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Improving Engineering Design Education

Engineering education in the United States has undergone many important changes since World War II, leading to impressive improvements in the engineering graduate's knowledge of the engineering sciences, mathematics, and analytical techniques. These changes include restructuring to emphasize the engineering sciences as a coherent body of knowledge, the introduction of new disciplines, the creation of an extensive system of research and graduate programs, and the partial integration of computers into curricula.

While these improvements were taking place, the state of engineering design education was steadily deteriorating with the result that today's engineering graduates are poorly equipped to utilize their scientific, mathematical, and analytical knowledge in the design of components, processes, and systems. Strengthening engineering design education is critical to the long-term development of engineers who are equipped to become good designers and leaders and who will provide a lasting foundation for U.S. industry's international competitiveness.

Design is the characteristic activity of engineers, although many engineers are not involved directly in performing design functions themselves. One analysis of activity of engineers, shown in Table 2 , shows 28 percent involved directly in development, including design; however, an understanding of design is required to work effectively in engineering management, production, technical sales, and other functions. The fundamentals and nature of design are not taught in courses devoted to engineering sciences, yet well-prepared graduates need such knowledge as they start their engineering careers. Consequently, design must be a significant component of undergraduate engineering education.



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IMPROVING ENGINEERING DESIGN: Designing for Competitive Advantage 3 Improving Engineering Design Education Engineering education in the United States has undergone many important changes since World War II, leading to impressive improvements in the engineering graduate's knowledge of the engineering sciences, mathematics, and analytical techniques. These changes include restructuring to emphasize the engineering sciences as a coherent body of knowledge, the introduction of new disciplines, the creation of an extensive system of research and graduate programs, and the partial integration of computers into curricula. While these improvements were taking place, the state of engineering design education was steadily deteriorating with the result that today's engineering graduates are poorly equipped to utilize their scientific, mathematical, and analytical knowledge in the design of components, processes, and systems. Strengthening engineering design education is critical to the long-term development of engineers who are equipped to become good designers and leaders and who will provide a lasting foundation for U.S. industry's international competitiveness. Design is the characteristic activity of engineers, although many engineers are not involved directly in performing design functions themselves. One analysis of activity of engineers, shown in Table 2 , shows 28 percent involved directly in development, including design; however, an understanding of design is required to work effectively in engineering management, production, technical sales, and other functions. The fundamentals and nature of design are not taught in courses devoted to engineering sciences, yet well-prepared graduates need such knowledge as they start their engineering careers. Consequently, design must be a significant component of undergraduate engineering education.

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IMPROVING ENGINEERING DESIGN: Designing for Competitive Advantage TABLE 2 Primary Activities of Employed Engineers (Percent of Engineers) Research 5% Development, including design 28 R&D management 9 Other management 19 Teaching 2 Production/inspection 17 Other and unreported 21 Source: National Research Council, Engineering Education and Practicein the United States: Foundations of Our Techno-Economic Future,1983, p. 91. THE GOALS OF ENGINEERING DESIGN EDUCATION Undergraduate and graduate engineering education establish the foundation for successful design practice, design research, the teaching of engineering design, and careerlong learning. Undergraduate engineering programs seek to impart knowledge in basic sciences and mathematics, as well as fundamental knowledge and capabilities in engineering analysis and design. Graduate programs seek to build upon the undergraduate foundation and reinforce specialized knowledge and capabilities in engineering science, design practice, and research in engineering sciences and design. Undergraduate Engineering Design Education Undergraduate engineering design education must: show how the fundamental engineering science background is relevant to effective design; teach students what the design process entails and familiarize them with the basic tools of the process; demonstrate that design involves not just function but also producibility, cost, customer preference, and a variety of life cycle issues; and convey the importance of other subjects such as mathematics, economics, and manufacturing. To achieve these goals, design must be distributed throughout the engineering curriculum, beginning with introductory design courses, which serve the dual purpose of introducing the design process and demonstrating the relevance of the engineering courses to design, and continuing as a part of the more advanced engineering courses. Additional material, such as probability

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IMPROVING ENGINEERING DESIGN: Designing for Competitive Advantage and statistics, economic analysis, optimization methods, and manufacturing principles, is needed to understand modern engineering design and should be included in the engineering curriculum (not necessarily as discrete courses). The combination of engineering fundamentals and introductory design should culminate in senior design projects that apply the concepts learned to significant broad design problems. Recognizing that learning comes not from doing alone, but also from prompt evaluation and criticism, an essential ingredient of the senior project should be informed evaluation of and feedback on student work. Metrics for evaluating student design projects need to be developed to provide this feedback. Although it is imperative that students spend some time in real industrial design settings, it is equally critical that on-campus laboratory facilities be provided to expose them not only to the functional aspects of design but also to production, quality control, testing, and so forth. Although students are not expected to become experts in these areas while in school, they need to develop a genuine awareness of their role and importance. Computational tools and specialized software are essential. Limited time during a one- or even two-term course necessitates a supportive environment to develop and validate ideas from concept to completion. This requires sufficient space and communication capability for project teams to work together effectively and sometimes to carry paper projects to physical realization. Graduate Design Education Graduate design education should be directed toward: developing competence in advanced design theory and methodology; familiarizing graduate students with state-of-the-art ideas in design, both from academic research and from worldwide industrial experience and research; providing students with working experience in design; immersing students in the entire spectrum of design considerations, preferably during industrial internships; and having students perform research in engineering design. A continual stream of design-oriented doctoral graduates with new design knowledge is needed to supply faculty who can teach undergraduate engineering design. Other measures, such as faculty-industry exchanges and faculty retraining, though important, especially in the near term, cannot produce the permanent infrastructure change that is sorely needed. New doctoral graduates strong in design who will succeed in faculty careers after gaining industrial experience are required. Even graduates who do not intend to specialize in design need to understand design better in order to relate engineering science courses to practice.

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IMPROVING ENGINEERING DESIGN: Designing for Competitive Advantage Design-oriented graduate students who will later become faculty members will help to develop a larger and stronger constituency for design in academe. They will pursue research, thus generating more graduates, and upgrade the design portions of graduate engineering programs. 50 THE STATUS OF ENGINEERING DESIGN EDUCATION A 1985 report on engineering education51 points out that most educational institutions that offer engineering programs have become one of two types since 1950, (1) research universities or institutions whose graduate and research programs are heavily dependent on contract research, and (2) colleges that have as their primary focus undergraduate education in engineering. Each type of institution grants approximately half of the baccalaureate degrees in engineering. The motivations and problems of these different types of institutions must be kept in mind when making generalizations about engineering education. Variations in emphasis and quality of educational programs, from program to program in a given institution as well as from one institution to another, must also be recognized. In light of this diversity, the following observations are presented. Undergraduate Programs Several recent reports and papers have pointed out deficiencies in design education and called for its strengthening.52 Employers of recent engineering graduates frequently commend many aspects of the graduates' performance, particularly their facility with analytical calculations and computers.53 With the possible exception of writing and speaking, these employers find design to be the engineering graduates' most prominent weakness. Sometimes these complaints are voiced in terms of recent graduates “not understanding that costs are important” or “not realizing that someone has to make what they come up with and someone has to sell them” or “not realizing that this is a complex organization. ” The complaints may not use the term design, but they relate to knowledge that should be woven into the design parts of curricula. Complaints from industrial employers would be more strident if their expectations had not been lowered by years of neglect of this area by schools. To learn engineering design takes longer than any university education can last. University teachers are painfully aware that they do not, and never will, have the time, knowledge, or facilities to teach engineering students everything they need to know about design before they begin their professional careers. Industrial companies are also generally aware of this, and those with the requisite resources are usually willing to lake on part of the educational

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IMPROVING ENGINEERING DESIGN: Designing for Competitive Advantage load, though many find that they must too often focus on remedial activities rather than on topics particular to their business. Undergraduate engineering curricula are required by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) to meet these minimum quantitative criteria: (25%) Mathematics and Basic Sciences: 32 semester hours (25%) Engineering Sciences: 32 semester hours (12.5%) Engineering Design: 16 semester hours (12.5%) Humanities and Social Sciences: 16 semester hours (These criteria total only 75 percent to allow for flexibility, and the broad definitions allow much latitude in emphasis and approach even within the curricular components listed.) Even this minimal level of design emphasis is often not met by undergraduate curricula. 54 ABET annual reports show that deficiencies in engineering design are one of the leading causes of less-than-most-favorable accreditation actions. Each year 60 percent or more of the engineering programs evaluated receive less-than-most-favorable accreditation actions. Table 3 shows the major deficiencies found in such programs during three recent years. Among all the engineering programs evaluated by ABET in 1989, 33 percent were cited for deficiencies in engineering design. It must be emphasized that these are deficiencies relative to the current ABET criteria that include no mention of concurrent engineering, total product life cycle, and experience working in a team. Current criteria also do not require the inclusion of economic evaluations and consideration of alternative solutions. TABLE 3 Deficiencies of Engineering Programs Receiving Less-Than-Most-Favorable Accreditation Action, 1987-89 (The percentages total more than 100 because programs were in most cases cited for more than one deficiency.) Specific Deficiency Percentage of Programs Cited   1987 1988 1989 Engineering Design 44 44 49 Laboratory Plan 50 33 34 Laboratory Equipment 34 30 30 Resource Allocation 36 34 27 Source: ABET Annual Reports, 1987, 1988, 1989.

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IMPROVING ENGINEERING DESIGN: Designing for Competitive Advantage Often institutions claim design content in engineering science courses. When those courses do involve design, the effect is productive, but examination often reveals that the claimed design content is not there. Courses devoted to design are often poor and reflect an antiquated view of the field. Few are multidisciplinary or present modern design methods, and even the customary senior design courses seldom treat the processes involved in sound contemporary design practice. Often, too much is expected of these senior design courses when prior courses have failed to provide sound preparation for them. When, for example, a senior design course is a student's only exposure to integrated design activities such as concurrent design, detailed consideration of alternatives and constraints, significant economic analyses, and working as part of a team, the experience is likely to be shallow. To resolve current curriculum deficiencies, universities must comply more fully with the intent of ABET criteria and ABET must strengthen the design emphasis in its criteria. Employers report that many recent engineering graduates have only a weak grasp of some of the curricular material they have studied. One reason may be that many students who study design tools such as engineering economy, statistics, probability, and various mathematical, numerical, and computer methods do not get an opportunity to use them in subsequent courses. The integration of course material needed to alleviate this problem requires time-consuming faculty cooperation and teamwork, but faculty incentives and rewards are based chiefly on other activities. Although the advantages of interdisciplinary design teams are recognized in both industry and education, truly interdisciplinary teams are rare in design courses. Instead, in most engineering colleges design is fragmented, isolated by discipline, and uncoordinated. Organizational problems are one cause. Another is that interdisciplinary teams require greater teaching effort, which is usually not recognized in evaluating teaching loads. Yet another cause is the reluctance of faculty members to become involved in interdisciplinary activities. This is the same reluctance that gives rise to narrow courses such as “heat transfer design” and “control system design,” which inspection usually shows to involve functional design almost exclusively, not even approaching the breadth of modern engineering design. Although many excellent design courses are taught, adequate design education requires a coordinated approach among several courses in the curriculum. The following features characterize the few curricula that include strong comprehensive design programs. Design is taught in several courses throughout the curriculum, not just in “capstone” design courses in the final year.

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IMPROVING ENGINEERING DESIGN: Designing for Competitive Advantage The final-year courses, at least, use broad, new, open-ended design problems. The design program as a whole covers many of the characteristics of design and a variety of design experiences. Ample attention is devoted to the generation and evaluation of alternative designs. The design courses are taught by several faculty members, many of whom have full-time industrial experience. There is close cooperation among faculty in integrating the courses. Students are closely guided in early stages of their design experience, and their work is carefully evaluated. Students gain some experience working in groups. One characteristic not yet observed widely, even in otherwise strong programs, is consideration of formalized modern design methodologies in the required design courses. Although some faculties are beginning to incorporate this focus (and its growing importance suggests that it should be incorporated), it is not mentioned in current ABET criteria. Engineering education does not now adequately prepare graduates to keep current with engineering advances throughout their professional practice. Many baccalaureate engineers have never read a current engineering paper or made an in-depth library search. Engineering managers report that most engineers in industry do not follow the refereed engineering journals. These observations clearly reveal undergraduate engineering program shortcomings that relate to design ability. Few engineering graduates have been taught to expect continued learning to be part of their careers. In job interviews, they seldom ask prospective employers about formal continuing education opportunities, though this should be a primary factor in evaluating an employer. Although educators sometimes respond that employers should take the initiative in solving these problems, instilling in students a motivation for continuing their learning is clearly an educator's job. Two recent reports have described the status of continuing education in engineering.55 One of these, Focus on the Future, presents a plan of action that should be considered by every engineer and employer of engineers. Familiarity with these reports would probably help engineering faculty members in stimulating student expectations of careerlong continuing education. Graduate Programs Because one of the most valuable features of graduate study is the flexibility to offer programs, or “plans of study,” tailored to each student, graduate programs cannot be structured to the extent that undergraduate ones are. The plans of study followed by most engineering graduate students have no

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IMPROVING ENGINEERING DESIGN: Designing for Competitive Advantage design content whatsoever. When design is included, the quality of courses available and of design projects and design-related research varies widely. Finally, few graduate programs require students focusing on design to work in industry, though such experience is critical to learning about the realities of engineering design practice. The inadequacy of the design component of undergraduate education ill prepares students for graduate design courses. This contrasts with the case for students in the engineering sciences, who have often taken undergraduate electives beyond the required courses. In addition, engineering graduate programs that admit students with nonengineering degrees, who are likely to have no prior training in design, force graduate courses into a remedial mode. There are simply too few strong graduate programs focusing on modern design methodologies and research to produce the qualified graduates needed by both industry and academe. Limited funding for design research impairs the quality of graduate programs in design and reduces the number of graduate students for whom work in the field can be supported. Even the stronger programs rarely involve industry experience that would elucidate the realities of engineering design practice. Engineering design education cannot mature until strong graduate programs that focus on modern methodologies and the research needed to advance them begin to produce qualified graduates who are committed to design as a career. Faculty Most faculty members are neither trained to teach design nor cognizant of its importance. Significant improvements in engineering design education are highly unlikely without strong, knowledgeable, enthusiastic faculty members who interact with colleagues in their own departments, in other departments, at other institutions, and in industry. At present, the number of faculty who consider design part of their mission and responsibility is quite small. The shortage of faculty to teach design is much more severe at the graduate than at the undergraduate level. One significant characteristic of this obstacle is the amount of time that will be required to overcome it even after actions are initiated. Inasmuch as recent developments in engineering design have rendered obsolete much of past practice in both industry and education, faculty not current in design will require a significant amount of study to become current. Few faculty have significant industrial design experience or possess an understanding of manufacturing, and their contacts with industry (if any) are usually limited to consulting on nondesign issues rather than involving real-time design and manufacturing activities.56 Industry does little either

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IMPROVING ENGINEERING DESIGN: Designing for Competitive Advantage to support or guide university research or education in engineering design, and only rarely do designers from industry join university faculties. In addition, university and industry design researchers are often ignorant of each other's work. In view of the rapid evolution of design, continuing education is as critical for faculty members as it is for engineers in industry. Although they may read current literature, such people seldom enter continuing education programs. Their professional skills could be enhanced by continuing education course material, as well as by increased interaction with engineers in industry. Currently, industry conducts much of the continuing education in design. Although experienced teachers of modern design courses find the activity stimulating and rewarding, most engineering faculty members, being unfamiliar with design teaching, consider it difficult and do their best to avoid it. Others, familiar with the old, generally pedestrian, “cookbook” style of engineering design education and practice, perceive design to be an inferior enterprise. Emerging modern design methods and scientific foundations for design are slowly changing this view. In contrast to the engineering sciences, design knowledge is diffused and poorly organized. Some of the most valuable knowledge is anecdotal and so diverse that a taxonomy of design domains is difficult to construct. Generally applicable design principles are only now beginning to appear. Design research results should add rigor and formalism, as usually seen in basic science and engineering science courses, to design courses. Case studies should offer a useful technique for teaching design, but, although instructive cases abound, most are not well enough documented to be readily useful to teachers. At best, preparation, including establishing the requisite industrial contacts, requires an extensive time commitment on the part of faculty. Similarly, textbooks that provide a comprehensive insight into the field of engineering design are rare.57 Other teaching materials, such as video-taped lectures, case studies, and software, are virtually nonexistent and need to be prepared by teachers. This problem is complicated by the domain-specificity of much of the material. Most engineering faculty are unfamiliar with the many-faceted instructional techniques required for design education. Techniques for teaching analytical courses in a specialty are familiar and more narrowly defined; they involve classroom lectures and discussion of well-defined material that can be presented largely in isolation from other material. Design, in contrast, is multidimensional, and the hands-on conduct of the design process is not readily separated from other material. Furthermore, because of the multiplicity of design criteria, of which function is only one, and sometimes not the primary factor, design problems seldom have unique solutions. Considerable effort is required to guide students and evaluate their work when they or teams of them are following diverse paths, including some the instructor

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IMPROVING ENGINEERING DESIGN: Designing for Competitive Advantage had not anticipated. It is not surprising that few faculty have proved to be effective teachers of courses that involve open-ended team projects in design. Effective design teaching also faces institutional obstacles. The need for interdisciplinary design teams is recognized, but establishing design courses to include them calls for cooperation not just among faculty members but also among departments, which is even more difficult to achieve. In a typical faculty reward system, especially in research-oriented institutions, tenure, promotion, and salary are based largely on publication of refereed scholarly journal articles and on grant and contract funding. Despite their obvious value, there is little reward for professional activities, work in industry, or even teaching and other efforts to improve the education of students. Teaching design is particularly time consuming and held in low regard by the academic community, particularly outside the engineering school. In this environment, in which research papers in academic journals are the principal measure of faculty achievement and capability, there are few channels for publishing engineering design achievements. Consequently, young faculty members logically and rationally conclude that design is a dangerous and unrewarding career focus. Experienced faculty members who have built reputations in the engineering sciences often want to work in those areas where they have more confidence in their ability to develop further their faculty credentials. The general success of engineering faculty members in teaching engineering sciences may even motivate academics to further emphasize engineering sciences in curricula at the expense of engineering design. Beyond encouraging faculty members to avoid design teaching themselves, the reward system may further influence them to reduce curricular emphasis on design in order to reduce the total amount of design teaching required of their departments. IMPROVING DESIGN EDUCATION The problems discussed thus far center on the failings of the curricula and on barriers to enthusiastic and effective faculty participation. The initiative for immediate improvement of design education and for laying the ground-work for its longer-term sustained improvement lies clearly with educational institutions. Even without additional resources or restructuring, significant improvement is possible simply by assuring that each engineering curriculum fully meets the letter and spirit of the current ABET criteria for undergraduate programs. Major improvement depends on major revisions in the goals and practices of educational institutions. Engineering design education is seriously deficient, and strong steps are needed to revitalize it. Because universities are neither penalized if they fail to nor rewarded if they do support engineering design education and research, academic administrations and faculty feel no pressure to change. They often disclaim

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IMPROVING ENGINEERING DESIGN: Designing for Competitive Advantage responsibility for the problem, blaming it on “the system.” Inasmuch as these individuals accept the “system,” it is they who must take the lead in changing it. Changing systems that do not work well is an important function of leaders. Professional engineering societies, largely through ABET, have often provided leadership in improving engineering education. (In the past, examples have been seen in connection with engineering sciences, humanities and social sciences, communication skills, laboratory facilities, and computer use.) The need is urgent for them to lead in improving the design part of engineering education. One of the recommendations of this report is for modernization of the ABET accreditation criteria, and professional societies that are ABET participating bodies must take the initiative in revising them. Also, it must be remembered that the selection and training of ABET program evaluators is chiefly the responsibility of the societies that are ABET participating bodies. Professional engineering societies, through their education arms, should encourage the further education of design teachers and increase the awareness of all faculty members of the importance of engineering design. The guidance of practicing engineers is essential. Institutional Initiatives for Reform Industrial firms and educational institutions are so different in purpose, organization, and other respects that applying the experience of one to the problems of the other is seldom likely to succeed. However, it appears that improving the teaching of engineering design in universities may need to follow the same steps that successful programs of design improvement in industry have followed, namely: recognize deficiencies in design quality; exert strong, high-level leadership in establishing goals for improved design; develop metrics to measure progress toward these goals; create change agents to plan and implement improvements; establish extensive training programs for both new and experienced teachers. Universities are frequently sensitive to, but unmoved by, criticism from outside. Their response to adverse criticism is usually to deny the problem and then to reiterate the arguments that support existing practices. If their primary metrics are numbers of faculty publications, dollar volume of research expenditures, and numbers of awards received by faculty members, they will expound on the relationship of these to educational objectives (and in publicly supported universities, to public service objectives). These

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IMPROVING ENGINEERING DESIGN: Designing for Competitive Advantage relationships cannot be denied, but they do not justify the failure to address other metrics more directly indicative of the institution 's success in meeting its educational goals. Recognition within academia of deficiencies in design teaching will not be driven by loss of market share or financial results. It must begin with perceptive faculty members and administrators (or occasionally with outsiders) who can visualize or have observed strong design programs and recognize their importance. They must make clear to all involved that (1) the fundamentals of design are an essential part of engineering curricula, (2) additional engineering science courses cannot make up for a deficiency in design teaching, and (3) simply providing students with design “experience” is inadequate, because design fundamentals must be taught. These initiators must overcome the conventional objections to curricular change. A familiar objection to adding material is that curricula are already overcrowded, although it is frequently pointed out in the engineering education literature that more effective integration among courses, greater use of new teaching technologies, and closer examination of material to identify requirements which can be eliminated are underutilized for updating engineering curricula. However, improving design education involves a willingness to try new approaches, increased faculty teamwork, and supplanting outdated approaches rather than adding new material. Curricula now strong in design have not compromised other components to provide this strength. Only if strong leadership stresses the importance of design will faculty and administrators establish goals for improved design teaching. Input from industrial firms that are using modern product realization processes or concurrent engineering is essential in establishing goals. Faculty must be shown that contributions to setting and achieving these goals will be rewarded. Metrics must be established to measure progress toward the goals. Operational metrics for design education are harder to establish than metrics such as enrollment, degree production, research funding, and number of faculty publications, but each institution must devise a suitable set and modify it on the basis of experience. The numerous instances of industrial firms that persisted in using the wrong metrics should be kept in mind. Existing metrics in universities are often in conflict with the metrics that indicate success in educating students. For example, hiring capable, vigorous senior engineers from industry has been suggested as a step toward solving the design faculty shortage. Such people are available, but they are unlikely to be hired by institutions whose primary metrics are research publications and securing of research funding, because young, inexperienced faculty members fresh from doctoral programs are more likely to contribute to these metrics, especially in view of the pressure on them to do so in order to secure tenure.

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IMPROVING ENGINEERING DESIGN: Designing for Competitive Advantage Academic institutional structures militate against reform, and although some problems could be solved with currently available resources, the lack of incentives for universities to change is an obstacle in itself. Many observations confirm that the designation of an agent to plan and implement change has been a key to improving design in industrial firms, which are also resistant to change. Because universities are perhaps even more reluctant to change than large industrial firms, the need for designated change agents may be even greater in academe. To ensure its effectiveness, the form of the change agent must be determined by each institution under alert, high-level leadership. An important function of this agent should be to promote interdepartmental activities and relations with industry. It can also provide an effective conduit to the national clearinghouse described below and a needed focus for design teachers who are often scattered across several departments. Though faculty may be reluctant to form another committee, best-practice companies have found dedicated functional change agents to be essential to implementing changes in established infrastructures. External advisory boards, carefully appointed exclusively for the evaluation and improvement of design education, can provide effective guidance for on-campus change agents. Aiding Teachers of Design Even if universities were to change goals and institute rewards to make design teaching more attractive, there would still be a lack of adequate classroom and laboratory support materials, and most faculty would still require help to teach design effectively. Currently, no good source of information on design theory, methodology, and available tools is easily accessible to all teachers of engineering design. A national clearinghouse for design instructional materials could make the task of teaching design easier for many faculty. Such an organization would collect, compile, and disseminate information on design theory and successful industrial practice worldwide. Design research, teaching methods, and design software tools need to be reviewed and the results published. Though this information can be valuable for industrial practice and research, it is critical that it be cast in a form appropriate for faculty teaching use. Access could be provided through periodicals, on-line data bases, seminars, workshops, and trade shows, as well as through texts and problem manuals, whose commercial publication needs encouragement. In addition to accelerating the rate of information dissemination to schools and industry, the clearinghouse could also facilitate the introduction of standards and common representations (e.g., IGES, PDES).58 The selection of design tools could be supported by publishing benchmarks and industrial experiences with such tools.

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IMPROVING ENGINEERING DESIGN: Designing for Competitive Advantage Participation in design education training and workshops, as well as opportunities for faculty to visit, observe, and participate in outstanding design courses, both in industry and academe, will further aid faculty in teaching design. Training programs for faculty are uncommon but are especially needed in design because the need for more faculty to contribute to the design component of engineering curricula is. currently so great. If faculty members, inexperienced in design and design teaching as many are, are to be induced to engage seriously in design education, the task must be made easier for them. Training programs are one avenue. On-campus training programs can also assist by providing both teaching materials and convenient continuing access to new information. Improving University-Industry Interaction in Design Education Industrial firms employ engineering graduates in design, and best-practice companies provide extensive in-house training and have introduced into practice some advanced methods. The experience of industrial firms should be used to help universities improve design education and research. For example, firms could: encourage universities to increase the supply of qualified graduates who are familiar with contemporary design concepts and methodologies; aid in setting goals and planning curricula; familiarize faculty with industrial design best practices, best processes, and the content of industry training courses; encourage senior design engineers to teach in universities; provide internships for faculty and graduate students; and increase support of design-oriented research, including industrial participation in that research. Support of faculty and graduate student internships should be specifically structured to provide experience in a firm's design activities. Programs that involve engineering faculty one day a week on an industrial design team are valuable, but full-time industrial experience should be encouraged for all engineering faculty members, as only full-time industry employment is likely to instill sufficient awareness of the multitude of factors that influence engineering design. Such experience has been denigrated by faculty reward practices. To take what amounts to a risky and inconvenient avenue, faculty in research universities need incentive, such as coupling industrial experience with assurance of design-oriented research support from industry or government for several years after returning to academe. Such support would significantly reduce career risk to faculty and encourage administrations to look more favorably on industrial internships. Such programs should help faculty to arrive at a broad understanding of design and manufacturing

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IMPROVING ENGINEERING DESIGN: Designing for Competitive Advantage practice and lead to the identification of new research problems. 59 Faculty internships with advanced companies in Japan, Germany, and other nations should also be encouraged. The general success of cooperative education programs in engineering suggests that expansion of industrial internships for graduate students would also pay off. Participation of designers from industry in academic work must also be expanded. One mechanism for achieving this is to fill distinguished design engineer positions on the faculty with senior designers from industry who are knowledgeable about current design best practices. Experience has shown that institutions that emphasize the metric of research funding per faculty member are reluctant to take this step, but research funding targeted at the distinguished design engineers could serve to alleviate this problem. Participation by engineers from leading foreign companies should also be encouraged. Other mechanisms for increasing university-industry interaction in engineering design should also be explored. Joint industry-university advisory boards appointed for the specific purpose of improving design education can foster collaboration and facilitate industry assistance of university programs. As mentioned above, they can also effectively support on-campus change agents. Companies should encourage design engineers to participate on such boards. In the long run, successful university-industry interaction should affect universities' reward systems. University-industry interaction in design should come to be viewed as an asset rather than an obstacle that prevents faculty from producing scholarly work. Moreover, industrial experience should inspire faculty to recognize the intellectual challenge of design and to generalize from domain-specific design methods to the benefit of a wide range of companies. Summary Design education is clearly weak; it must receive increased emphasis and introduce modern practices if it is to educate engineers who will contribute to the drive toward greater industrial competitiveness. Design issues must receive attention throughout the curriculum, and faculty must be encouraged to embrace design teaching and research. Although cooperation and additional resources will be required from both government and industry, it is important to emphasize that, particularly in the near term, educational institutions can make significant progress without waiting for additional resources.