Engineering design as an intellectual problem

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Abstract

Engineering education has recently been going through a process of internal fighting between the tendency to introduce more and more information and skills in the fields of computerization and mathematics (mathematics for engineers), on the one hand, and the need to provide the student with pure empirical technical and design knowledge and experience, on the other hand. In most mechanical engineering departments, the outcome of this competition has been a reduction in the time allotted to teaching the empirical part of engineering information: there is often a psychological barrier to understanding the importance of this group of subjects, and the computer- and mathematics-associated subjects usually win out. As a result, the new graduate usually knows how to fight the computation struggle but he/she is not able to formulate his/her final engineering goal. This paper focuses on various aspects of this situation. In particular, we set out to defend the need for serious and in-depth teaching of the empirical information required in engineering design work.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-172
Number of pages16
JournalEuropean Journal of Engineering Education
Volume27
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2002

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