Faculty Responses to the Final Questions on Survey

The Content
Your final thoughts about Teaching Architectural Engineering Design.
The Questionnaire
Your thoughts about the questionnaire itself and the approach taken.
I would like to develop a course on the History of Structures. I'd like to get support from others who have interest and knowledge in this area. I'd like to see physical models used by other programs to demonstrate ideas. We have no model storage room, each instructor develops his/her own. I'd like to see what experiments people do in the lab. I don't want to reinvent each experiment in a strength of materials course, it would be good to see what others are doing. Same is true for MATLAB or EXCEL experiments, what have others done that is cool and worthwhile? It wasn't as painful as I thought it would be, sorry I took so long to respond.
To some degree the technical sides of AED constantly change (albeit slowly); however, what seems to be changing the most is how the different disciplines relate and work together in practice. It's very difficult to bring this in to the classroom unless you've had direct and current experience. At the same time, the university pace and schedule does not often allow faculty to obtain direct and practical experience. How are other programs dealing with this? Are they dealing with it? I'm very interested in the responses. Would have liked to have seen more on how practitioners are incorporated in to the AE programs.
I am not certain that most of us know how the nation views AE. All we really know is our own experience here at Drexel or from prior work experience. The real value of the survey should come from the other schools offering AE and how they compare to one another in what they are doing. The program here appears to be successful in that our graduates are welcomed by industry and they seem to give us good feedback on their experiences. That seems more valuable to me than how the faculty members view the program. At the end of their studies have our graduates realized their goals and prospered ? There should be room for answers like "I don't know or not applicable".
Still learning.

Good effort.

I found it difficult to complete the survey because I don't teach architectural engineering design. I almost exited a few times, but then re-read your message saying that you wanted input from non-AED faculty as well. I tend to think that AED faculty are probably best at assessing what the curriculum needs, just as I think that geotechnical faculty are probably better at assessing what geotechnical components must be taught. I hope my input is of some use, however.

Since I am peripherally involved with teaching AE design, some questions were difficult to answer. Were the answers to be my personal opinion or the my understanding of the general opinion that prevails at Drexel? (I teach some design that might be construed as AE design, but is not specific to AE.)
This questionnaire assumed several things that in fact turned out not to be valid assumptions: - That everyone agrees on a definition of Architectural Engineering - That everyone agrees that there is such a things as Architectural Engineering Design and what its content is With that said I'm personally still convinced of the value of AED and believe I've learned a lot from thinking about it and by working with others for this entire year. - Jim Mitchell In an ideal world I would have asked questions about the definition of Architectural Engineering because that's what my interviews have led me to consider as the first question that ought to be asked. As I noted above, my questions about teaching AED also made an implicit assumption that instructors used a single technique for an entire course, an assumption that often isn't justified. I wish that I'd been more nuanced in the way I asked those questions. - Jim Mitchell
I think the field is wide, broad, deep and can be extremely potent in the building industry. time will tell. Good ideas and interesting approach. Even if not statistically significant it is still useful to see trends.

Define some of the terms you use like modified studio, project based learning, socratic method, etc so we know how you are defining.

Well prepared.
Keep project relevant such that AED is the application of engineering theory for the design and integration of all building systems. Building Codes should be incorporated in all AED. Some questions were difficult to answer since I do not teach AED. However, through observation and discussion with colleagues, I felt I could provide informed input.
I think in all college programs the faculty should be evaluated highly on their desire to really be teaching rather than treating it as a job. If they treat it as a job their motivation and the students motivation will be low. The technical material that is taught is wasted if the students are not motivated It's okay
I believe there are better ways to do it (integrated 5-year programs) but also think programs should be allowed flexibility to adapt/continue their programs based on their resources and constituencies. I think it was fine and like you said, "not as bad as it first appears".

I am pleased that Professor Mitchell has taken up this area of research and look forward to reading his final report
I am about typed out. Good survey. Interesting project. I will be interested in the results.
Integration of all of the AE areas Outstanding work.
I've taught AE design for 22 years and I enjoy it. I think that I am pretty good at it but become frustrated with colleagues who don't have the experience and don't appreciate what they are missing. It would have been better if you sparated the questions into (a) disciplinary design and (b) interdisciplainry design.
I once heard an AE faculty member state that the only thing he knew about architecture was pretty pictures. Another faculty member felt that architectural design courses should only be taught during the summer. We hire faculty that has very little industrial and practical expierence. These faculty members feel that the architectural component is not important to architectural engineering. We promote them based on theortical approaches to their particular area of Architecture Engineering. This questionnaire is the beging of a much larger study or the continuation of What is AED or a definition of AE.
students need to be given organized blocks of information that they apply in a limited scope, and then also have experiences when the answer is open-ended. I think ABET recognizes this, and tries to encourage it with the A-K criteria. Best of luck! Academics sometimes can be so detached as to not see the forest for the trees...
The process of teaching architectural engineering design has to include the many disciplines that make up architectural engineering. Coordination between the disciplines and the varied requirements of each discipline must be understood to become an effective designer. It is the task of faculty of architectural engineering programs to give students the best environment for learing about the process of design as an architectural engineer. Good to see that someone is working towards gathering information on the ABET accredited AE programs - Though I always want more, as in a report on the information you have gathered - I think this information could be helpful in recruitment and promotion of the AE programs nationwide ...
Challenging, but great learning experinece. Great
Not much more to add that we didn't discuss in person. Good luck with the study. Happy New Year! xxxxx
An AE program, based on the nature of the program, should contain more design content than most engineering programs. AE design can take different forms, but should involve the solution to problems encountered in AE practice. The definition of AE design will differ with each respondent, which could make it difficult to interpret the data.
* Find & share approaches to better prepare students to adopt integrated AE design approaches * Foster contact with aE professionals & Industry (too fragmented!) Good approach to tackle the issue of how to improve AE design in AREN programs.

This is a well-crafted survey. Well done!
too much work to teach a good AED course which was not credited appropriately in department or college evaluation of faculty annual performance
I believe that it's all about the integration. One opportunity that we have not sufficiently explored is communication among the individual engineering design courses through common design contexts. For example, there would seem to be ways to promote integrated HVAC and electrical design by using common case studies or buildings for specific design projects. I would have preferred that you define AED at the beginning of the questionaire. While your approach may accommodate more diverse definitions, I was often confused whether we were talking about the same thing.
I only teach one course that is considered a design course and I would like to benefit from your findings and other findings to improve my teaching. No comments.
Suggest we do more of it. As good as can be expected given the "sterile" nature of the exercise.
It's heavy but not given much credit. A very needed research, good job!
We need many more ARCE programs in the U.S.! Especially in the N.E., S.E., and far West. Expansion of ARCE should be our national thrust. See you soon -- have a safe trip.
I teach the Intro to Architectural Engineering and we have two team-based design projects in the course. These are freshmen. I think it is important that they be introducted to design the first semester.
Incorporation of all the design disciplines into the curriculum, including construction management, to produce students who are sensitive to all the possibilities and constraints in the process of designing a building.
I enjoy the opportunity to teach design based classes and share my experience in architecture and construction managment.
Very important. Learning the design process and how to interact in that design process is invaluable to a starting engineer. I thought it worked very well.
AED is a necessity in any AE program! It provides a communications link to both professions. Without it (AED) you may just as well take the term architectural engineer and rename it to building engineer. None, thanks!
I believe that my previous comments cover it all as far as the tactical issues are concerned. Strategically, we should move toward engineering (all disciplines) becoming a professional school with a "back to basics"4-year pre-engineering curriculum laden with arts and sciences (plus probably some business) courses followed by a 3- to 4-year engineering doctoral practice degree similar to the MD and JD in medicine and law, respectively. The PhD would continue as a research degree. Question 2, page 2, forced me to state a discipline of my unit (department) even though "other (described)" was the only response I felt was applicable to my stand-alone construction unit. Otherwise, the survey was straightfoward and well-organized.

I look forward to your results

Very comprehensive work! Thank you! I wish to have choices like "Not Applicable" and "Not Sure".
1. It may be good to have full-time or part-time instructors from the industry for MEP (capstone) courses, I think. 2. Make sure delivering fundamentals of structural engineering/design (with very good homework problems and timely discussion on those during classes) - I believe that with fundamentals, students can eventually do a wide array of structural building design. 3. Admit that both research and teaching are equally important, so balance them. Coordination with Architecture is needed, but it may be the most difficult part. In general they may not care about AE programs. What could be strategically done on this part?
ArE design is more than just the sum of its geotechnical, structural, construction, and BES parts. It is the integration of those parts into buildings that perform well, that are sustainable, and whose design is informed by architectural concepts.
l am not convinced that teaching AED is any different that teaching other courses. We do have architectural courses and integration courses that require a different approach than problem solving courses. But I am not convinced that in general AED courses require a diffenent methodology since to me nearly all of the courses we teach in AE are AED courses. I thought it was fine. I hope that you get what you were hoping for.
I have observed that the issue of integration is usually given little attention if any. Also, lifecycle economic analysis and sustainability do not always get the required attention. Congratulations! Your work will be a major contribution and will clarify what AE and AE design should be.
I specifically did not consider architectural design when answering these questions, only architectural engineering design. We have architectural design courses (two) and these are very important to the curriculum, but they are not engineering courses (a fact that our student evaluations remind us of). As I learn more about architectural engineering versus architecture I see that the two fields have significant differences and architectural engineering design and architectural design are also quite different. This sort of tension is good and we see it in other fields as well (environmental engineering versus applied microbiology or applied chemistry, for example) - we just need to continually recognize that architects and AEs necessarily have different jobs to do but they must work well together. I think the questionnaire will generate a lot of interesting information. This should hopefully provide some initial analysis of where we are with respect to AED and also start a strong dialogue (multilogue?) across the universities involved in AE instruction.
Identifying "design" in programs that focus in construction could be a challenge. Fine
At this stage in my career, I teach more graduate classes and undergraduate engineering science and basic structural engineering. I used to teach R/C design, but not so much any more. Otherwise, I may have had stronger opinions on the matter. Some of the questions were vague and I tried to interpret them literally. Comments are noted in my answers whenever I made an interpretation of the question.
I think I've given you a bunch from an outsider's perspective. No matter what areas we emphasize in engineering (analysis, design, construction, etc.), it ultimately is in some way trying to understand the design process, either someone else's in analysis and construction managment, or our own in the creative design process. Probably the name of all engineering schools should end with "and Design"... And if you don't believe me, ask xxx! :) Great to meet you, Jim. Maybe continue the discussion some time over a cheese steak. :) xxxxx
Critical to the degree. Well conceived. It was interesting to take part in this study.
I think the key word is 'exploratory'. Ideally students should understand that most problems don't have a single optimum solution. So they should produce multiple solutions and evaluate them against one another. But again I think it's good that different schools develop different approaches. ABET should not be too prescriptive, but I do think that collaborative design is essential. Students should not be misled that design is a solitary pursuit. Jim- my colleague xxxxxx has a lot of thoughts about ABET requirements wrt cross-disciplinary design teams, so you should plan to spend some time talking to him.
You'll proably see a scattering of various definitions for AED. I think integration is extremely important going forward. This appears in the NAAB for their new criteria (1999) 'comprehensive design.' Keep in mind the changes with integrated project delivery (IPD) from the AIA. They redefined how and when engineers enter a project. Schematic design is gone. Leadership... Please send me an e-mail if you have any further questions. -xxxxxx
Update: 6/10/09