The Application of Model-Based Design Techniques in Academic Design Projects 2006-01-1312
The objective of this paper is to help students optimize project component selection or design by detailing, through two specific examples, the University of Waterloo's Alternative Fuels Team's (UWAFT's) successful design process. UWAFT successfully designed a fuel cell powered vehicle for the ChallengeX student engineering competition. The use of a formal, structured design process enabled this team to achieve great confidence in both the feasibility of their design and their ability to manifest the design. This design process is model-based whereby a parameterized software model is created. This paper hopefully assists students to overcome a common reluctance to implementing a model-based design process. After a component is constructed and tested, students can update their software model, which can help them assess the strength of their design. This software model becomes the nucleus of the design process that enables student team members to work in parallel, and to document the rationale behind design decisions. This process is illustrated through two examples involving UWAFT's vehicle design project.