San Antonio, Texas
June 10, 2012
June 10, 2012
June 13, 2012
Engineering Management, Systems Engineering, and Industrial Engineering
25.12.1 - 25.12.12
Using a Systems Engineering Approach to Design a Laboratory ApparatusAbstractSystems Engineering is an interdisciplinary collaborative approach to derive, evolve andverify solutions which satisfy customer needs. It provides a focus that enables practicingengineers to integrate their specialties in the development of complex products andprocesses. Systems Engineering concepts are extremely important to industry. Ascompanies bring new products to market, a systems approach in product design isomnipresent throughout a broad cross-section of industries today.The merit of teaching a formal course dedicated to Systems Engineering in anundergraduate engineering curriculum can be debated. Some educators with an industrialbackground, in addition to practicing engineers have said that a true Systems Engineeringapproach can only come with years of industrial experience. However, engineeringstudents can be exposed to the concepts of Systems Engineering in mainstreamengineering classes throughout their undergraduate education. With this exposure toSystems Engineering at the university level, students are better prepared in the workforce.This paper describes one approach to introduce the concepts of Systems Engineering tostudents in a junior-level required thermo/fluids course through the student’s participationin a team-oriented class design project. The deliverable in this project was a 13-fthydropower apparatus that would be used as a permanent laboratory fixture for futureclasses. Students were divided into four teams of 2 – 3 students each. Each team wasresponsible for specific features of the apparatus. Interface documents, a preliminary andcritical design review, as well as a final integration document were required componentsof the project. The students came away with a broad understanding of a SystemsEngineering approach as documented in surveys administered pre and post course.
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