Virtual Product Development Study Courses Evolution and Reflections

DS 58-10: Proceedings of ICED 09, the 17th International Conference on Engineering Design, Vol. 10, Design Education and Lifelong Learning, Palo Alto, CA, USA, 24.-27.08.2009

Year: 2009
Editor: Norell Bergendahl, M.; Grimheden, M.; Leifer, L.; Skogstad, P.; Lindemann, U.
Author: Zavbi, Roman; Kolsek, Tomaz; Duhovnik, Joze
Series: ICED
Section: Design Education and Lifelong Learning
Page(s): 113-124


The product development teams become organizationally, geographically and culturally dispersed over the globe. The strategic alliance of several European universities has formed an "E-GPR" (European Global Product Realization) study course as a response to the product development challenges. The effective means for long-distance communication enabled intensive collaboration between competitive student teams. The industrial partners provided the project tasks to be solved within a short one semester time and required functional prototypes. We describe the setup of the course, the results, and provide some reflections. The course evolved during its repetitions over 7 consecutive years. The project work has been thoroughly monitored and the results have been assessed and quantified. The students should gain valuable experience in communication, organization, public presentation of work and prototyping and thus should better be prepared to tackle challenges associated with working in contemporary companies operating in a fierce business environment.

Keywords: Virtual product development, Virtual team, Engineering education, Project based learning


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