team3-2011

E10 Mechanical Engineering Module: Human-Centered Sustainable Product Design

Teaching Design Thinking and Doing


 E10 Mechanical Engineering Module: Human-Centered Sustainable Product Design

Instructor: Alice M. Agogino

Module Description: How do engineers design successful, sustainable products? Students in this module will follow the human-centered design process to investigate the needs of stakeholders and develop sustainable solutions for one of several projects. This sustainable product development process includes customer needs analyses, conceptual design, prototyping, testing and life cycle analyses. Various prototyping tools will be available, including our new rapid prototyping equipment. Students can expect to finish this module with an understanding of what sustainability means, how designers draw from sustainability concepts, and the process used to generate and evaluate sustainable solutions. Funding will be available for design development and prototyping.

This is a six week module in Engineering 10: Engineering Design and Analysis, is an introduction to the profession of engineering and its different disciplines through a variety of modular design and analysis projects. Hands-on creativity, teamwork, and effective communication are emphasized. Common lecture sessions in E10 address the essence of engineering design, the practice of engineering analysis, the societal context for engineering projects and the ethics of the engineering profession. Students develop design and analysis skills, and practice applying these skills to illustrative problems drawn from various engineering majors.

Module Schedule: The Mechanical Engineering module provides first year students a broad introduction to the profession of engineering and engineering design through team-based design projects using a human-centered design approach and early prototypes for customer and user feedback. The lecture and lab schedule is summarized below, followed by a list of the project choices.

  • Week 1 Lecture: What is Human-centered Design? Need Finding and Contextual inquiry. Teamwork and Personality Differences. Good design/ bad design. IDEO Video.
  • Week 1 Lab: Mission statement. Team formation activities. Contextual inquiry activity. Do user needs observations over weekend and bring to lab next week.
  • Week 2 Lecture: Sustainable Product and Building Design. Concepts. Life cycle thinking. Sustainable design case studies. Recycle: computer example. Creativity. Functional methods for structured brainstorming. Framing concepts. metaphors. Benchmarking and concept selection. How to test concepts. Examples: Segway and Seguro.
  • Week 2 Lab: List of needs. organize needs. Benchmarking (competitive analysis). brainstorming, personas.
  • Week 3 Lecture: Benchmarking. Concept Selection Testing. Green building design tour and lecture. Review of final deliverables. Early Prototypes: Why prototype? Types and low fidelity methods. Mood lighting testing. Biomimetics in Design.
  • Week 3 Lab: Revise mission. Develop concepts. Concept testing plan.
  • Week 4 Lecture: Advanced Prototyping. Testing. High fidelity prototyping. Seguro thermal comfort testing. Design for assembly and manufacture. Ethics in testing. Class exercise. Prototyping tours: student machine shop, life cycle analysis, solid modeling.
  • Week 4 Lab: Concept development and prototyping. Concept testing.
  • Week 5 Lecture: Finalizing design and prototyping. Human-power analysis. Design for the environment. Materials and dematerialization. Nike case study. Design for Emerging Regions. Communications tips. Peer Review.
  • Week 5 Lab: Prototyping and concept development.
  • Week 6 Lecture: Guest Speakers: Prof. Kazerooni and industry guests industry Mitchell Heinrich and Mike Lin.
  • Week 6 Lab: Presentation. Teacher evaluation. Sample student presentations from Spring 2009:
    • L.A.S.E.R. (Learning About Sustainable Energy Resources Golden Gate Park Wind Energy Center)
    • iLearn (creation of an educational tool that aids in learning and understanding concepts outside of the classroom through a mobile digital device)

Project Descriptions: At the start of the module student select their preference from the choice of projects below. Most students get their first choice. The project offerings vary every year to take advantage of timely topics and current research opportunities. Each team will have a mentor to guide their work; all projects are associated with Professor Agogino’s BEST (Berkeley Energy and Sustainable Technologies) Lab.

Smart Mood Lighting: How does light translate into mood or emotion? Light can be used for more than simply illuminating a space for work – it can be used to communicate, set a tone or stimulate a sense of well being. Mood lighting is used in the theater, restaurants and on the dance floor. In this project we give you tools and equipment to design ways that individuals or groups could personalize and control mood lighting using energy-efficient LEDs. You will have the opportunity to explore this relationship between art and design using the popular Arduino microcontrollers to take various sensor readings and analyze data to inform their work as well as to build a prototype of your design. Possible directions include exploring how mood lighting could be used to communicate to users? Or personalize lighting for entertainment, such as changing lighting on the dance floor to match your mood, clothes or impression of the music. This work builds on the Smart Lighting project.

Black Cloud – Art and Technology for Sustainability: This project is hosted by Art Studio Professor Greg Niemeyer who is working on a project for the Berkeley Center for New Media (http://bcnm.berkeley.edu/). His project is called “Black Cloud”. This project involves building sensor packets that can be placed world-wide and used to monitor environmental attributes in key locations. The data collection will be used as a basis for art, games, education and design projects that mix the physical with the virtual to engage students and stakeholders (e.g., real estate developers, environmentalists) using actual air quality sensors hidden through the participating cities to monitor neighborhood pollution. Our team is charged with placing a sensor in both Berkeley and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. You will also need to find the best way to measure dust, especially PM2.5. This project would involve some background research on the health risks of dust, measuring methodologies, and an implementation of Sharp 06ZR-BM-P sensors on an Arduino Board.

There are two projects associated with designing culturally sensitive, sustainable housing for the Pinoleville Pomo Nation (PPN). Students in both PPN projects will have the opportunity to attend an Innovation Workshop in Ukiah on the Pinoleville-Pomo Community Center.

Sustainable Housing with the Pinoleville-Pomo Nation (PPN): Solar Thermal Energy Generation: The Most energy consumed in the average American home goes to space and water heating; the PPN spend a large amount of their income on heating fuel (propane), and combustion of this fuel is a large contributor to their carbon footprint. The good news is that carbon-free methods of heating do exist. Solar-thermal heat generation is a well-established technology; these systems are usually used for heating water, but they can provide space heating through hydronic heating, as well. In this module, students will examine renewable heating technologies, and investigate applications for these systems (including water and space heating). The PPN will be building a community center and low-cost housing on tribal lands, which will be an exemplar of sustainable building design, and of Pomo culture; students in this rotation will co-design energy systems and sustainable housing for the PPN. In this module, students will examine renewable heating technologies, and investigate applications for these systems (including water and space heating). For their final project, students will design a solar-thermal system for housing on PPN lands.

Sustainable Housing with the PPN: Renewable Electricity Generation: The Worldwide, one of the largest contributors to global warming is electricity generation. More than 50% of electricity is generated by coal combustion, which is notorious for both its climate change impacts, and the creation of acid rain. The PPN spend a large amount of their income on electricity; and they have expressed interest in implementing renewable energy technologies on their lands, both to reduce their environmental footprint and utility bills. In this module, students will examine renewable electricity generation potential on PPN lands, and explore existent PV technologies and systems; rooftop installations and medium-scale community systems will be assessed. For their final project, students will design a solar-electricity system for housing on PPN lands.

Mobile Learning: While conventional learning occurs in a classroom, there are a lot of opportunities for students outside of the classroom, through their everyday and personal encounters with the world. Mobile devices, such as MP3 players or smart phones, are potential ways of delivering and interacting with educational content in creative, collaborative, and context-sensitive ways. We would like for E10 students to investigate the needs of educators and parents when it comes to learning outside the classroom. We would like students to demonstrate this understanding through a scenario or proof-of-concept prototype of a mobile learning application that would help educators and parents find and use activities to teach about science, math, engineering and technology. This team will receive mentorship from specialists on both campus and at the Lawrence Hall of Science.

Greening Your Dorm: The CARES (Community Assessment of Renewable Energy and Sustainabilty) research has shown that living sustainably, having access to accurate environmental data, and having implementable solutions are of major concerns to consumers. The research indicates that people would be more eager to adopt a sustainable lifestyle if they are able to collaborate, share and work together with others. CARES seeks to help reduce climate change by being the first to close the loop of assessment, advisement and implementation of a more sustainable lifestyle. The focus of this module will be on greening our residence halls and student housing. Student will develop sustainability and renewable energy designs and solutions that can be used to reduce the environmental impact of dorms and improve the residents level of sustainability.

Seguro Materials Testing: Migrant farm workers in the Central Valley work in fields that have been sprayed with pesticides. The pesticides get on their clothes and skin, and then the farm workers carry the pesticides to their families when they go home at the end of the day. Seguro has been working on designing a suit, goggles, gloves, and other clothing apparel to protect farm workers. Products must be affordable, comfortable, attractive, and easy to use. Based on extensive user-needs analysis, a design for a protective suit is in progress, and several prototypes have already been produced. Students will have an opportunity to test the prototypes we have developed to see how cool people remain when they work in them under hot conditions using body sensors. As a team, you will also be able to test out the material properties of the suit under realistic weather conditions. You will also be asked to think of creative revisions to the suit. See the Seguro Pesticide Protection website for more information.

Wind Energy in Golden Gate Park: This team will have an opportunity to work with a group trying to restore the old Dutch Windmill at the Western-most end of Golden Gate Park. In this project you will do a feasibility study of what is required, how much energy can be generated and design educational activities and dispays around the windmill. You will be provided with wind turbine spec sheets and will be able to use an analysis program for the power curves. Dan Kammen in the energy resources group is the sponsor for this project. Students will learn how to use wind energy analysis software, as well as apply life cycle analysis techniques.

E10 in the News and Blogs

  • Sustainable Social Design: UC Berkeley – Pinoleville-Pomo Nation Collaboration blog.
  • Student design embraced by Pinoleville Pomo Nation, Forefront feature article by Abby Cohn, Spring 2009.”What started as a six-week project for engineering freshmen is helping to create culturally sensitive and energy-efficient housing for a small California Indian tribe. A yurt-style house design conceived in last spring’s E10, Engineering Design and Analysis, was used as the base concept for several successful housing grant applications by members of the Pinoleville Pomo Nation (PPN), who will use the funds to build up to 26 new homes in the Mendocino County community of Ukiah, California. Student design embraced by Pinoleville Pomo Nation, Forefront feature article by Abby Cohn, Spring 2009. “What started as a six-week project for engineering freshmen is helping to create culturally sensitive and energy-efficient housing for a small California Indian tribe. A yurt-style house design conceived in last spring’s E10, Engineering Design and Analysis, was used as the base concept for several successful housing grant applications by members of the Pinoleville Pomo Nation (PPN), who will use the funds to build up to 26 new homes in the Mendocino County community of Ukiah, California. “There’s an acute need for housing here,” says David Edmunds, environmental director for the tribe, which has about 300 members scattered throughout northern California. “Housing is considered a linchpin for a lot of things the tribe wants to accomplish.” Sustainability is also important to tribal members, and this spring new teams of E10 students are investigating the possibility of retrofitting existing Pomo homes with solar hot water heaters, photovoltaic systems and other energy-efficient improvements.” More on the project can be found at the website for the Pinoleville Pomo Nation Collaboration.
  • A Real-Life Lesson in Design, Innovations: Research and News from Berkeley Engineering, Vol. 2 Issue 9, October 2008. What started as a six-week project for freshmen engineering students may create culturally sensitive and energy-efficient housing for a small California Indian tribe. A roundhouse-style design conceived in last spring’s E10 Engineering Design and Analysis course has been embraced by members of the Pinoleville Pomo Nation. The tribe plans to submit the UC Berkeley concept when it applies for federal funding to build up to 25 new homes in the Mendocino County community of Ukiah. This project will also be featured in a new course by Professor Galen Cranz on “Socially Conscious Design”
  • Chabot’s TechBridge Newsletter, Fred T. Korematsu Discovery Academy and Esperanza Academy, highlighted our mobile learning project and our pilot classroom project in the 5th grade class of the Fred T. Korematsu Discovery Academy and Esperanza Academy in December 2006. What better way to introduce engineering than with a fun lesson introduced by engineering students from the University of California, Berkeley. Professor Alice Agogino and her graduate students in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Cal piloted curriculum on simple machines with PDAs. After a hands-on activity and mini-lesson on simple machines the girls were given PDAs and invited on a scavenger hunt. Exploring their classrooms and school yard, the girls captured photos of inclined planes, levers, and pulleys. The following week, the girls viewed their photos and tested their knowledge, identifying the simple machines and describing how they work. With a field trip planned for later in the year to U.C. Berkeley, the girls from the Korematsu and Esperanza Academies we hope to continue to support the girls’ interest in engineering.
  • Designing for the greater good E 10 class creates gear to protect farm workers from pesticides , “Laborers in California’s agricultural valleys are routinely exposed to pesticides. They inhale pesticides from the air, drink pesticides in the water, and wear them in their clothes. The result isn’t good, said ME professor Alice Agogino. Studies have found that human exposure to pesticides is linked to cancer, birth defects, stillbirth, infertility and nervous system damage. Agogino asked her E 10 Engineering Design and Analysis students to help. Their assignment? Design a cost-effective and user-friendly product that would protect farm workers as they go about their jobs. . . . Engineering News, Vol. 76, No10S, March 28, 2005. This work was partially funded by a gift award from P&G and the Industrial Design Society of America. Also showcased in Engineering News Special Commencement Issue, May 16 , 2005 Vol. 76, no. 15S.