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Today I was the guest instructor for Notre Dame’s Principles of Practice course in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering & Earth Sciences. As part of our unique collaboration with the University of Notre Dame College of Engineering faculty, the professors of this course have invited SAP to co-teach the principles of Design Thinking this semester and next semester.  This week, students were provided an overview and quick exercise on the Design Thinking process and were provided access to SAP’s Build which will serve as the overall methodology for the course.

This course is described as follows:

  • The intent of this course is for students to gain design experience on an integrated multi-disciplinary real-world civil engineering project. A portion of this course will involve learning about the design process, ethical standards of the engineering profession, and building leadership skills. Students will begin their year-long senior design project and complete the preliminary phases of the project within their project groups. Oral and written presentations of the project proposal and conceptual design phase of the project will be completed in this semester.

SAP will continue to be involved in the class throughout this semester and the spring semester. I will serve as a mentor and speak on key topics to the students throughout the course. We will also provide design process resources by encouraging students to use the BUILD tool.

In addition, the College of Engineering faculty decided to give every first-year engineering student a small exposure to Design Thinking early this semester. Over 500 freshman engineering students experienced a small design challenge project during the first week of studies. The hope is that they will seek additional coursework or club experiences that give them deeper skills in the Design Thinking approach such as the advanced course mentioned above.

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