Engineering Design Process

726 Words3 Pages
Engineering Design Process Flight decks on planes are a complex series of buttons, switches, knobs and lights. But pilots use each of these controls to operate a different piece of equipment and navigate the plane safely. How do engineers design the flight deck so it works most efficiently for a pilot? Its questions like that which must be asked and successfully answered for a piece of equipment to be functional and successful in a plane. Kirschen Seah is a systems engineer for a commercial avionics electronics company. She works closely with other engineers in her company, as well as with customers to imagine, design and evaluate new flight deck controls. Understanding the Design Process You may wonder how they come up with the design for…show more content…
The designer starts making a rough model by using simple things like clay and ping-pong balls. Keeping the materials and design simple and flexible allows the designer to easily experiment with and change the prototype. A prototype is the first working draft of a piece of equipment. Once the designer is satisfied with the shape, they make a drawing of the controller on a computer. Using the computer allows the team to change the components shape and move the knobs and switches around easily. Once they have an initial concept drawn up for the controller, they can "print" a three-dimensional copy of the controller using a special device called a stereolithography printer. This lets them handle the controller and check out the feel and position of the buttons, knobs and trackball. If they want to change their position it is still easy to do at this phase. If this all goes well, they are ready for testing. Kirschen helps with the projects by providing hardware and software, which simulate an aircraft flight deck. This mockup allows designers to test out new designs. Here designers can evaluate their projects in a dynamic flight simulation and make sure they work correctly and are easy for the pilots to use. Once the component has successfully passed on the requirements it is ready for delivery to the client. How Can You Think Like and Engineer Engineering and science are largely about using a process to ask and answer
Open Document