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Using a University Campus to Expand the Understanding of Design for Human and Non-Human Stakeholders in First-Year General Engineering Students

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

First-Year Programs: Design in the First Year

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

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Paper Authors


Benjamin Daniel Chambers Virginia Tech

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Benjamin Chambers is an Associate Professor of Practice in the Department of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. He is an interdisciplinary scholar with three degrees from Virginia Tech, including an MS Civil Infrastructure Engineering, MS Entomology, and a PhD in Environmental Design and Planning. His educational research interests include student creativity, and the built environment as an educational tool for engineering, biology, and ecology. He is also interested in animal interactions with buildings, particularly overwintering insects.

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This complete evidence-based practice paper describes and evaluates an assignment which uses human and non-human groups on campus to illustrate the concept of stakeholders in engineering design to first-year general engineering students. Understanding context is an essential element of design, and assessing stakeholder groups is an important part of this process. Results show that students completing this assignment were able to use the built environment of a university campus to identify stakeholder considerations in design, and to think through design intent and stakeholder interactions. This work also indicates the kinds of campus design elements and stakeholder groups that students are likely to observe. Together, these findings describe the variety and complexity of student observations of human and non-human stakeholders for this assignment. These results will be of interest to educators who teach students about design and context, particularly those who would like to broaden their thinking about stakeholders, environmental issues, and the unanticipated consequences of design. Assignments such as this may also be useful in surveying or exploring the visibility of non-human inhabitants of the built environment, and the ways in which they interact.

Chambers, B. D. (2021, July), Using a University Campus to Expand the Understanding of Design for Human and Non-Human Stakeholders in First-Year General Engineering Students Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference.

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