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ERIC Number: EJ872659
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Feb
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 9
ISSN: ISSN-0746-3537
Optimization, an Important Stage of Engineering Design
Kelley, Todd R.
Technology Teacher, v69 n5 p18-23 Feb 2010
A number of leaders in technology education have indicated that a major difference between the technological design process and the engineering design process is analysis and optimization. The analysis stage of the engineering design process is when mathematical models and scientific principles are employed to help the designer predict design results. The optimization stage of the engineering design process is a systematic process using design constraints and criteria to allow the designer to locate the optimal solution. The members of the National Center for Engineering and Technology Education (NCETE) have identified optimization as an important concept in engineering design. This article focuses specifically on "optimization" as a way to inform technology educators about the concept and provides an example of optimization through the case of Charles Lindbergh's famous 1929 flight from New York to Paris. The author presents a historical case using Lindbergh's own words from his biography, "The Spirit of St. Louis" (1953), to illustrate that he used an optimization process to make design decisions about his plane and flight, which led to his success much more than just being "Lucky Lindy." (Contains 1 table and 1 online resource.)
International Technology Education Association (ITEA). 1914 Association Drive Suite 201, Reston, VA 20191-1539. Tel: 703-860-2100; Fax: 703-860-0353; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: France (Paris); New York