IED Unit 2: Engineering Design Process

Solving Real World Problems with the Engineering Process


This unit will give us an introduction to the Engineering Design Process and a chance to develop a unique solution to a real world problem.  The Engineering Design Process is what engineers of all kinds use to solve problems.  The Engineering Design Process is:

  • Define the Problem & Create a Design Brief
  • Research & Brainstorm
  • Pick a Solution
  • Build a Prototype
  • Test & Evaluate
  • Communicate Results

As we work through the Engineering Design Process, you will work with a small group to identify a real-world problem.  You will then develop an idea for a solution to the problem, write-up some statements about how your solution will solve the problem, and then design your solution in Autodesk before sharing your ideas.

  1. STEP 1: Work with your group to develop a design brief, research, and brainstorm possible solutions
  2. STEP 2: Work with your group to pick a solution, write-up how the solution will work, and develop a small business plan
  3. STEP 3: Work with your group to sketch your solutions using concept sketching, multi-view, and isometric sketching

When you’re done, you’ll understand the steps of the Engineering Design Process and will have a complete submission for UAF’s annual Arctic Innovation Design Competition!


(20 pts) About 3 days

The whole process starts with a Design Brief.  In this first step, you and your group will identify a problem you want to tackle and develop a design brief.  A good design brief will clearly state the problem, as well as the criteria and constraints of the solution.  You’ll also take time to research and brainstorm possible solutions.


(20 pts) About 3 days

Now that you have a list of ideas, the next step in our process is to clarify your chosen solution and make a plan for implementation.  Here you will work with your team to sketch your idea.  You’ll also write some small descriptions of how your solution will work, and make a small business plan.


(30 pts) About 3 days

Finally, your job will be to upload your team’s ideas to UAF’s Arctic Innovation Design Competition.  You’ll also take some time to make some nice careful sketches of your solution to make the communication of your idea smoother!

Part 1: Design Brief & Brainstorm

Clarify your problem, research, and brainstorm solutions

Be sure to copy the Engineering Design Process into your engineering notebook!

The first part of our unit starts with a discussion of the Engineering Design Process.  Watch the video on the Design Process and add to your notes in your engineering notebook.  Then, work with your team to clarify your design brief: state the problem in a single sentence and then describe why it’s a problem.  Go further and specify what criteria and constraints your solution must meet.  Have Mr. Benshoof approve your team’s design.  Finally, work with your team to research the topic online, then brainstorm at least 20 possible solutions to the problem.


Watch the video on the Engineering Design Process and add to your notes in your engineering notebook

Work with your team to develop your design brief, recording it in your engineering notebook in the proper format

 Have Mr. Benshoof approve your team’s design brief

 Work with your team to research the problem and brainstorm at least 20 ideas in your engineering notebook

The Engineering Design Process

Defining the Problem with a design brief

Research & Brainstorm

What’s Due In Part 1: Design Brief & Brainstorm

  • Engineering Design Process Notes
  • Design Brief
  • Benshoof’s Check-off
  • Research & Brainstorm

Here’s what’s due in Part 1: Design Brief & Brainstorm

  1. Notes on the Engineering Design Process in your engineering notebook
  2. Design Brief complete and recorded in your engineering notebook
  3. Mr. Benshoof’s approval of your design brief
  4. Research & 20 brainstormed ideas recorded in your engineering notebook

Part 2: Pick and Describe your solution

Clarify your solution and make a business plan

Review the Engineering Design Process

Once you’ve got your list of ideas, the next step is to choose what ideas will work to solve the problem and then organize your solution.  With your team, decide which of your brainstormed ideas can be combined into a workable solution.  Work with your team to clarify that solution, use a concept sketch to show what it will look like, and divide the writing prompts among your team.


Work with your team to decide what your final solution will be, who will write which parts of the submission, and what the name of your product would be.

 Summarize your solution in writing in your engineering notebook, then use a concept sketch to show what that solution will look like using either isometric or multiview sketching.  

 Write your assigned responses to the Arctic Innovation Design Challenge solution description and get them edited by a team-member.

 Have Mr. Benshoof check-off drawings and written responses

Choosing a solution


Making a business plan

Writing a good mini-essay

What’s Due In Part 2: Pick & Describe Your Solution

  • Solution Summary
  • Solution Sketch
  • Mini-Essays
  • Benshoof’s Check-off

Here’s what’s due in Part 2: Pick & Describe Your Solution

  1. A summary of the solution your team has chosen, written in your engineering notebook
  2. A concept sketch in your engineering notebook of your solution
  3. Your written mini-essay responses to the AIC Design Challenge questions
  4. Benshoof’s check-off on your solution & responses

Part 3: Design & Communicate

Create clear blueprints and share your work with others!

Example evaluation matrix

The final step to completing the engineering design process is to share your work with other people and evaluate your potential success.  As we finish this up, you’ll load your mini-essays into the Arctic innovation Challenge website.  Then you’ll learn about what an evaluation matrix is and create one to evaluate your own idea.  Have two classmates not from your design team evaluate your idea and record their feedback.  Then, have each person in your design team create a careful diagram of your proposed solution using both isometric and multiview sketching.


Upload your responses to the Arctic Innovation Design Competition website in the Junior Division!

 Create an evaluation matrix in your engineering notebook to evaluate the success of your product

 Find two people that aren’t in your design group to evaluate your idea using your evaluation matrix.  Record their feedback in your engineering notebook.

 Create both isometric and multiview sketches of your team’s solution.  Each person in your group needs to make their own sketches – they might not all be exactly the same, and that’s okay.

Submitting to the AIC

Using an evaluation matrix

Your Isometric & Multiview sketches

What’s Due In Part 3: Design & Communicate

  • Upload Mini-Essays to AIC
  • Evaluation Matrix
  • Solution Diagrams

Here’s what’s due in Part 3: Design & Communicate

  1. Upload your team’s mini-essays to the AIC Challenge website
  2. Create an evaluation matrix in your engineering notebook and have 2 other classmates evaluate your idea
  3. Create clear, careful diagrams of your proposed solution

Double Check: Unit Expectations

Check what you need to have completed by the unit deadline

The purpose of this unit is to practice using the Engineering Design Process to solve a problem.  You and your team need to work together to identify a problem and make a design brief, choose a solution and answer some questions, then make a business model, a decision matrix, and good sketches to share your idea.  This project should take you all the way through the Engineering Design Process for the first time.

Engineering Notebook:

(Part 1) There should be extensive notes on the entire Engineering Design Process

(Part 1) Your team’s design brief should be complete in your engineering notebook

(Part 1) You should have your list of at least 20 brainstormed ideas as well as your research notes

(Part 2) Your team’s solution should be clearly summarized in your notebook after your list of ideas

 (Part 2) A good concept sketch of your final solution

 (Part 3) Your team’s evaluation matrix as well as feedback from 2 other classmates about your solution

Building & Making:

 (Part 2) The mini-essays (no more than 2)  that you are responsible for should be complete, well written, and edited by one of your teammates

(Part 3) You should have made a detailed and labeled isometric sketch as well as a detailed multiview sketch of your solution.  Each team member needs to make their own sketches.

Checkpoints & Quizzes:

(Part 1) Benshoof should have checked-off your team’s completed design briefs

(Part 2) Benshoof should have approved your solution and mini-essays before they are submitted

 (Part 3) All of your team’s mini-essays should be uploaded to your team’s Arctic Innovation Design Competition portfolio by the deadline