AAE 55100: Design Theory and Methods for Aerospace Systems


This course provides an introduction to design theory and methods, with particular emphasis on those used in the aerospace industry. A wide range of topics and methods are covered. The course will be conducted in a seminar format, with students responsible for leading various discussions. Student participation in discussions, in addition to performance leading the discussions, will factor in the course grades. Several projects during the semester will allow students to put the techniques and theory discussed into practice for representative aerospace system-level design problems.

Format: 3 lecture / seminar discussion hrs per week

Credit hours: 3

Status: Elective, Design

Offered: Fall

Pre-requisite: AAE 251 (or equivalent), graduate or senior-level undergraduate standing

Co-requisite: None

Course Instructor: Professor Crossley

URL: http://roger.ecn.purdue.edu/~crossley/aae590f/Index.html

Text: none (various papers and excerpts)

Assessment Method: Course discussion and notebook 1/3; Homework projects 1/3; Final project 1/3

Course Objective:



This course introduces design theory and methods, with particular emphasis on methods used in the aerospace industry. Students are introduced to research topics and results in the field of design theory and methods that are applicable to aerospace systems. Students investigate, discuss, and apply design methods used in the aerospace industry. At the completion of the course, students will be able to apply topics from the course to formulate and solve open-ended aerospace engineering design problems.

Objectives include developing abilities to:

Read and evaluate technical papers about design theory and design methods

Lead course discussions about topics in design theory and methods

Assess, compare, and adapt engineering design methods for application to aerospace systems

Apply design methods to portions of the aerospace system design process

Necessary Background:

Exposure to the aerospace systems and the engineering design process (experience equivalent to AAE 251, AAE 450, or AAE 451). Academic maturity to prepare and lead class discussions about topics covered in the course.

Topics (number of Lectures):

1. Design Theory: Background. Significance of engineering design. Models of engineering design, descriptive and prescriptive. The human element in design. (4 classes)

2. The "Aerospace" Design Process: "21st Century Jet" (Boeing 777 example). Phases of design. Descriptions from aerospace design textbooks. (3 classes)

3. Design Specifications / Requirements: Design specifications. Customer needs / attributes. Engineering requirements. Quality Function Deployment (QFD) (5 lectures)

4. Concept Generation / Selection: Creative methods / brainstorming. Design fixation. Morphological charts. Weighted objectives. Pugh's Method. Aerospace industry examples. (8 lectures)

5. Design Decomposition: Functional decomposition. N2 diagrams. Design tasks. Opportunistic behavior. (3 lectures)

6. Improving Designs: Role of optimization in engineering design. Design of Experiments. Predicting main effects. Taguchi's DOE for design improvement. (5 lectures)

7. Process Design: Gantt charts. Pert diagrams. Scheduling issues. Managing complex design projects. (3 lectures)

8. Concurrent Engineering: Definitions. Integrated Product Teams (IPTs). Associated issues. (2 lectures)

9. Design for X: Design for assembly. Design for manufacture. (2 lectures)

Discussion of homework and final projects (3 lectures)

Relationship of course to program objectives:

The course supports AAE systems design portion of objective (1) by providing students with an appreciation of the complexity of aerospace systems and a set of approaches and methods to address aerospace systems design. Homework projects and the final design project require students to apply and assess methods discussed in the course to open-ended aerospace design problems (2a). Several of the homework projects require students to work in teams with four or five of their peers (2b). The homework and final projects include preparing a written technical report, and each student in the course is responsible for leading at least one in-class discussion (2c). Projects and reading materials for the course address many societal issues of aerospace design; for example, addressing customer attributes includes assessing many of the societal impacts of the design (4).

Prepared by: William A. Crossley

Date: February 16, 2001