of these CG techniques have been implemented at both the University of Texas and the US Air Force Academy. In addition, in an effort to assess the ability of these techniques to enhance creativity in our students, we implemented a survey that attempts to measure creativity before and after the students learned to use the CG techniques. Our results show that the implementation of the suite of CG techniques produces a increased quantity and innovation in the concepts. Also, the assessment indicates that exposure to these CG techniques increases creativity when compared to a control group that were not exposed to the suite of CG techniques. 1. Introduction Innovation and creativity are central to the engineering design process. Numerous versions of the “design process” have been proposed1-4. Two examples are captured below in Figures 1 and 2. Figure 1 shows the process as depicted by Ullman1 and Figure 2 provides a similar description from Ulrich2. In both these cases, and in the majority of other portrayals of the design process, one of the steps in the overall process is identified as “concept generation” (CG). As shown in Figure 3 from Otto & Wood3, the CG step itself can be separated into a set of sub-processes. Note the dual paths depicted in the figure, which divide the process into two categories, basic and more advanced. Similarly, Shah5 also uses two categories that he refers to as intuitive and directed. The upper path in the Figure 3 corresponds to the directed type CG methods and the lower path to the intuitive methods. The goal of the intuitive methods is to create an environment that enhances creativity for the designer allowing for maximum opportunity to produce innovative solutions. Classic examples in the intuitive category include brainstorming and morphological analysis. The goal of the directed methods is to follow more of a step-by-step or systematic process to develop a solution. Technical information combined with fundamental physical laws play a key role in this directed method set of CG techniques.

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Jensen, D., & Weaver, J., & Wood, K., & Linsey, J., & Wood, J. (2009, June), Techniques To Enhance Concept Generation And Develop Creativity Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/5808

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