Using engineering design tools in multidisciplinary distributed student teams

Mamo, James and Farrugia, Philip and Borg, Jonathan and Wodehouse, Andrew and Grierson, Hilary and Kovasevic, Ahmed (2015) Using engineering design tools in multidisciplinary distributed student teams. In: 17th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, 2015-09-03 - 2015-09-04, UK.

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Collaborative design practice in distributed student teams is becoming more popular as technology makes it easier to communicate ideas with others that are geographically distant. However, a challenge for students is to use design tools which they are not familiar with. These design tools usually differ from each other and engineers may find it much more difficult to share their ideas. This could make the whole design process longer and less successful. Each year the University of Malta, City University London and University of Strathclyde organise a joint collaborative design project, involving engineering students with different disciplines and cultural backgrounds. In this paper, the patterns of use of design tools by students to collaborate with each other are investigated. Based on survey results of students, this paper proposes an approach which can be utilised by engineering students to enhance collaboration in multidisciplinary distributed design teams.