This paper discusses the results of a literature search on implementing novel approaches to teaching engineering design as well as the need for teaching Systems Engineering (SE) at an undergraduate level. In addition, the paper presents the results and lessons learned by assigning a capstone project requiring students to develop a conveyor system using the 8-phase SE process and a project based collaborative design methodology.

The instructor teaches the fundamentals of systems engineering, the concept of synthesis, and the basics of trade-off studies. Students learn how to use functional modeling and the proper use of a functional flow block diagram to transform design requirements into failure modes.

Students perform traditional failure mode calculations, using a strength-resistance approach, on machine components such as shafts, bearings, gears, belts, chains, keyways, splines, clutches, springs, brakes, and bolts for the conveyor system’s transmission.

The instructor assigns a conveyor system and its systems requirements and students must demonstrate their understanding of the SE process as well as being able to perform design calculations on various machine components.

The students demonstrate their understanding of SE and failure modes by taking part in design reviews throughout the semester and a final engineering report.

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