1. Engineering design process
- What is engineering?
- “Engineering is the art of modeling materials we do not wholly understand, into shapes we cannot precisely analyze so as to withstand forces we cannot properly assess, in such a way that the public has no reason to suspect the extent of our ignorance.”A. R. Dykes, British Institution of Engineers, 1976
- Before you start ‘creating’ something, you should know exactly what you want to create. Engineering is called an art and not a science: everything is an approximation and the physical processes that engineers deal with are extremely complex
- Importance of making good assumptions – and documenting the reasoning employed for each assumption
- Before an engineer ‘creates’ something, s/he needs to know what he has to create – s/he needs the “Design Specifications”
- Engineering Design
- Read: Built to Last by Jim Collins
- TED Talk: Design Thinking
- Field Observations with Fresh Eyes
- The Engineering Design Process
- V-Shaped Life Cycle Model
2. Customer Needs / Resource Assessment
- Conflicting Requirements Paradox
- Balancing multiple customer needs is an essential part of the engineering design process.
- Tyranny of the OR
- Stakeholders =those with vested interest in the results and outcomes of project’s mission and objectives
- Problem Definition
- Solar Dryer Simplification
3. Verification and Validation
- Yields the right products…the product has valid requirements & performance (validation)
- Meets functional and other requirements (verification)
- Validation: The right product was built
- Verification: The product was built right
- Types of Validation
- Business Model
Proving Your Technology
- Do we have technical know-how to make it work…or do we know how to obtain it?
- How far can you/your existing team take the development? Can you hire others to help? Would it be better to outsource the development? Do you need/can you find a strategic partner?
- Enabling technologies/infrastructure required?
- Your idea may be wonderful but if you need “other stuff” to build it or make it work you may have a big problem. For example: Even if you have a way to significantly reduce the cost/hp of auto fuel cells, unless someone is developing the hydrogen fueling station infrastructure you probably won’t have much of a business.
- Single-use technology or product, or technology/product platform?
- Technology/product platforms have a greater chance of developing into a large multi-product businesses and thus are favored by investors.
- When, and at what price success?
- Can you estimate how long the development is likely to take, and how much it will cost? Most radically new ideas take longer and cost more than expected. Are there competitors who have a significant head start?
- Better/faster/cheaper? How much?
- Can you at least show theoretical studies that indicate the technology will be better than what already exists? The technology “S” curve may help.
- Proof of concept?
- Do experts in the field agree that the science is possible, or do you have to invent a “new physics” to make it happen? Can you/have you put together a breadboard that demonstrates the device is likely to work as advertised?
- Concept of Operations
- What is the ConOps for Subway? How is it standardized in every part of the world?
4. Innovative Design Examples
Lesson: Simplicity Works. Stove+ 3 rocks + sticks
Lesson: Minimalist design is effective and cost-saving
- Boat Anchors
- How do people transport goods in Congo?
- Can you carry animals on a moped?
- What do you do with old tires?
* Blog Questions
- Elaborate on your perceptions as to how the engineering design process will assist you in accomplishing your venture goals?
- We discussed the need for defining the problem carefully. For your project, discuss the ‘status quo’ and how the problem definition will impact your design solution(s).