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Enhancing engineering qualities by adopting the total design approach in final year projects

conference contribution
posted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by Ramadas NarayananRamadas Narayanan, Sead Spuzic, M Pundoor, S Bari, K Xing, J Fielke
Context: The final year project is an important part of an engineer’s education. This segment of the curriculum provides undergraduate students with an opportunity to apply and extend their skills and knowledge. It provides students with an opportunity to undertake an extensiveindependent exploration of a particular topic. In addition to applying the skills that are developed in the undergraduate courses, students will develop skills in research, project management and technical communication. The contemporary availability of advancedcomputerised platforms allows students to experience the comparative analysis of viable solutions in engineering design.Purpose Or Goal: This paper presents a pilot study on a new approach to final year projects based on the ‘total design approach’. This new approach hypothesises that analytical thinking and creativity is enhanced by a holistic approach to engineering design. This paper investigates theenhancements in the learning experience and graduate qualities of students once they are introduced to this new approach.Approach: The main methodology used for data collection was a quiz that was undertaken by different cohorts of final year mechanical engineering students. In addition, observations were recorded by instructors, and selective interviews enabled deeper investigation of the mostcharacteristic inferences.Actual or Anticipated Outcomes: The outcome of this study showed that enhancement in graduate qualities was acknowledged by students who were introduced to this new approach. This was measured by responses across different cohorts of students.CONCLUSIONS/RECOMMENDATIONS/SUMMARYThis study concludes that this new approach to final year projects should be implemented as it promotes quality learning experiences and improves the engineering qualities of students.


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Gold Coast, Queensland


Griffith University

Place of Publication

Brisbane, Qld

Peer Reviewed

  • Yes

Open Access

  • No

External Author Affiliations

Conference; Not affiliated to a Research Institute; University of South Australia;

Era Eligible

  • Yes

Name of Conference

Australasian Association for Engineering Education. Conference

Parent Title

Proceedings of the 24th Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education (AAEE 2013), Work Integrated Learning : Applying Theory to Practice in Engineering Education, Crowne Plaza Hotel, Gold Coast, Queensland, December 8-11, 2013