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Abstract: Context: Design practice for the successful design of engineering systems expects design engineers to possess a vast subject knowledge of different engineering systems and acquire a set of design skills which are typical of a senior engineer with many years of design experience. Further, design tradition often requires the creation of a physical prototype to verify the design progress against the project specifications and to perform early product acceptance testing.

As a senior design engineer at the Centre for Medical Radiation Physics, University of Wollongong, the author was instrumental in improving the design process of complex systems by incorporating a modular design methodology to reduce the complexity of the design through partitioning into functional modules. Verification of the design was achieved through virtual mode testing of the design with virtual tools such as Altium, Multisim, Solidworks and Ansys Simplorer.

Purpose: The title of this research is "Teaching Engineering Design using Modular methods with virtual tools". This work reports on the efficacy of teaching the art of modular design methods with virtual tools to mature-age engineering students undertaking postgraduate studies in SEE712 Embedded Systems at the School of Engineering, Deakin University.

Approach: Additional lecture and laboratory material were created for presentation to mature age postgraduate engineers studying SEE712 Embedded Systems. The presentation material included lecture slides with notes, and laboratory examples and a case study. Surveys of the students were taken prior to the start and after completion of the course seeking opinions students of the course expectations and whether the course delivered those outcomes. Examination results were collated and analysed to corroborate the survey results and to provide a measure of the effectiveness of the new design methodology to improve the students' engineering design acumen.

Results: The paper clearly shows the improvements in both the students' opinions of their capabilities priorand post-instruction together with questionnaire results.

Conclusions: Preliminary results show that the teaching of modular design methods greatly improves the capability of a student engineer to more easily handle the design of complex systems. It also instils a new found confidence in their belief in themselves as a design engineer.

To cite this article: Brady, John AM; Joordens, Matthew and Horan, Ben. Teaching engineering design using modular methods with virtual tools [online]. In: 27th Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education : AAEE 2016. Lismore, NSW: Southern Cross University, 2016: 88-95. Availability: <http://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=679244778472020;res=IELENG> ISBN: 9780994152039. [cited 30 May 17].

Personal Author: Brady, John AM; Joordens, Matthew; Horan, Ben; Source: In: 27th Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education : AAEE 2016. Lismore, NSW: Southern Cross University, 2016: 88-95. DOI: Document Type: Conference Paper ISBN: 9780994152039 Subject: Engineering design--Study and teaching; Engineering systems; Engineering students; Modular construction; Virtual reality in engineering; Peer Reviewed: Yes Affiliation: (1) School of Engineering, Deakin University, email: brjoh@deakin.edu.au
(2) School of Engineering, Deakin University
(3) School of Engineering, Deakin University

Database: Engineering Collection