Engineering Design

Overview

Engineering Design is one of two science courses for SEA juniors - they take Engineering Design and SEA Chemistry. Unlike SEA Physics, Biology, and Chemistry, which are core science courses with engineering applications, Engineering Design is a core engineering course with science applications. Student in Engineering Design learn how to think and work like engineers: solving the same kinds of problems that engineers face, using the same kinds of methods and techniques, and using the same kinds of design tools and software. They also learn to document their work and make technical presentations. For information about course policies and grading, see the Course Syllabus.

Design Projects

Engineering Design students do long-term design projects to put their new engineering skills into practice. Students work in teams and the projects are competitive: they are graded based on how well their projects perform in testing. The best performing projects of all time are recorded for posterity in the Engineering Design Hall of Fame. More information about each project is given in the unit outline below.

WebAssign

WebAssign is an online assignment delivery service that Engineering Design students use for all of their homework. Students get their assignments, submit them, and have them immediately graded on WebAssign.

Unit 1: Engineering Design

Students review the Scientific Method and learn the Engineering Analysis and Engineering Design Methods. Students do case studies or mini-projects for each method to see how the method is used. Students also learn how to give oral presentations and give their first formal presentation. Most of this unit is spent learning to use Onshape, a 3D engineering design program that is used by professional engineers.

Unit 2: Civil Engineering

Students learn the physics of structures, and the engineering involved in construction of structures such as bridges and towers. For their design project they create a two-lane road bridge that can hold the largest load for the least cost. Students use Onshape to create their bridge designs and print blueprints, and then construct balsa wood models from their blueprints. They then add loads to their models until they fail so they can see how well their designs work. The Bridge Project Overview gives the constraints and criteria for the project. Teams design and build an initial bridge model and test it. Then they redesign to optimize their design, build a final model, and test that. The Bridge Project Checkpoints show the design reviews students must pass as they develop their designs. The performance of each model is shown in the Bridge Project Initial Performance and Bridge Project Final Performance. Videos of the teams testing their bridges can be viewed at Bridge Videos 1 and Bridge Videos 2.

Unit 3: Aerospace Engineering

Students learn the physics of rocket flight, and the engineering involved in the construction of rockets. For their design project they create a recoverable, reusable, and inexpensive payload rocket. They first design and test their rockets using simulation software, and then construct models of their designs. They test their models in a series of launches with increasingly heavy payloads and larger engines to see how well their designs work. The Rocket Project Overview gives the constraints and criteria for the project. The Rocket Project Checkpoints show the design reviews students must pass as they develop their designs. Teams must track all of their expenses on this project, as keeping costs low is one of the criteria for a good design. Teams do four separate launches of their models, with time in between each launch to repair and redesign to improve their performance. The performance for each launch is shown in the Launch 1 Performance, Launch 2 Performance, Launch 3 Performance, and Launch 4 Performance. Videos of the teams launching their rockets can be viewed at Rocket Videos 1, Rocket Videos 2, and Rocket Videos 3.

Unit 4: Mechanical Engineering

Students learn the basics of programming using the C++ programming language, and how to program the Arduino, a microprocessor that can control a robot. They construct a few simple robots and program them to perform specific tasks to develop their programming skills. For their design project they create a rescue robot that can autonomously find its way through an entire building assessing a disaster. They construct and program their rescue robots, and test them in a scale model building to see how well their designs work. The Robot Project Overview gives the constraints and criteria for the project. The Robot Project Checkpoints show the design reviews students must pass as they develop their designs. The performance of their robots is shown in Robot Performance. Videos of the teams testing their robots can be viewed at Robot Videos 1, Robot Videos 2 , Robot Videos 3 and Robot Videos 4