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The Integration of Stakeholder Requirements within Aerospace Engineering Design Education

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Aerospace Division Technical Session 2

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

23.1219.1 - 23.1219.13



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Paper Authors


Alexandra Emelina Coso Georgia Institute of Technology Orcid 16x16

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Alexandra Coso is a Ph.D. candidate in the Cognitive Engineering Center at Georgia Tech, where she is pursuing a doctorate in Aerospace Engineering. She received her B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from MIT and her M.S. in Systems Engineering from the University of Virginia. Coso is actively involved in the ASEE Student Division and the Graduate Engineering Education Consortium for Students, and she co-founded a Georgia Tech ASEE student chapter in the fall of 2011. Her research interests include the integration of stakeholders into the engineering design process, development and evaluation of interdisciplinary engineering courses and programs, mixed methods research designs, and graduate student experiences in engineering programs.

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Amy Pritchett Georgia Institute of Technology

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The Integration of Stakeholder Requirements within Aerospace Engineering Design EducationThe design of an aerospace vehicle system is a complex integration process, driven bytechnological needs, mission needs, cost, schedule, and the state of the industry. The first designtheory, established in the field of architecture in 27 BC, defined design as “satisfying humanneeds.” Thus, in the design of an aerospace vehicle system, it is important to recognize that theresulting product will be a technology used to meet specific human needs. However, satisfyingthe needs of all stakeholders, including both users and non-users, is a complicated challenge fordesigners and engineers. Consequently, stakeholder requirements are, at times, neglected and/ordesign decisions are made without considering the operational context of the vehicle system.These decisions can have significant impacts on stakeholders’ overall satisfaction with thedesign, life-cycle costs, and safety. Given the quantity and variety of stakeholders affected by thedesign and operation of an aerospace vehicle system, it is critical to examine how to betterincorporate stakeholder requirements earlier and throughout the design process. Current researchin aerospace engineering design education is limited in defining ways to incorporate thestakeholder requirements within a student’s capstone design experience. In addition, few studiesexamine the effects of these design experiences on the industry preparedness of aerospaceengineering graduates. This research aims to fill this gap by reviewing the design processes,learning outcomes, and pedagogical techniques related to stakeholder requirements that arecurrently embedded in aerospace engineering and other design curricula.Undergraduate students typically enroll in a capstone aerospace engineering design courseduring their final year of study. This course may be focused on aircraft, spacecraft, or anothertechnical component (e.g. engine design). While course outlines vary from program to program,these design experiences generally include a large-scale team project accompanied by coursecontent related to teaching the overall aerospace design process. The significant differencesbetween aerospace engineering design courses in different programs come from the tools andmethods for teaching the design process. Within these methods of aerospace design education,stakeholder considerations are commonly limited to the discussion of handling qualities as apilot-related concern. Many students, then, are not introduced to stakeholder considerations,which, for a pilot, could include the effect of reducing or increasing the number of pilots in acockpit. Another example would be a design change that impacts the number of pilot traininghours and the cost of training. This contrasts with some courses in service learning or productdesign where students focus on usability from the start, examining the design problem from aholistic systems perspective with a greater focus on the human component.In this paper, we present different techniques for integrating stakeholder requirements intodesign education, by examining current aerospace engineering design curricula and designcurricula from other fields (e.g. mechanical engineering and architecture). A discussion ofproposed future work regarding how to assess the effectiveness of these different techniques willalso be included. This effort will help define competencies and specific content areas that can beintegrated into senior aerospace design curricula. Over the next few decades, technology willcontinue to advance at a rapid pace. Today’s engineering students will need to consider criticaldesign issues, such as the implications of fully automated machines and vehicles or renewableenergy that powers cities or aircraft. Through this work, we hope to assist faculty in preparingtheir students to respond to these and other future challenges in the aerospace industry.

Coso, A. E., & Pritchett, A. (2013, June), The Integration of Stakeholder Requirements within Aerospace Engineering Design Education Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--22604

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