Despite the need for highly qualified experts, multi-disciplinary gas turbine conceptual design has not been a common study topic in traditional post-graduate curriculums. Although many courses on specialised topics in gas turbine technology take place, limited attention is given on connecting these individual topics to the overall engine design process. Teaching conceptual design as part of a post-graduate curriculum, or as an intensive short course, may help to address the industrial need for engineers with early qualifications on the topic i.e., prior to starting their careers in the gas turbine industry.
This paper presents details and lessons learned from: (i) the integration of different elements of conceptual design in an existing traditional MSc course on gas turbine technology through the introduction of group design tasks, and (ii) the development of an intensive course on gas turbine multi-disciplinary conceptual design as a result of an international cooperation between academia and industry.
Within the latter course, the students were grouped in competing teams and were asked to produce their own gas turbine conceptual design proposals within a given set of functional requirements. The main concept behind the development of the new design tasks, and the new intensive course, has been to effectively mimic the dynamics of small conceptual design teams, as often encountered in industry. The results presented are very encouraging, in terms of enhancing student learning and developing engineering skills.