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An electrical engineering design course sequence using a top-down design methodology

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3 Author(s)
Gander, R.E. ; Dept. of Electr. Eng., Saskatchewan Univ., Saskatoon, Sask., Canada ; Salt, J.E. ; Huff, G.J.

A sequence of two courses (second term of third (junior) year and both terms of fourth (senior) year) has been developed to introduce students to a structured approach to design. The first course includes lecture-style presentation of the top-down, step-wise refinement, design methodology. Realistic documentation and client/consultant communication is fostered as well as the design, fabrication, and testing of a prototype. In the senior-year course, students divide into teams of three members to undertake a single design problem, with individual faculty members acting as “clients”. A more complete sequence of the top-down design process is undertaken in these senior-year projects. Documentation is required at each stage of the design sequence to ensure compliance with the client/team “contract”. Introduction of a formal design process, including time management, has resulted in an increased “success” rate in the final designs and in more complex problems being proposed by the “clients” than had previously been experienced

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Education, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:37 ,  Issue: 1 )