Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week for four weeks, 4 hours / session


This course develops a holistic view of and initial competency in engineering design by conceiving, designing, manufacturing and testing a system component such as a complex structural part. Activities include hand sketching, CAD modeling, CAE analysis, CAM programming and operation of CNC machining equipment. Requirements compliance is verified in the laboratory via structural testing. Initial designs are improved by means of multiobjective design optimization. The focus is on the design process itself as well as the complementary roles of human creativity and computational methods and tools. Designs are executed by pairs of students who enter their products in a design competition. The pedagogy is based on active learning and a balance of lectures and hands-on activities. Enrollment may be limited.


16.010, 16.020 or 2.001, 2.002 or permission of instructor
Units: 3-3-0
Letter Grading (A-F)

Rationale for Offering this Subject

A recent survey of undergraduate students in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics (in conjunction with the new Department Head Search in 2003) has shown that there is a desire for training in modern design methods using state-of-the-art CAD/CAE/CAM technology and design optimization. Individual students have suggested the addition of a short and intense course in rapid prototyping, combined with design optimization. The intent of this course is to respond to this perceived gap, while exploiting synergies with other engineering departments that have articulated similar needs.

2004 Course Abstract (This resource may not render correctly in a screen reader.PDF)


The main text for the class is presented below. Other readings, notes, and articles were distributed as necessary in class.

Buy at Amazon Katz, Joseph. Race Car Aerodynamics: Designing for Speed (Engineering and Performance). Cambridge, MA: Bentley Publishers, 1995. ISBN: 0837601428.