Design Engineers — Fast, Cheap, or Good — Pick Any Two of the Three

Frank J. Fronczak
Mechanical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering Departments, University of Wisconsin-Madison
1513 University Avenue, Madison, Wisconsin 53706 USA

This paper presents the argument that Engineering Design is a complex process requiring knowledge, skill, and attitude. While knowledge can be taught, skill and attitude cannot. Instead, skill can be developed and attitude can be cultivated and nurtured. It is argued that the development of design skills, and the cultivation of the attitude needed for successful design require much more effort and a more individual approach than that which is needed to merely pass on knowledge. This is a necessarily time consuming and costly process. Consequently, if our goal is quality, we must be willing to expend considerable time, at necessarily considerable cost, in order to achieve this goal.


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