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Teaching Engineering Materials Through the Design-Centric Programme (DCP) at the National University of Singapore

Prof Seh Chun Lim | National University of Singapore

Teaching Engineering Materials Through the Design-Centric Programme (DCP) at the National University of Singapore

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The large number of engineering graduates entering the job market in Asia every year and the increasing mobility of talents globally have presented considerable challenges to educational institutions on how best to produce engineering graduates who would be competitive in their engineering profession. As part of its effort to transform undergraduate engineering education, the Faculty of Engineering at National University of Singapore has taken the bold step to experiment with a different way of teaching engineering through the Design-Centric Programme (DCP). The DCP offers a platform for experiential learning and thinking-out-of-the-box through modules and projects addressing complex issues within three broad themes ? Engineering in Medicine, Smart Sustainable Cities, and Future Transportation Systems. One key differentiating feature of the DCP is that students enrolled in this programme will form project groups to undertake a 3-year-long project. The groups comprise students from the different engineering disciplines, such as Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, etc., thus recreating the real-world multi-disciplinary environment. Through careful observation of users' needs, the DCP students develop the ability to identify problems that could be addressed through meaningful engineering solutions with the potential to create considerable societal impact. The adoption of Design Thinking and Systems Thinking has also led the DCP students to develop creative solutions to these real-life problems in a holistic manner. In this talk, the pedagogical philosophy of the DCP will be elucidated with examples of how DCP students learn engineering materials through this experiential learning pathway.