Practice-Based Learning for Automotive Engineering Design Students
Editor: Kovacevic, Ahmed, Ion, William, McMahon, Chris, Buck, Lyndon and Hogarth, Peter
Author: McLening, Christian; Owen, John
Section: International Collaboration and Global Product Development
The automotive industry combines a multitude of professions to develop a modern car successfully. Within the design and development teams the collaboration and interface between Engineers and Designers is critical to ensure design intent is communicated and maintained throughout the development process. This study highlights recent industry practice with the emergence of Concept Engineers in design teams at Jaguar Land Rover Automotive group. The role of the Concept Engineer emphasises the importance of the Engineering and Design/Styling interface with the Concept Engineer able to interact and understand the challenges and specific languages of each specialist area, hence improving efficiency and communication within the design team. Automotive education tends to approach design from two distinct directions: that of engineering design through BSc courses or a more styling design approach through BA and BDes routes. The educational challenge for both types of course is to develop engineers and stylists who have greater understanding and experience of each other's specialist perspective of design and development. The study gives examples of two such courses in the UK which are developing programmes to help students widen their understanding of the engineering and design spectrum. Initial results suggest the practical approach has been well received by students and encouraged by industry as they seek graduates with specialist knowledge but also a wider appreciation of their role within the design process.