Understanding the Engineering Design Process

This research project is a study of the engineering design process. The goal is to study the design process at Manitoba Hydro to better understand: how design works, how information flows, and how the process is communicated. The intern’s research team will study the design process from within the organizational environment. This will involve a study of how research is conducted and how information flows between different levels within the design groups. The results of this study will be a better understanding of the design process within the corporate environment. This study is set up as a qualitative study versus a more typical engineering quantitative project. This was necessary to understand the actual process engineers undertake as they move through a design project. Data collection includes: observation of engineering design groups, interviews of engineering designers, following design projects through to completion, and studying design activities in project records and through observation. Manitoba Hydro is planning on using the information to help them to; improve ability to hire or promote individuals for design positions, improve transfer of design knowledge to new designers, improve engineers’ ability to create new designs, improve engineering groups understanding and therefore their ability, improve communication between design teams, save money by speeding up process, and identify successful procedures to be shared globally with all corporate teams.

Intern: 
Donald Petkau
Faculty Supervisor: 
Dr. M. G. (Ron) Britton
Province: 
Manitoba
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