Eco-Car: A Perfect Vehicle for Technical Design Teaching?

DS 78: Proceedings of the 16th International conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE14), Design Education and Human Technology Relations, University of Twente, The Netherlands, 04-05.09.2014

Year: 2014
Editor: Erik Bohemia, Arthur Eger, Wouter Eggink, Ahmed Kovacevic, Brian Parkinson, Wessel Wits
Author: Buck, Lyndon; McLening, Christian; Burgess, Jonathan
Series: E&PDE
Institution: 1Buckinghamshire New University, UK, 2Aston University, UK
Section: Design Education Methods
Page(s): 030-035
ISBN: 978-1-904670-56-8


Design methods and tools are generally best learned and developed experientially [1]. Finding appropriate vehicles for delivering these to students is becoming increasingly challenging, especially when considering only those that will enthuse, intrigue and inspire. This paper traces the development of different eco-car design and build projects which competed in the Shell Eco-Marathon. The cars provided opportunities for experiential learning through a formal learning cycle of CDIO (Conceive, Design, Implement, Operate) or the more traditional understand, explore, create, validate, with both teams developing a functional finished prototype. Lessons learned were applied through the design of a third and fourth eco-car using experimental techniques with bio-composites, combining the knowledge of fibre reinforced composite materials and adhesives with the plywood construction techniques of the two teams. The paper discusses the importance of applying materials and techniques to a real world problem. It will also explore how eco-car and comparing traditional materials and construction techniques with high tech composite materials is an ideal teaching, learning and assessment vehicle for technical design techniques.

Keywords: CDIO, curriculum alignment, collaborative working, experiential learning


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