EE15N: The Art and Science
of Engineering Product Design
Professor My T. Le
The goal of this seminar is to introduce freshmen to
the design process of an engineering project.
The seminar will consist of a series of lectures. The first
part of each lecture will focus on the different design aspects
of an engineering project, including formation of the design team,
developing a project statement, generating design ideas and
specifications, finalizing the design, and reporting the outcome.
Students will form teams to follow these procedures in designing
a term project of their choice over the quarter. The second part
of each lecture will consist of outside speakers, including
founders of some of the top companies in Silicon Valley,
who will share their experiences about engineering design. A
visit to Tesla to hear about their design process will be part of the class.
The seminar serves three purposes: (1) it introduces students
to the design process of turning an idea into a final design, (2)
it presents the different functions that people play in a project, and
(3) it gives students a chance to consider what role in a project would be
best suited to their interests and skills.
Basic Course Information
Class Time and Location:
W 3:30-5:45, Hewlett 103
Andrea Goldsmith, Packard 371, firstname.lastname@example.org,
Office Hours: after class and by appointment.
Administrator: Dash Corbett, email@example.com,
365 Packard, 3-3164.
My T. Le, firstname.lastname@example.org, 650 224 1352, OHs: by appt.
Required Textbook: Engineering Design, A Project-Based Introduction, 4th
by Clive Dym, Patrick Little, Elizabeth Orwin.
Grading: Class Participation: 20%, Assignments: 20%, Project: 60% (30% presentation, 30% report).
Course Info and Syllabus
and Deadlines (Required Reading, Project-Based Assignments,
Required reading for March 13 lecture has been updated.
Final presentations are March 21 3:30-6:30.
There are two writing assignments, one due 1/30 and one due 2/27, which are
chosen from the following options.
A report on how society shapes
technology or vice versa (e.g. stem cell research, cell phones, nuclear
power, the Internet, space travel.)
A case study of a complex engineering
project (e.g. the IPOD/iPhone, Facebook, the space shuttle, MRIs, hybrid
Describe in more detail an engineering
project executed by one of our guest speakers
Chose your own topic related to
engineering project design
Student teams are formed! Good luck. Projects from 2017 and 2015 are listed at the end of the page.
Lecture 1 (1/9): Introduction to Engineering Design
Lecture 2 (1/16): The Design Process
Required Reading: Text, Chapter 2
Guest Speaker: Martin Casado, Andreessen Horowitz
Lecture 3 (1/23): Design Teams and Management
Required Reading: Text, Chapters 15-16
Assignment Due: 1-paragraph Problem Statement
Guest Speaker: Ellen Levy, Silicon Valley Connect
Lecture 4 (1/30): Problem Definition: Requirements and Objectives
Required Reading: Text, Chapters 3-4
Assignment Due: Writing Assignment 1, Weekly Project Meeting Notes
Guest Speaker: Jim Fruchterman, Benetech
Lecture 5 (2/6): Problem Definition: Constraints and Design Specs
Required Reading: Text, Chapter 6
Assignment Due: Revised Problem Statement, Preliminary List of Project Roles and Tasks, Objective Tree, Weekly Project Meeting Notes
Guest Speaker: Laurie Yoler, Zoox, Bose, Church & Dwight, Broadway Angels
Laurie Yoler Lecture Slides
Lecture 6 (February 2/13): Generating Design Ideas and Choosing a Design
Lecture 7 (2/20): Why Things Fail
Lecture 8 (2/27): Tesla Field Trip (will leave campus at 1:40pm sharp (arrive by 1:30pm, corner of Via Ortega and Panama)
Assignment Due: Writing Assignment 2
Lecture 9 (3/6): Communicating the Design and Prototyping
Reading Assignment: Text, Chapters 9-11
Assignment Due: Final Design Choice, Priority Checkmark Chart and Best-of-Class Chart, Weekly Project Meeting Notes
Guest Speaker: Lee Redden, Blue River Technology
Lecture 10 (3/13): Looking Beyond the 1st Generation. Engineering Products that have Changed the World and Benefit Humanity. The Ethical Engineer.
Final Presentations: 3/21, 3:30-6:30 PM (Reports due 3/21 at 3:30pm)
Projects from 2017
Projects from 2015