Industry demands that graduating engineers possess the ability to solve complex problems requiring multidisciplinary approaches and systems-level thinking. Unfortunately, current curricula often focus on analytical approaches to problem solving. Further, adding courses focused solely on engineering design is often unachievable due to the large amount of material covered in today’s undergraduate engineering curricula. Combined, these prevent a comprehensive focus on engineering design education from being realized. To overcome these time and resource constraints, this paper proposes the use of computational modules within current courses. The investigators hypothesize that the modules would eliminate the repetitive analysis barrier in design problems, thus allowing for design-related experiences to be included earlier in the curricula as opposed to postponing it to a capstone experience. Four major hurdles that hinder successful integration of modules in current engineering courses are: a) engaging students such that they will want to use the modules; b) ensuring the modules are easy to use; c) reducing the complexity of deploying the modules into the classroom; and d) providing educational value. To address these issues, this paper treats the design of the modules as a product design problem. This paper presents the redesign process followed to improve two different design modules planned for implementation in the engineering curriculum at North Carolina State University. Additionally, this research indicates that using a formal redesign process enhances a module’s ability to overcome the hurdles listed above.

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