Abstract

Improving the creativity and innovativeness of U.S. graduate students is a mandate for national competitiveness and social well-being. Despite this imperative, many are uncertain about how to best prepare students for tackling the complex design problems of the future, some that we know about and others yet to be uncovered. With this in mind, we convened a two-day workshop at the National Science Foundation (NSF) in Arlington, VA to discuss the challenges, successes, and future directions for interdisciplinary graduate design programs that have recently emerged or are being established to address this critical need. Not including NSF personnel, 42 people from academia and industry gathered to learn about nine existing interdisciplinary design programs. Three panels were also held to discuss: (1) overcoming interdisciplinary differences in research and teaching, (2) industry perspectives on interdisciplinary design programs, and (3) future directions and program developments. A number of common themes emerged from the workshop, including the disciplinary characteristics of interdisciplinary design, the varying perspectives on the design process, pedagogical approaches toward teaching interdisciplinary design, structuring interdisciplinary design degrees, and sustainability of an interdisciplinary design discipline. Based on the dialogue at the workshop and our analysis of the common themes, we offer ten recommendations divided into three areas: (1) advance interdisciplinary design activities, (2) enhance interdisciplinary design programs, and (3) support interdisciplinary design research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference 2009, DETC2009
Pages553-563
Number of pages11
EditionPART A
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 25 2010
Event2009 ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, DETC2009 - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 30 2009Sep 2 2009

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference 2009, DETC2009
NumberPART A
Volume8

Other

Other2009 ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, DETC2009
CountryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA
Period8/30/099/2/09

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Cite this

Simpson, T. W., Hunter, S. T., Bryant-Arnold, C., Parkinson, M. B., Barton, R. R., Celento, D., & Messner, J. (2010). Interdisciplinary graduate design programs: Results and recommendations from a NSF workshop. In Proceedings of the ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference 2009, DETC2009 (PART A ed., pp. 553-563). (Proceedings of the ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference 2009, DETC2009; Vol. 8, No. PART A). https://doi.org/10.1115/DETC2009-86699