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Solving industry design problems using engineering technology and industrial design student teams

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2 Author(s)
Nicole Hoekstra ; Western Washington University, USA ; Jason Morris

Engineering technology programs are typically located in departments and colleges focused primarily on science and engineering. Industrial design programs are typically located in art departments. At Western Washington University, the industrial design program is located in the engineering technology department. Having industrial design students and faculty members in the engineering technology department encourages collaborations that achieve learning objectives improbable in engineering-only collaborations. The students learn skills unique to their discipline, but also increase their understanding of the challenges of the other discipline, communication skills, and ability to compromise in order to achieve a shared objective. Additionally, the students work in an environment that better replicates professional teams where designers and engineers are using concurrent engineering. Over the past three years, students from a plastics engineering technology senior course and an industrial design junior course have worked together in small teams on industry-sponsored design projects. The course instructors utilized three very different approaches to these industry-sponsored design projects which resulted in different results.

Published in:

2009 39th IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference

Date of Conference:

18-21 Oct. 2009