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Relating Design Activity to Quality of Outcome: A Regression Analysis of Student Projects

[+] Author Affiliations
Samuel Wilkening, Durward K. Sobek, II

Montana State University, Bozeman, MT

Paper No. DETC2004-57428, pp. 307-313; 7 pages
  • ASME 2004 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 3a: 16th International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology
  • Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, September 28–October 2, 2004
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4696-2 | eISBN: 0-7918-3742-4
  • Copyright © 2004 by ASME


This study focuses on better understanding the impact of design process behavior on project outcomes, as demonstrated by mechanical engineering students at Montana State University. Using process data gathered from student design journals, and quantitative measures of project results, we examine the relationship between student designer activities and project outcomes through a multivariate linear regression analysis. Results indicate that significant differences exist between customer satisfaction, and design quality as measured by professional engineers. Further, this study finds that client satisfaction increases with time spent on problem definition activities and decreases with concept-level engineering analysis. In contrast, system-level idea generation and refinement activities are the most strongly positively associated activities for design quality, while design refinement at the concept level is a strong detractor.

Copyright © 2004 by ASME



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