Design Engineering Research Group - EAFIT University (COLOMBIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN11 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Pages: 5170-5178
ISBN: 978-84-615-0441-1
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 3rd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2011
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Functional physical prototyping has demonstrated to be an excellent way to evaluate and prove new ideas, according to practical experience at the Product Design Engineering Department from EAFIT University located in Colombia. This practical approach is very efficient in product design and development process learning, rather than theoretical courses. This way of “applied knowledge transfer” enables, as well, the development of challenging projects by teams of engineering design students. They are faced to the challenge of designing innovative new products, according to identified real needs, taking into account the user and the context. These projects are executed during eight academic semesters with a progressive level of difficulty and complexity. In order to take this process to a new level, it has been decided to integrate different challenges into a novel scheme to design value added products. This article will focus in the last project which demands the design and development of an innovative electrically powered vehicle. In this project, the transport systems complexity is combined with the need of developing sustainable products, together with the use of technologies in the area of Product Lifecycle Management (PLM). This kind of projects represents a great opportunity from social, economical, technical and environmental interests in Colombia, as electric vehicles became a main interest of several companies and local authorities. Colombia is a developing country with a large amount of clean energy, as almost 80% of produced energy at national level comes from hydropower, being a good scenario to observe the real impact of zero-emission characteristics of the electrical vehicles. A successful academic case study for the development of small cargo vehicle for indoor applications is presented in order to show the experiences obtained with this kind of initiatives. Additionally, these efforts will also foster excellence in educational competencies as future engineers will have knowledge and experience on advanced product development with sustainable transport awareness.
Sustainable transport systems, Product Design Engineering, Academic design methodology.