Engineering Design and the Product Life Cycle: Relating Customer Needs, Societal Values, Business Acumen, and Technical Fundamentals

Kenneth J. Reid and John K. Estell

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Design, within the context of engineering, is a term that is sometimes difficult to define. Design can be innovative, impressive, and earthshattering, but it can also be observed in the building of simple devices using everyday materials in a classroom environment. This text examines the concept of design, where success means that the designers fulfilled the established requirements, stayed within the specified constraints, and met the evaluation criteria as optimally as possible.

Along the way, the reader will walk through an example design process (no, there is not a single, universally accepted design process) that presents relevant terminology and will examine design in a broader context through means of the product life cycle, where a product is followed from its initial definition to the end of its life. Finally, the text attempts to answer the question of what is good design by exploring some of the fundamental principles associated with design.

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Kenneth J. Reid

Kenneth J. Reid is an associate professor in engineering education at Virginia Tech. He earned his PhD in engineering education in 2009. Among other awards, he and his coauthors received the Wickenden award (2014), best paper award for the Educational Research and Methods Division of ASEE (2014) and IEEE-USA Professional Achievement Award (2013) for developing the nation’s  rst BS degree in engineering education. He is active in engineering within K-12, including the Technology Student Association (TSA) board of directors.

John K. Estell

John K. Estell is professor of computer engineering and computer science at Ohio Northern University. He is well known for his work in streamlining and standardizing outcomes assessment processes. His research includes examining the nature of constraints in design and improving student-client collaborations. Dr. Estell was recognized for the breadth, richness, and quality of his service to, and scholarship for, the betterment of engineering education by being named a Fellow of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) in 2016.