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Transdisciplinary Engineering Design Process: Tracing Design Similarities Through Comparison of Design Stages Across Engineering Disciplines

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Conference

2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Design in Engineering Education Division: Student Empathy & Human-centered Design

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count

10

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/33457

Download Count

16

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Paper Authors

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Mehwish Butt University of Alberta

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Mehwish Butt, BSc., is a Graduate Research Assistant at the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Alberta. Her research area lies in Transdisciplinary Engineering Design Processes, Product Development and Evolution, Design interface across disciplines, and identifying the commonalities of design concepts across disciplines.

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Alyona Sharunova University of Alberta Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/https://0000-0002-7305-040X

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Alyona Sharunova, BSc., is an Education Consultant at the Faculty of Engineering and a former Research Assistant at the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Alberta. Her background is in Psychology, Design, and Educational Development. The scope of her work lies in Transdisciplinary Engineering Education, Design Processes, Teaching and Learning Methodologies, Cognitive and Educational Psychology, and Curriculum Design and Enhancement.

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Ahmed Jawad Qureshi University of Alberta

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Ahmed Jawad Qureshi, PhD., PEng., is an assistant professor at the University of Alberta, whose research interest lies in Concurrent Design Processes, Additive Manufacturing, Automation, and Computer Aided Design. Dr. Qureshi is a Principal Investigator of the Teaching Enhancement research project entitled Transdisciplinary Design Education for Engineering Undergraduates.

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Abstract

Design processes are an important component of engineering education. They teach early stage engineering undergraduates about the temporal and organizational nature of the design process and give them the first exposure to the basics of engineering design and its different stages. Currently, in many places, including the authors’ institution, engineering design processes are taught with a focus on teaching discipline specific design stages and their components. However, recent studies in the industry suggest that industrial engineering design processes across different discipline have a core of common transdisciplinary stages. These can be summarized as planning; concept development; system-level design; detail design; implementation and testing; and final production. Transdisciplinary engineering design enables a better understanding of the design process by transcending the barriers of discipline specific terminology. However, while efforts have been made to identify the commonalities amongst engineering disciplines in the industry, very little data is available for engineering education.

The current paper presents data from an empirical study that aims to identify commonalities between engineering design process education across engineering departments at the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Engineering. In this paper, we validate the hypothesis that, despite the different terminologies, a conceptual similarity exists between the design stages of various disciplines, as they are taught. The study consists of 34 structured one-on-one interviews with engineering design professors from 4 engineering departments namely mechanical, chemical, civil, electrical and computer science. The data for this study was collected from 2 sections of the interview. The first section comprised open-ended questions designed to collect descriptions of the discipline-specific engineering design processes and their design stages. The second section was based on a cognitive game task designed to obtain a self-directed mapping of the discipline specific design stages on the proposed design stages. The stages thus obtained were unique yet generic enough to describe the design process at an abstract level. The results compare the design stages of pre- and post-mapped discipline-specific engineering design processes and highlight the existence of common concepts despite differing terminologies. It is also shown that given an opportunity, the participants are successfully able to map their process to the proposed reference design process.

Butt, M., & Sharunova, A., & Qureshi, A. J. (2019, June), Transdisciplinary Engineering Design Process: Tracing Design Similarities Through Comparison of Design Stages Across Engineering Disciplines Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. https://peer.asee.org/33457

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