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Unit information: Design Project 2 in 2015/16

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Unit name Design Project 2
Unit code MENG20002
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Professor. Chris McMahon
Open unit status Not open

None, but the projects will require students to apply knowledge from a variety of Year 1 units



School/department Department of Civil Engineering
Faculty Faculty of Engineering

Description including Unit Aims

The aim of this course is to introduce students to the design process and design methods and then to develop their experience in these through three design projects, undertaken in small teams, culminating in a design, build and test exercise in the second semester. The projects will allow students to experience design from the interpretation of requirements, through concept design and embodiment, to manufacture and test of the final product. The projects will be accompanied by a series of lectures to introduce techniques and technologies that will be helpful in carrying out the projects, and to introduce the nature of design and of ‘design thinking’.


To introduce & apply:

1. The fundamental principles of engineering design.

2. Creative & detail design tools & techniques.

3. Team working & design/time management skills.

4. The process of design trade-off & compromise.

5. The process of product realization & evaluation.

Intended Learning Outcomes

At the end of this course, students should be able to:

  • Cope with the freedoms and constraints of a real design problem.
  • Organise a team and manage tasks, scheduling and budgets.
  • Critically review the issues of design, manufacture and test.
  • Use a variety of techniques and tools to create a successful design solution.
  • Solve specific, practical design problems.
  • Communicate design information clearly by oral presentation, drawing/model and written report.
  • Have an appreciation of the nature of the design and of the design process, and the place of design in the development of technology.

Teaching Information

11 x 2 hour sessions in TB1 for students to work on conceptual design exercises

11 x 2 hour design/build sessions in TB2 for students to complete their design, build and test project (exercise 3)

Timetabled slots also permit small group feedback and guidance sessions (to be scheduled).

A small financial budget will be given to each group to buy raw materials.

Assessment Information

100% coursework assessment through 3 design exercises:

1) 10%: A specification, concept generation and selection exercise, carried out in groups of four, to introduce the design process and conceptual design methods. The exercise will be assessed by a presentation comprising:

  1. The chosen specification, generated concepts and chosen solution.
  2. A reflection on the lessons learned in the exercise, especially concerning the tools and methods employed.

2) 35%: Design of an electro-mechanical assembly to respond to a client brief, including specification, concept, embodiment and detail design, carried out in pairs. The exercise will be reported by submission of CAD models and drawings of the embodied solution, detail drawings of principal parts and a report comprising:

  1. Specification.
  2. Presentation and evaluation of design alternatives.
  3. Manufacturing evaluation and accompanying calculations.

3) 55%: Design, manufacture and testing of an electro-mechanical assembly to respond to a client brief that will be provided at the beginning of semester 2. This will include testing components to understand their behaviour, and sourcing the necessary additional materials within a limited time and budget. Manufacturing must also be performed within the limits of available time and facilities. The exercise will again be carried out in groups and will be reported by submission of a report and associated CAD models and drawings as in Exercise 2, but also by demonstration and test of the manufactured solution and submission of meeting minutes. This exercise will be performed in groups of 4-5 students.

In all the exercises, students will be required to manage their own work, working in teams, to suit the outline timetable provided. Once group marks have been determined, variations will be applied to determine marks for individuals. These variations will be based on peer assessments, meeting minutes and staff observations.

Reading and References

  • G. Dieter, L. Schmidt, Engineering Design, McGraw Hill, (various editions in library, TA174)
  • K. Ulrich, S. Eppinger, Product Design & Development, McGraw Hill (various editions in library, TS171)
  • D. Ullman, The Mechanical Design Process, McGraw Hill (various editions in library, TS171)
  • M. French, Conceptual Design for Engineers, Springer (editions 1 and 2 in library TA174)
  • H. Crispin, S. Gooch, Managing Engineering Design, 2nd edition, Springer, 2004 (in library TA174)
  • N. Cross, Engineering Design Methods, Springer (various editions in library, TA174)
  • S. Pugh, Total Design, 2nd edition, Springer, 2004 (in library TA174)
  • G. Pahl & W. Beitz, Engineering Design: A Systematic Approach, Springer (various editions in library, TA174)