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ME402: Design Decisions in Engineering

Unit 1: Introduction To Design Decisions   This unit provides an overview of the process of making decisions for engineering design.  Subunit 1.1 will refresh what you learned in previous courses about design process.  In subunit 1.2, you will learn how economic considerations affect a design.  These decisions can make a company economically successful.  Decisions pertaining to life cycle cost payback, taxes, and cash flow go a long way in determining the long-term viability of a design or product.  In subunits 1.3 and 1.4, you will learn about the anatomy of decision making in general and for engineering design specifically. 

Unit 1 Time Advisory
This unit will take you approximately 22 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 1.1: 4 hours

☐    Subunit 1.2: 10 hours

☐    Subunit 1.3: 4 hours

☐    Subunit 1.4: 4 hours

Unit1 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to:
- Explain the design process, formulate design goals and objectives, and write design specifications. - Enumerate factors that influence engineering design decisions. - Explain decision theory. - Consider economic factors in design decisions.

1.1 Overview of Design Process   - Reading: Portland State University: Professor Faryar Etesami’s Lecture Notes on “Design Process” Link: Portland State University: Professor Faryar Etesami’s Lecture Notes on “Design Process” (PowerPoint)
 
Instructions: Please click on the link “Design Process,” download the PowerPoint presentation, and read the slide deck carefully.  The reading will provide an overview of the process of design.  This reading will take approximately 1 hour to complete.
 
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1.1.1 Design Goals and Objectives   - Reading: University of Minnesota: Prof. Brad Bohlmann’s ME 4054W Design Project’s Lecture Notes: “Customer Needs” Link: University of Minnesota: Prof. Brad Bohlmann’s ME 4054W Design Project’s Lecture Notes: “Customer Needs” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Please download the PDF file for “Customer Needs” and read the slides carefully.  The reading will introduce you to the necessary steps for defining design goals and objectives based on careful research of customer needs.  This reading will take approximately 1 hour to complete.
 
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1.1.2 Design Specifications and Statement of Work   - Reading: University of Minnesota: ME 4054W Design Project’s Lecture Notes: “Developing Product Design Specifications” Link: University of Minnesota: ME 4054W Design Project’s Lecture Notes: “Developing Product Design Specifications” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Please download the PDF file for “Developing Product Design Specifications” and read the slides carefully.  The reading will introduce you to basic steps of developing a product design specification, an important documentation that specifies customer needs as well as design targets.  This reading will take approximately 1 hour to complete.
 
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  • Reading: University of Minnesota: ME 4054W Design Project’s Lecture Notes: “Statement of Work” Link: University of Minnesota: ME 4054W Design Project’s Lecture Notes: “Statement of Work” (PDF)
     
    Instructions: Please download the PDF file for “Statement of Work” and read the slides carefully.  This reading will teach you how to write a “Statement of Work,” which explains the what, why, and how of a project.  This reading will take approximately 1 hour to complete.
     
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1.2 Economic Considerations in Engineering Design   1.2.1 Economic Evaluation   - Reading: MIT: Professor Richard de Neufville’s Applied Systems Analysis: Engineering Planning and Technology Management: “Chapter 13: Economic Evaluation” Link: MIT: Professor Richard de Neufville’s Applied Systems Analysis: Engineering Planning and Technology Management:Chapter 13: Economic Evaluation” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Please download the PDF file for “Chapter 13: Economic Evaluation” and read the entire file.  This reading will introduce you to the principles of discounted cash flow analysis, an important component of economic evaluation of engineering design. The author also discussed in detail economic criteria for evaluating a design based on considerations of net present value, benefit-cost ratio, and internal rate of returns.  This reading will take approximately 4 hours to complete.
 
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  • Assessment: MIT: Professor Richard de Neufville’s “Engineering System Analysis for Design: Mid Semester Quiz 2008” Link: MIT: Professor Richard de Neufville’s “Engineering System Analysis for Design: Mid-Semester Quiz 2008” (PDF)
     
    Instructions: Please download the PDF file for “Mid Semester Quiz 2008” and work on problem 2, “Static Valuation of Project,” of the midterm.  Check your answers against the “Solutions” file on the same webpage.  This reading will take approximately 2 hours to complete.
     
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1.2.2 Cost Estimation   - Reading: MIT: Professor Richard de Neufville’s book, Applied Systems Analysis: Engineering Planning and Technology Management: “Chapter 14: Cost Estimation” Link: Professor Richard de Neufville’s book, Applied Systems Analysis: Engineering Planning and Technology Management: “Chapter 14: Cost Estimation” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Please download the PDF file for “Chapter 14: Cost Estimation” and read the entire file.  The reading highlights the importance as well as the difficulty of estimating costs for engineering design.  This reading will take approximately 2 hours to complete.
 
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  • Assessment: MIT: Professor Richard de Neufville’s “Engineering System Analysis for Design: Final Exam 2004” Link: MIT: Professor Richard de Neufville’s “Engineering System Analysis for Design: Final Exam 2004” (PDF)
     
    Instructions: Please download the PDF file for “Final Exam 2004” and work on problem 1 of the midterm.  Check your answers against the “Solutions” file on the same webpage.  This assessment will take approximately 2 hours to complete.
     
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1.3 Decision Making in Design Process   - Reading: National Academy of Engineering’s book, Approaches to Improve Engineering Design: “Chapter 2: Decision Making in Design Process” Link: National Academy of Engineering’s book, Approaches to Improve Engineering Design:Chapter 2: Decision Making in Design Process” (HTML or PDF)
 
Instructions: Please read pages 5-8 of the webpage.  Navigate to the next page using the arrow at the bottom of the webpage.  Alternatively, create an account (free) with National Academic Press to download the PDF file of the book (also free).  You will use this book throughout the course.  In this chapter of the book, you will learn to define and classify decision process in engineering design.  It is important that you know how to correctly access the context and the criticality of each decision so you can allocate sufficient resources for supporting decision making.  Figure 2.1 illustrates the decision process within the controlled and uncontrolled contexts.  This reading will take approximately 4 hours to complete.
 
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1.4 Decision Theory   - Reading: National Academy of Engineering’s book, Approaches to Improve Engineering Design: “Chapter 3: Basic Tools for Applied Decision Theory” Link: National Academy of Engineering’s book, Approaches to Improve Engineering Design: “Chapter 3: Basic Tools for Applied Decision Theory” (HTML or PDF)
 
Instructions: Please read the webpage.  Navigate to the next page using the arrow at the bottom of the webpage to read the entire chapter (pages 9-16).  Alternatively, create an account (free) with National Academic Press to download the PDF file of the book (also free).  You will use this book throughout the course.  In Chapter 3, you will be introduced to basic concepts of decision theory.  The chapter will set up the framework for deeper study of decision analysis in Unit 3.  Pay careful attention to Figure 3.2, which illustrates the three dimensions of a problem: uncertainty, complexity, and dynamic or time effects.  This reading will take approximately 3 hours to complete.
 
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  • Reading: The Evergreen State College, Washington: Dr Fulop’s Lecture Notes on “Introduction to Decision Making Methods” Link: The Evergreen State College, Washington: Dr Fulop’s Lecture Notes on “Introduction to Decision Making Methods” (PDF)
     
    Instructions: Please click on “Decision Making Methods,” under the Reports section, and download the PDF file.  Read section 1, “Decision Making Process,” on pages 1–3.  This reading discusses eight steps of the decision-making process.  This reading will take approximately 1 hour to complete.
     
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