ABET Definition of Design


Engineering design is the process of devising a system, component, or process to meet desired needs. It is a decision-making process (often iterative), in which the basic science and mathematics and engineering sciences are applied to convert resources optimally to meet a stated objective. Among the fundamental elements of the design process are the establishment of objectives and criteria, synthesis, analysis, construction, testing and evaluation. The engineering design component of a curriculum must include most of the following features: development of student creativity, use of open-ended problems, development and use of modern design theory and methodology, formulation of design problem statements and specification, consideration of alternative solutions, feasibility considerations, production processes, concurrent engineering design, and detailed system description. Further it is essential to include a variety of realistic constraints, such as economic factors, safety, reliability, aesthetics, ethics and social impact." Elsewhere in the ABET criteria for accreditation, they stress the use of teams in solving problems and performing designs.