Sharing engineering design knowledge in a distributed environment

Zdrahal, Zdenek; Mulholland, Paul; Domingue, John and Hatala, Mark (2000). Sharing engineering design knowledge in a distributed environment. Behaviour & Information Technology, 19(3) pp. 189–200.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/014492900406182

Abstract

Engineering design is a complex activity, relying heavily on know-how gained from personal experience. Competitive pressures and new technology are making further demands on the skills and experience of designers, as effective knowledge reuse in design is seen as increasingly vital, and the work of design teams is often a collaborative and distributed activity. University students with a thorough knowledge of the engineering domain can be ill prepared for professional practice, with its increasing reliance on skills and know-how as well as knowledge of theory. Our approach aims to better prepare students for professional practice, through hands-on experience of design reuse, participation in distributed collaboration, and the development of presentation and documentation skills. Our case-study in the domain of modelling engineering systems, in which the course materials themselves are evolving and distributed, has ramifications for the publication model of educational materials, and the way students should be prepared for working life.

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