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Designing Engineers: An Introductory Text



Designing Engineers: An Introductory Text

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Designing Engineers First Edition is written in short modules, where each module is built around a specific learning outcome and is cross-referenced to the other modules that should be read as pre-requisites, and could be read in tandem with or following that module. The book begins with a brief orientation to the design process, followed by coverage of the design process in a series of short modules. The rest of the book contains a set of modules organized in several major categories: Communication & Critical Thinking, Teamwork & Project Management, and Design for Specific Factors (e.g. environmental, human factors, intellectual property). A resource section provides brief reference material on economics, failure and risk, probability and statistics, principles & problem solving, and estimation.

Related Resources

Entering the Design Process


1. Introduction

2. Design Process Review

3. Phases of a project

4. Communicating through the process

5. What engineers design

6. How design projects are initiated


1. The core process cycle

2. School projects

The Core Engineering Design Process

1. Requirements Generation

2. Multi-use Design Tools

3. Idea Generation

4. Decision Making

5. Iterating

6. Investigating Ideas

7. Post-conceptual Design


Appendix A: Communication & Critical Thinking

1. Critical Thinking

2. Communication



3. Audio-Visual

Appendix B: Teamwork & Project Management


1. Project Management

Basics of Project Management

Advanced Project Management

Instructions for PM software

1. Interacting with a Client

Appendix C: Design for X

Design for Durability

Design for the Environment

Design for Flexibility

Design for Human Factors

Design for Intellectual Property

Design for Manufacturability

Design for Safety

Design for Testing & Maintenance

Appendix D: Resources

Principles & Problem Solving


Probability & Statistics

Failure & Risk


Case Studies


  • Modular – the text is written as a set of discrete modules that can be taught in virtually any selection and order.
  • Multidisciplinary – the text roots design concepts in a disciplinary context, enabling students to see how design tasks and roles play out in realistic scenarios.
  • Designed for Digital Reading – modules are very brief, thoroughly cross-reference and linked to related topics. Hashtags in the digital edition provide a quick mode of linking and cross-referencing.
  • Expert Author Team - The team of authors of Designing Engineers practice the concepts and process of design as outlined in their text.
    • Susan McCahan is vice-dean ofFaculty of Applied Science & Engineering, University of Toronto;
    • Peter Weiss is Communication Coordinator of Engineering Strategies and Practice, University of Toronto;
    • Phil Anderson is Senior Lecturer of Computer Engineering, University of Toronto;
    • Mark Kortschot is Chair of the Division of Engineering Science, University of Toronto; and
    • Kimberly A. Woodhouse is Dean of the Applied Science and Engineering Department, Queen’s University.