Teaching integrated system design with interdisciplinary group design exercises

Peter Grant, Ewen Macpherson, Gareth Harrison, Kevin Brunson, Robert Hyde, David Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


With funding from the UK’s Royal Academy of Engineering, the University of Edinburgh has developed a set of three truly interdisciplinary group design exercises aimed at improving penultimate-year undergraduate students’ ability to work across disciplines and improve their preparation for transfer into industry. Three exercises on hydropower system design, potable water supply and a micro-system accelerometer are each designed and led by a Visiting Industrial Professor. The group design exercises are both challenging and popular with students and have achieved several very successful outcomes: experience of real system design; enhanced appreciation of other engineering disciplines; experience of team working where participants have different skills and expertise; demonstration of the links between design and economic viability and introduction to non-technical areas essential to fulfilling the UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-41
Number of pages12
JournalEngineering Education: A journal of the Higher Education Academy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Interdisciplinary teaching


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