Two Approaches to Design Teaching in a Mechanical Engineering Curriculum

Arlindo Silva
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Instituto Superior Tecnico Technical
University of Lisbon Av. Rovisco Pais, 1049-001 Lisbon, Portugal
Email: arlindo.silva@ist.utl

Luis Faria
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Instituto Superior Tecnico Technical
University of Lisbon Av. Rovisco Pais, 1049-001 Lisbon, Portugal
Email: luis.faria@lemac-pt.com

Abstract
This paper presents two independent experiences in teaching design in two courses of the Mechanical Engineering Integrated MSc degree curriculum1 at Instituto Superior Tecnico (IST) of the Technical University of Lisbon. It shows that different approaches to design teaching need to coexist for the students to get a grasp of what engineering practice is. The paper is divided in two sections in which each approach is briefly described and their outcomes are presented. It is the authors’ intention to report the reasoning behind these approaches and the students’ attitudes towards them. Case study 1 is in line with other approaches done elsewhere [1,2] and focuses on the role of entrepreneurship and intellectual property in design teaching. Case study 2 describes a design-led approach to a structural mechanics course that explores the relationships between mechanical design and engineering analysis. The case study emphasizes the importance of carefully chosen, concrete projects, using umbrella design as an example.

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