RESEARCH PAPERS: Design Education Papers

Engineering Design Education: U.S.—Retrospective and Contemporary

[+] Author and Article Information
Robert W. Mann

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass.

J. Mech. Des 103(4), 696-701 (Oct 01, 1981) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3254974 History: Received June 19, 1981; Online November 17, 2009


For the Centennial of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, its Design Education Committee asked the author to discuss the “status of design education in the U.S.” In an attempt to discharge this substantial responsibility in an informed and impartial manner, a Resumé of the author’s personal retrospective impression of engineering design education was prepared and distributed to ninety persons nationwide known by the author to have been actively involved in engineering design education, together with a Worksheet seeking their assessment of the Resumé and their opinion on the current state of engineering design education. Global and detailed information from the forty-seven replies was collated, evaluated, presented and discussed at the Century 2 Conference in San Francisco, August, 1980. This paper is comprised of the Resumé and the Worksheet, with quantitative evaluation of the responses on the state of various aspects of engineering design education supplemented by pertinent and pithy remarks of respondents. The overall sense of the surveyed faculty is that engineering design education is in a “so-so” to “bad” state. The paper concludes with the author’s now updated evaluation of the contemporary status of engineering design education and his prospective prognostications thereupon.

Copyright © 1981 by ASME
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