Design 4 Practice - The Program

The Design4Practice Program consists of four highly-integrated design courses that span the Freshman to Senior years in all engineering degree programs at NAU. The Design4Practice courses simulate an engineering corporate environment to demonstrate the need for a synthesis of technical skills as well as proficiency in a variety of non-technical skills. 

The Program is Unique in Many Ways

  • Courses are team-taught by a cadre of faculty from all of NAU CEFNS engineering disciplines 
  • Courses simulate a corporate engineering environment 
  • Courses involve multidisciplinary student design teams 
  • Courses involve geographically-distributed design collaboration between NAU CEFNS students and students from other institutions 
  • Courses are integrated horizontally across disciplines by forming students into interdisciplinary design teams 
  • Courses are integrated vertically through collaboration between students in the sophomore and junior courses, with potential mentoring of freshman and sophomore students by seniors 
  • This structure gives students practice in being engineers, and introduces them to many of the skills that have traditionally been left out of engineering curricula. 


Program Objectives 

The Design4Practice Program is founded on a set of objectives established in response to the needs of industry. 
  1. To produce engineering graduates who can creatively apply technical skills to solve problems effectively. 
  2. To explicitly teach engineering students to integrate the technical skills obtained in traditional engineering courses into the overall engineering process. 
  3. To help students develop the collaborative skills necessary to be successful engineers. 
  4. To help students develop the communications skills necessary to be successful engineers. 
  5. To expose students to the engineering product realization process in a meaningful way.