CDIO Based Engineering Design and Optimization Course
Paper in proceedings, 2017
In order to design competitive products that meet today’s challenges, future engineers need knowledge and experience in applying and integrating optimization theory in the engineering design process. The Chalmers course Engineering Design and Optimization addresses this need and was developed and first offered in the fall semester of 2013. This paper provides a detailed account of the course development experiences, teaching methods and course evaluations using CDIO Standards. It also includes a discussion of the learning objectives, required resources, instructional processes and student assessments. The course is analyzed to see to what extent the course aim is satisfied and highlight areas of improvement. Three projects are carried out in groups of two students. The projects are a cantilever design-build-test exercise, a redesign project that involves material selection, and a multi disciplinary design project of an engine component using multi-physics software. The assignments are assessed with respect to both engineering criteria as well as reporting and communication. The course is believed to be novel in the way optimization theory and tools are taught as an integrated learning experience with engineering design and physical prototyping. The course has had a great impact on the students’ choice of master’s thesis project. The number of optimization-focused master thesis projects has increased from two or three to around 15 annually. Several of these projects are multidisciplinary and joint projects between departments of Applied Mechanics and Product & Production Development. The course has also initiated a valuable partnership with industry on optimization that now has grown to a network with 20 industrial and academic members.
CDIO Standards: 2