Practice Papers

Document Type

Conference Paper


Engineering design often requires the examination of multiple different factors and a design selection based on compromise between these factors. An engineer's preexisting values and experiences can influence design decisions. Therefore, knowing and understanding these design tendencies can prove valuable in guiding engineering students with their future design selections. The purpose of the project is to examine the design tendencies of first year engineering students using an interactive web-based virtual reality (VR) module focused on the triple-bottom line framework. The triple bottom line sustainability framework measures design in three key areas: people, profit and planet. The course for which the interactive module has been developed is a first-year engineering course called Chemistry of Natural and Engineered Systems. The activity is based around the chemical production of 6- aminopenicllianic acid through hydrolysis of Penicillin-G. This paper presents an explanation of the interactive web-based VR module, explores student design tendencies before an optimization problem, evaluates their design selections while completing the optimization problem and analyzes student reflections. Determining students design tendencies before the VR activity will help the teaching team gain insight into student thinking process about engineering design and determine the extent of variability of first year student design tendencies. We also envision this project as the first step of a longitudinal project to investigate the influence of undergraduate engineering education on student design tendencies.


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.