If you think of anything that is human made, whether it’s a book, a car, a house or refrigerator, you will notice that its life cycle goes through 4 main stages. At the very beginning, someone has to think of making that thing, this process of Conceiving the idea of a product or service is indeed the very first step. Many ideas remain just that, ideas, but to take the idea one step further, people need to Design how the intended system, product or service will look like. The Design can be a sketch on a piece of paper or detailed drawing on a computer screen. After a product is designed, the next step will be to go ahead and make it, build it and bring it to life. We call this the “Implement” stage. Now that we have a tangible product, we need to Operate it safely and efficiently. So in nutshell, a system, product or a service will always go through this process of Conceive, Design, Implement, Operate, or CDIO in short.
Whenever we engage the employers and ask them what would you like engineering graduates to be trained in? Often, the answer is that industry requires holistic engineers who are able to innovatively Conceive, creatively Design, efficiently Implement and effectively Operate systems and products. Taylor’s School of Engineering is the only school in Malaysia that strategically opted to use the CDIO framework to educate engineers that are able to engineer. For the past decade, we used Project Based Learning and CDIO techniques to empower generations of engineers to unleash their full potential and be ready to address the Grand Challenges facing humanity in the 21st Century. The CDIO process is briefly described below
Working on real life projects, students learn how to use innovative thinking techniques to solve challenges and add value. They also Define customer needs and work towards developing technological concepts that meet or exceed these requirements. The concepts developed are economically viable, technologically feasible and environmentally sustainable while being desirable.
Students work in multidisciplinary teams to articulate the designs, dimensions and capabilities of the systems they are designing. They are trained in the art and science of decision-making and the use of cutting edge computerised tools to produce designs that are cost effective, safe to use and easy to manufacture.
At this stage students will use variety of manufacturing tools and techniques to implement their designs and bring them to life. This includes traditional manufacturing methods as well as high tech ones such 3D printing and computer aided manufacturing.
The implemented product or system is used to deliver the intended value.
CDIO is an innovative educational framework for training world-class engineers. This initiative started at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the United States. Besides MIT, CDIO membership comprises many leading world universities such as Duke University, Pennsylvania State University, University of Liverpool, University of Sydney, University of Auckland, Tsinghua University, Denmark Technical University of Denmark, Chalmers University and Taylor’s University. For more information you can check www.cdio.org