August 23, 2022
June 26, 2022
June 29, 2022
A common theme among business leaders is that young engineers will require a proclivity to adapt to novel technologies and prepare for jobs or even entire industries that do not yet exist. The introduction of modern design spine curricula is one variation of the project-based learning environment, with the potential to develop and equip students to effectively design viable solutions to real life problems facing our world. This paper summarizes a novel design spine program at the R. B. Annis School of Engineering at the University of Indianapolis, now in its fifth year, that contains a number of additions of interest to the greater engineering education community. The DesignSpine program implements three years of industrial client projects. Most engineering programs include one year of open-ended student projects. In addition, the DesignSpine program has an entire year devoted to project-based entrepreneurial development with external business mentors. The program’s first year contains training in Agile and Design for Six Sigma methodologies. Finally, the program involves participation from all faculty and technical staff in the engineering school - an all hands on deck approach. We summarize the curricular changes and decisions made over the past five years, as well as present novel data gleaned from student and faculty reflections. A major change in the curriculum was a change from a model with 10 weeks of typical coursework and only 5 weeks of DesignSpine to a more integrated 15 full weeks, as both student teams and clients needed more time to effectively work on the design project. Also, as the program grew, there was the need to change the leadership and structure of the committee responsible for running the DesignSpine. The change highlights the fact that leadership must be willing to assess and implement changes as deemed necessary as a program grows, the skillset requirements change, and as competent people join the team. It must never be business as usual, nor change for the sake of change, but an objective assessment of needs and capabilities needed for growth and success. The paper will be of interest to programs which aim to truly integrate design into an engineering curriculum.
Reid, K., & Ricco, G., & Olawale, D., & Sarker, M. R. (2022, August), The DesignSpine: Evolution of an Authentic Project-Based Integration of Design in an Engineering Curriculum Paper presented at 2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Minneapolis, MN. 10.18260/1-2--41553
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: © 2022 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