SUBJECT: Ph.D. Dissertation Defense
BY: Ethan Hilton
TIME: Monday, August 26, 2019, 9:00 a.m.
PLACE: MRDC Building, 3515
TITLE: Approaches for the Development of Early-stage Engineering Design Skills
COMMITTEE: Dr. Julie Linsey, Chair (ME)
Dr. Denis Dorozhkin (ME)
Dr. Craig Forest (ME)
Dr. Katherine Fu (ME)
Dr. Robert Nagel (James Madison University)


Early-stage engineering design skills are crucial for the generation and development of solutions to the problems faced by engineers today. Avenues for engineers to develop these critical skills need to be identified and these skills need to be infused into the already packed engineering curriculum. This dissertation presentation will cover two studies which aim to develop these key skills. The first study investigates the impacts made on mechanical engineering students who are taught industrial design-based freehand drawing techniques during a six-week, introduction to engineering graphics course. The second study investigates the impacts of gaining additional prototyping experience through involvement in a makerspace through a longitudinal study of engineering students at three universities. Ultimately, the research identifies effective methods for developing early-stage engineering design skills without adding significant coursework to engineering curriculum.