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Teaching integrated system design with interdisciplinary group design exercises

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Author(s): Peter Grant | Ewen Macpherson | Gareth Harrison | Kevin Brunson | Robert Hyde | David Williams

Journal: Engineering Education
ISSN 1750-0044

Volume: 5;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 30;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: interdisciplinary group work | visiting professor scheme | industry | UK-SPEC

ABSTRACT
With funding from the UK’s Royal Academy of Engineering, the University of Edinburgh has developed a set of three truly interdisciplinary group design exercises aimed at improving penultimateyear undergraduate students’ ability to work across disciplines and improve their preparation for transfer into industry. Three exercises on hydropower system design, potable water supply and a microsystem accelerometer are each designed and led by a Visiting Industrial Professor. The group design exercises are both challenging and popular with students and have achieved several very successful outcomes: experience of real system design; enhanced appreciation of other engineering disciplines; experience of team working where participants have different skills and expertise; demonstration of the links between design and economic viability and introduction to non-technical areas essential to fulfilling the UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence.
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