INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON ENGINEERING DESIGN
ICED 99 MUNICH, AUGUST 24-26, 1999
Course on Design Methodology
Keywords: Vocational Training, Design Methodology
This paper describes a course on design methodology which was developed for elementary and advanced training of mechanical engineers as part of a project supported by the EU-Commission.
The project QuaKo is part of the EU program Leonardo da Vinci. Conceived as a transnational pilot project QuaKo offers innovative approaches in vocational training. The underlying concept acknowledges the present technological developments using them as a measure for current training requirements. The project concerns primarily the elementary and advanced vocational training of mechanical engineers.
QuaKo includes the following four courses which have been developed by different project partners.
The following focuses only on the course on the fourth course.
The course on design methodology can be part of the elementary and advanced vocational training of mechanical engineers. Its aim is to develop designing skills in students. More than one course will be needed to enhance these skills. Design projects have proved to be very helpful in developing designing skills. The aim of this course is to offer students a basic understanding of design processes and to make them familiar with various methods that facilitate these processes. Students are taught the fundamentals of a systematic approach and they learn how to select the methods that respond best to their individual needs so that they will be able to apply various adequate methods in order to find new solutions to a given problem. Several basic methods of selecting and evaluating solutions are discussed.
The course material includes a number of practical examples to help the trainer create their own examples.
The course aims mainly at employees in small and medium sized companies most of which employ only small teams in product development and design. This implies that engineers are involved in the complete designing process. So it was the aim of the author to provide an efficient tool suitable for their particular situation.
The whole course is divided into 12 modules. The first six modules deal with fundamentals independent of the design process . The other six modules concern with engineering design processes.
The twelve modules are
This course should provide a basic understanding of and first experiences with the systematic approach in engineering design processes. To ensure a maximum of applicability it is very important for learners / students to be supported by a supervisor. The course consists of theoretical and practical phases. Most of the theoretical phases are suitable for self-instruction as well as lecturing, whereas the practical phases definitely require teamwork of the students. The trainer supervises the students.
In order to teach students the importance of well-defined tasks, certain exercises are not clearly defined. This forces students to go through the process of problem definition. The supervisor is expected to coach the team and to reflect the processes with them. The trainer is welcome to present practical examples according to his/her professional background. In order to make students experience different points of view in the process of engineering design, they are invited to alternately play the roles of customer and engineer.
The course consists of a written version and a set of (OHP) transparencies. The whole course is available as an HTML-document, a CD-ROM or via Internet.
A mind map at the beginning of each module introduces the students to the contents of the module and helps them grasp its main points.
The transparencies are intended to support the lecturer. They present the contents of the various modules. The students are recommended to have the written version of the course at their disposal.
This paper presented a course on design methodology which was developed for elementary and advanced vocational training of mechanical engineers as part of a project supported by the EU-Commission.
First authors name Dr. Johannes Steinschaden
Institution/University Fachhochschul Studiengaenge Vorarlberg
Address Höchsterstraße 73, A-6850 Dornbirn
Phone: +43 5572 20336 363
Fax: +43 5572 23406