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Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences, Bahçeşehir University, İstanbul.
Engineering design

A design is a plan or specification for the construction of a product or service that should satisfy certain requirements. The aim of design is to maximize the quality of the product given available resources and limitations of constraints. Many constraints exist, such as budget, time, standards, legal, economic, environmental, sustainability, manufacturability, conformability, aesthetics, safety, marketability, ethical, health, safety, socio-political. The potential for failure in a project is minimized by good project management and good design; risks should be identified and plans for managing them should be formulated.

The design process can be broken down into a number of steps:
  1. Identification of the need - what engineering problem needs to be solved? what product or service needs to be developed?
  2. Definition of the problem - define the problem in terms of technical specifications (feature and performance requirements, objectives, constraints).
  3. Research the field - identify similar design solutions that already exist, investigate relevant technologies, methods, constraints, standards.
  4. Conceptualization - imagine a number of solutions that will minimize costs and risks, and maximize the potential for quality.
  5. Synthesis into a physical architecture - decompose conceptual solutions into physical architectures (objects that represent actual available components).
  6. Materialization and optimization - transform the physical architecture into material form (prototype).
  7. Evaluation (verification and validation) - test the product to obtain proof that the product performs according to the design specifications (verification) and satisfies user requirements (validation).
  8. Presentation to stakeholders - present the product to stakeholders (supervisors, managers, manufacturers, clients) in an effect way to give proof that the solution is successful.

It is sometimes good practice to plan for a minimum viable product (MVP) to be completed early and then if time permits make incremental improvements to the product. This will give time for the team to address unexpected issues and ensure successful completion of the course.

A successful a designer needs to

  • be creative to be able to imagine solutions in innovative ways as well as using established problem-solving techniques.
  • have good theoretical knowledge to be able to mathematically model solutions, optimize and evaluate them.
  • have good practical skills to be able to physically construct a system quickly, reliably and safely.
  • have good communication skills to communicate effectively with all stakeholders, including team members (which may be from different disciplines), manufacturers, managers and clients.

Progression through the 4991 and 4992 courses
The expectation for the 4991 course is that the project team provides by the end of the semester a project proposal that covers the first five design steps up to and including the physical architecture (materialization of the product or propotype is not required). The proposal should also include a full account of how the project is being managed and the plan for executing the remaining design steps (see lecture Topic 1).

The final three steps of the design process are performed in the 4992 course.

Last modified: Sun, 14 Feb 2021 01:49:18 +0300