Design 4 Practice
Putting the practice back into curriculum
The Design4Practice program was developed in 1994, and was originally intended as a team-taught class that simulated a corporate environment. The classes were multi-disciplinary in that each engineering student regardless of engineering fields participated in the classes. The instructors came from all the engineering fields. The intent was to provide a series of design classes where students would integrate their technical skills learned in their discipline and apply them to team based design challenges. As NAU has grown from a smaller teaching college to a larger research based institution , the Design4Practice program has evolved to meet the changing needs of the industry and society at large.
The D4P program
The Design4Practice (D4P) program is a four-class sequence culminating in the senior capstone experience. The D4P courses are designed to prepare students for an environment that requires the synthesis of technical knowledge, skills, and creative problem-solving. The four “pillars” of the D4P Program are: 1) Engineering Design, 2) Communication, 3) Teamwork, and 4) Professionalism.
The Design4Practice Program is founded on the following objectives:
- To produce engineering graduates who can creatively apply technical skills to effectively solve problems
- To explicitly teach engineering students to integrate technical skills obtained in their engineering curriculum into the overall design process
- To cultivate the collaborative skills necessary to be successful
- To develop the communication skills necessary to be successful
- To ensure students understand the design process