Semesters Offered

Learning Objectives

Given any of the design methods presented in the course, participant will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the method by:

  • Describing the method as a series of instructional steps and draw relationships between the method-specific steps and the general engineering design process.
  • Applying the method to an unfamiliar but well-described design task to create a feasible solution.
  • Applying the method to a selected case study topic to create multiple feasible solutions.
  • Write essays with referenced evidence as required to discuss characteristics of the methods and to compare and contrast different ideation methods.


Topics Covered

  • Creativity in engineering design
  • Ideation’s purpose
  • Ideation methods:
    • Brainstorming
    • Synectics
    • Functional decomposition with function structures  
    • Morphological charts  
    • WordTree with WordNet®  
    • Bio-inspired design  
    • TRIZ, Theory of Inventive Problem Solving
  • Analogical thinking
  • Cognitive aspects of ideation


Learning Outcomes

  • an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering
  • an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability
  • an ability to communicate effectively
  • an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice

Additional Course Information



None required.

Class/Laboratory Schedule 

  • Two 75 minute lectures per week
Last Updated By 
Linda Schmidt, June 2017