Teaching design innovation

December 8, 2014 | 8:19 pm

Teaching Design Innovation: Spring 2015 Courses

The Jacobs Institute is pleased to announce that it will be supporting five courses in spring 2015, ranging from a course on sketching for designers and an interactive seating design competition to a new lower-division engineering course in which students gain hands-on and simulated experience with a wide range of manufacturing processes.

Two new courses being offered are: DES INV 190-1, Interactive Seating Design Competition, and DES INV 190-2, a two-unit course called Visual Communication for Designers. Sketching and visual communication are essential skills for designers, and the course is open to students in all disciplines and all levels of experience.

Additionally, over the next 18 months, the Jacobs Institute will support 12 new and updated courses through a grant program for teaching design innovation. Three of these courses will be offered in spring 2015; keep reading to learn about the exciting changes our faculty are making to bring more hands-on, project-based design opportunities to our students.


E27: Introduction to Manufacturing and Tolerancing


We hear it over and over: higher education is changing. But what does that really mean? For starters, students have an incredible amount of information at their fingertips, and they want to play a more active role in creating their program of study. In response, our mechanical engineering department has been working over the past year to break foundational courses into modules, making them both more customizable and more accessible to students both in and out of engineering.

One of the resulting new courses is E27: Introduction to Manufacturing and Tolerancing, which will be offered for the first time in spring 2015, along with two other new lower-division engineering courses: Visualization for Design (E25) and 3D Modeling for Design (E26).

Hayden Taylor has received support from the Jacobs Institute to develop web-based manufacturing process simulators to be used in E27. This will prepare students for hands-on lab sessions and give them realistic, interactive experience with manufacturing processes, such as welding and casting.


ME 110: Introduction to Product Development

Students in ME110 present their products at an end-of-semester tradeshow. Photo credit: Alice Agogino

Students in ME110 present their products at an end-of-semester tradeshow. Photo: Alice Agogino

Alice Agogino has taught, for many years, a highly acclaimed project-based design course called Introduction to Product Development (offered as ME110 and UGBA190T-2). The course combines undergraduate engineers and business students, and now, with support from the Jacobs Institute, Agogino will be working to incorporate additional disciplines: environmental design and art.

A “designer-in-residence” from industry will be invited to join the teaching team, and Agogino will develop an additional course module that meets the needs of students coming from art and design departments.

CE 122L & 123L: Structural Steel and Structural Concrete Design Projects

CAPTION: A photograph of a bridge in Northern California with its 3D scanned image on the top right corner showing the used laser scanner.

A photograph of a bridge in Northern California with its 3D scanned image on the top right corner showing the used laser scanner.

Khalid Mosalam is working to redevelop two project-based courses in civil and environmental engineering: the Structural Steel and Structural Concrete Design Project courses (CE 122L and 123L, respectively). The revised courses will see modern hands-on experience modules, including using 3D printers and 3D scanners to test out design details for bridges and buildings. Students will engage with practicing engineers and have the opportunity to design their own innovative structural systems to fulfill several objectives including safety and energy-efficiency or, more broadly stated, resiliency and sustainability.

Both courses are scheduled for spring offering and it is expected to have the modified version to begin making use of Jacobs Institute facilities in spring 2016.

The Jacobs Institute will be supporting several other courses, both old and new, over the coming semesters. In fall 2015, expect to see revamped and expanded versions of NE24, Freshman Manufacturing Seminar; CS194, Interactive Device Design; IAS 150, Social Innovator On-Ramp; and CE 186, Design of Cyber-Physical Systems; as well as two exciting new courses from Eric Paulos and Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl. Spring 2016 will see new hands-on design courses from Grace O’Connell (ME), Bob Full (Integrative Biology) and Jasenka Rakas (CE).

Congratulations to all our amazing recipients from this first round of mini-grants for teaching design innovation!