Master Course Description

No: ENGR 100

Title: Introduction to Engineering Design

Credits: 5

Classification: Individuals & Societies (I&S)

UW Course Catalog Description: Introduction to design and communication principles through engineering project approach, stressing teamwork, design process, specialties and tools of engineering, creative and analytical thinking, professionalism and ethics, social, economic, and political context, open-ended problems. Grading based on quality of engineering projects and presentation of design through written, oral, and graphical communication. Offered: AWSp.

Coordinator: Frank Ashby, Director of Academic Courses, ENGR100, College of Engineering

Prerequisites by Topic: None

Textbooks: Course URL: 

Course Goals:  To learn the design process and associated skills (teamwork, communication, and computing), to recognize the role of fundamentals in design and problem solving, and to be exposed to different examples of engineering (projects, disciplines, and careers)

Learning Objectives:  At the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Apply the engineering design process.
  • Give examples of how fundamentals (science, math, and engineering analysis) are involved with design and creative problem solving.
  • Identify and modify strategies to improve teamwork and group performance.
  • Demonstrate appropriate forms of written, oral, and graphical communication and recognize the importance of good communication skills.
  • Describe the different disciplines and jobs within the engineering profession.
  • Make a more informed decision about continuing to study engineering.
  • Identify key issues related to global and societal contexts for engineering solutions (Honors).

Topics: Topics are covered as part of design projects or as stand-alone topics.

  • Engineering design process (1 week)
  • Skills development in teamwork, communication, and computing (1 week)
  • Engineering disciplines and careers (1/2 week)
  • Reverse engineering project (1+ week)
  • Initial open-ended design project (3+ weeks)
  • Final open-ended design project (3+ weeks)

Design Projects:  New projects (reverse engineering and open-ended design) are continually being developed. Current projects include:

  • Bridge
  • Engine Dissection
  • Robotics
  • Rocket Design
  • Rube Goldberg Design

Design project objectives include revealing the design process through experience, showing the role of math and science, demonstrating value of prototype testing, and stressing all forms of communication.

Course Structure:  The class meets 3 times a week, for 2 hours at a time (6 hrs/wk). The course consists of limited lecture with emphasis on "hands-on" design projects and testing.

Grading:  50% (min.) Individual Work, 50% (max.) Group Work. Individual work includes memos, computer exercises, homework, reflection papers and/or journals. Group work includes design products, oral presentations, and final reports.

Outcome Coverage:
(b) an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data - Students create experiments and analyze results to gather information for the design projects (e.g. component testing for the bridge project).

c) an ability to design a system, component, or process that meet desired needs - Students complete a minimum of two design projects throughout the quarter. The assignments require that they report and reflect on both process and final product.

(d) an ability to function on multi-disciplinary teams - The group projects are interdisciplinary in nature and cover a variety of engineering topics.

(g) an ability to communicate effectively - Students write short memos, reflective papers, final reports and give a minimum of one oral presentation

(h) the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global and societal context - Honors students collaborate with international students to complete a single quarter long project and communicate information through email, web cameras, and fax. Students reflect on the outcomes of the collaboration in final report.

Prepared by: Mary Cook

Last revised: 2/27/06