Anastasia Ostrowski’s BME Master’s Thesis Defense

Individual and Course Structure Effects on Engineering Design Processes

Engineering students struggle to generate creative solutions, and engineering educators struggle to teach students how to improve their design skills.  Experience with idea generation during design projects has been a prominent way to facilitate development of students’ ideation skills. The most prevalent pedagogy within engineering is for students to engage in broad ideation during design projects; however, studies have shown that students fail to explore a variety of ideas or to use ideation techniques as part of their design process.  This research project investigates how engineering students perceive and perform idea generation in design projects to determine the factors affecting student exploration of the design space. Through three interviews and idea generation sessions, data was collected during the front-end design stages of a biomedical engineering senior design course. Analysis reveals student misconceptions of how and when to generate ideas, and how idea generation impacts the design process. The findings highlight several important influences on students’ front-end design processes, and suggest ways to influence skill development through changes in course structure, project research, and existing knowledge.

Date:        Friday, April 14, 2016
Time:        2:00 PM
Location:   Lurie Biomedical Engineering Building, Room 2203

Chair:        Aileen Huang-Saad, Ph.D. & Shanna Daly, Ph.D.