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Use of Simple Hands-On Design Challenges for Practicing Engineering Design Principles

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Innovations in Design within BME Curricula

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Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1596.1 - 22.1596.10



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Paper Authors


Aura Gimm Duke University

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Aura Gimm is an Assistant Professor of the Practice in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Duke University. Her research experience include cellular molecular mechanics, transdermal drug delivery, and biomimetic microfluidics. She has developed and taught a senior capstone engineering, a new course in bionanotechnology engineering, and an advanced biomaterials course at Duke. She formerly directed NSF-funded Internships in Public Science Education program as a part of the Interdisciplinary Education Group of the University of Wisconsin Materials Research Science and Engineering Center on Nanostructured Materials and Interfaces.

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Richard Goldberg University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

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Richard Goldberg is a Research Associate Professor in the Department of Biomedical
Engineering. He is also the Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Curriculum in Applied Sciences and Engineering, which houses the undergraduate BME program. He teaches several instrumentation courses. He also teaches a senior design class in a collaborative effort at UNC and Duke University. His primary interest is in rehabilitation engineering and assistive technology for people with disabilities.

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Kevin Caves Duke University

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Kevin Caves is an Instructor in the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University and a Clinical Associate in the Department of Surgery at Duke University Medical Center. He coordinates Duke’s Assistive Technology Clinic that provides assistive technology services to people with disabilities. In addition to teaching and working with people with disabilities, he conducts research in the area of rehabilitation engineering and assistive technology.

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Robert Malkin Duke University

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Dr. Robert Malkin is a Professor of the Practice of Biomedical Engineering at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. Previously, Dr. Malkin was the Herbert Herff Professor of Biomedical Engineering at The Joint Biomedical Program at the University of Memphis in Memphis, Tennessee and The University of Tennessee. Before moving to Tennessee, Dr. Malkin was a professor of Electrical Engineering at The City College of New York and a member of the graduate faculty at The City University of New York and a research associate at Columbia University. Dr. Malkin received his M.S. and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Duke University in 1991 and 1993, respectively. Prior to attending graduate school, Dr. Malkin taught English in Thailand, worked at EM Microelectronics in Switzerland designing integrated circuits, worked for Cordis Corporation designing pacemakers and worked for Sarns Incorporated designing heart lung machines. Dr Malkin received the B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from The University of Michigan in 1984. Dr. Malkin is a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. Dr. Malkin is the director of Duke University-Engineering World Health and The Global Public Service Academies.

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Use of simple hands-on design challenges for practicing engineering design principlesThe Biomedical Engineering program at XXX University offers five distinct capstone designexperiences for our seniors. This approach provides flexibility to serve the needs of our diversestudent population, however a one semester experience can be limiting for both student learningand the depth that project teams can achieve. While providing challenging engineering problems,all capstone design courses address basic principles of engineering design, teamwork, technicalcommunications, ethics, and professionalism. In this paper, we will discuss how a few simpledesign challenges have been used in three capstone design courses to practice and applyengineering design principles and problem solving skills. These challenges are relativelyinexpensive to implement and could be done in teams or individually. The competitive aspectsof the challenges can further motivate students. The design challenge goals can be tailored tofocus on specific aspects of design practice or skills, such as bench marking, experimentaldesigns for assessing design solutions, use of appropriate statistical models, learning fromfailure, or using machining tools. In one design challenge, for example, students fabricate asimple structure using only squares and equilateral triangle shaped pieces with one demonstrablefunction that can be measured.We hope to open the discussion to wider BME educators for their examples of using designchallenges in their classrooms.

Gimm, A., & Goldberg, R., & Caves, K., & Malkin, R. (2011, June), Use of Simple Hands-On Design Challenges for Practicing Engineering Design Principles Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18359

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