Designing systems from concepts: a crucial engineering approach

Ludwig De Locht, Gerd Vandersteen, Yves Rolain, Greet Van De Perre, Mart Lybeert

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperResearch


Engineers need a systematic framework to design systems, since ad-hoc solutions are nearly always inferior when working towards a sustainable solution. The training to use a systematic design framework is often overlooked in the first years in engineering education, since the students are primarily confronted with small problems where ad-hoc solution seem time-saving.
This paper presents an experience-based learning project for bachelor students in their fourth semester. They have to control the height of a ping-pong ball in a tube by controlling a variable speed fan and they also have to implement an interface to a PC using a microcontroller. They are guided to use a systematic system-level approach for the design of their system, but they keep the freedom to make their own implementation choices during the top-down design.
The students gain plenty of engineering attitudes in designing systems and in control. They will automatically use these attitudes in other projects such that using good engineering practices become an automatism for them.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEESD10, Engineering Education in Sustainable Development, Gothenburg, Sweden, September 19-22, 2010
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 19 Sep 2010
EventFinds and Results from the Swedish Cyprus Expedition: A Gender Perspective at the Medelhavsmuseet - Stockholm, Sweden
Duration: 21 Sep 200925 Sep 2009


ConferenceFinds and Results from the Swedish Cyprus Expedition: A Gender Perspective at the Medelhavsmuseet


  • system design

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