Tools for Engineering Design

A few weeks ago I attended the 5th Engineering Education Symposium held at the University of Manchester.  At this I presented this paper which discusses a new course I developed with Tim Stratford, Alison Furber and Martin Crapper while at the University of Edinburgh where we tried to develop design teaching to more closely reflect the demands likely to be made of graduate engineers over the next decades.  While it is difficult to predict the exact abilities that future designers will need, computers seem likely to do ever more calculation-based tasks, while more creative and open-ended problem-solving based skills will be relatively protected from automation (for example see this paper).  With these thoughts in mind we developed a course to help second year undergraduates develop skills in solving open-ended engineering problems and in communicating their ideas.

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