Lessons in Teaching Axiomatic Design to Engineers 2005-01-1523
This paper reviews teaching methods for axiomatic design and discusses approached to dealing with difficulties commonly encountered when teaching engineering students and practicing engineers. Axiomatic design makes it possible to teach engineering design as a science, in that there are fundamental, underlying principles, the axioms, upon which the discipline is based. Three elements of axiomatic design are identified: the axioms, the structures, and the processes. The axioms assure that designs are adjustable and controllable, avoiding unintended consequences, and will be robust. The application of the axioms requires structures, and the creation of the structures and the physical integration of the parts requires processes. Criteria for evaluating the structure and the processes are presented. The essential nature of software for the creation of large design decompositions is discussed. The effectiveness is discussed in terms of former student testimonials, some more than a decade after they were introduced to axiomatic design.