Use of simple hands-on design challenges for practicing engineering design principles

TitleUse of simple hands-on design challenges for practicing engineering design principles
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsGimm JA, Goldberg R, Caves K, Malkin R
Conference NameAsee Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
Date Published01/2011

The Biomedical Engineering program at Duke University offers five distinct capstone design experiences for our seniors. This approach provides flexibility to serve the needs of our diverse student population, however a one semester experience can be limiting for both student learning and the depth that project teams can achieve. While providing challenging engineering problems, all capstone design courses address basic principles of engineering design, teamwork, technical communications, ethics, and professionalism. In this paper, we will discuss how a few simple design challenges have been used in three capstone design courses to practice and apply engineering design principles and problem solving skills. These challenges are relatively inexpensive to implement and could be done in teams or individually. The competitive aspects of the challenges can further motivate students. The design challenge goals can be tailored to focus on specific aspects of design practice or skills, such as bench marking, experimental designs for assessing design solutions, use of appropriate statistical models, learning from failure, or using machining tools. In one design challenge, for example, students fabricate a simple structure using only squares and equilateral triangle shaped pieces with one demonstrable function that can be measured. © 2011 American Society for Engineering Education.