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The Sandman Project A Review Of The Design Process Methodology

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.1038.1 - 6.1038.30

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Paper Authors

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Mort Isaacson

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Francis Di Bella

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

Session 2525

Engineering Design Lessons Taught and Learned: The Sandman Project An Example of the Teaching of the Design Process Methodology  Design = ∫ (Art + Eng.)•d(science) + exp(time)

Francis A. Di Bella, P.E, Assistant Prof. (617-373-5240, Northeastern University, School of Engineering Technology with contributions from Prof. Mort Isaacson, PhD. Boston University, Dept. AERO/MECH.

ABSTRACT This paper presents a brief tutorial of the Design Process Methodology1 as a means of solving an engineering design problem. The Case Study used for this demonstration of the Design Process Methodology was: How to stop a person from snoring. The problem is not exactly the most mechanically inspiring design topic but was selected in particular for its abstractness from an article written by Ms. Catherine Foster entitled ‘Mr. Sandman’, published in the Boston Globe magazine on Sept. 5, 1999; coincidentally the first week of Machine Design class. It’s selection as a theme for demonstrating the design process was based solely on the expressed intent of the Instructor to select an arbitrary problem which could serve as a spring board for demonstrating to Senior Engineering students the effectiveness and power of a well defined Design Process Methodology to creatively solve even the most undefined engineering problem. It also served as a step by step working example of how the students were to proceed in solving their own design problem; a concurrent design effort to satisfy the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) Capstone Design Project requirement. The paper proceeds from Problem Statement through a defined Design Process Methodology using contributions from a variety of familiar academic resources. The paper is thus intended to offer a single source (albeit: very brief) of information for Instructors and Students alike, that describes the methodical engineering design process of arriving at a creative solution to engineering design problems while also demonstrating how this process leads to unexpected benefits. Chief among these benefits is the bolstering of the student’s resolve and confidence for engineering design; resolve that does not diminish their sight of the goal despite the obstacles that are encountered and personal confidence in their engineering talents that are sharpened with each design success.

1 A full length Primer is being drafted for future, formal publication.

“Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Expsoition Copyright  2001, American Society of Engineering Education

Isaacson, M., & Di Bella, F. (2001, June), The Sandman Project A Review Of The Design Process Methodology Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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