Design Education in Transformation: Leading Colleges and Vendors Collaborate to Tackle an Age-old Problem 2010-01-2347
The “Holy Grail” of engineering education has been the reconciliation of theory with design. Why are the math and physics courses so disconnected from the application courses like control and mechatronics? Why are design concepts not directly integrated into all courses instead of just capstone courses or senior projects? The answers to these questions lies essentially in history and tradition but the reality of modern engineering in industry is now colliding with this legacy. This paper provides an overview of new collaborative initiatives among engineering colleges and vendors to increase design and real world dimensions into courses at large by using modern modeling technology. In particular a new generation of modeling tools rooted deeply in symbolic mathematics are quickly being adopted in industry due to their ability to develop higher fidelity models through rigorous mathematics while maintaining workflow efficiency. This approach has captured the imagination of faculty in leading universities who are now taking concrete steps to transform design education by increasing the complexity of applications in the lower years without paying the conventional time and pain penalties. This paper will present both the conceptual foundation and key case studies from North America, Japan, and elsewhere.