Applications of WWW in the Education of Engineering Design Teams

Jack Hong, George Toye, Larry J. Leifer, Stanford Center for Design Research;;

Seminar on People, Computers, and Design
Stanford University September 29, 1995


ME210: Mechatronic Systems Design, is a graduate-level engineering design class offered by Stanford's Department of Mechanical Engineering. Every year, ME210 provides an environment for 14+ three-person teams to tackle a wide range of industry sponsored projects, each working with a $10,000 budget to deliver functional hardware at year's end.

In Autumn 1994, ME210 took on the additional challenge of being offered concurrently to both traditional on-campus students and off-campus Honors Co-op students through Stanford's Instructional Television Network(SITN, now known as the Stanford Center for Professional Development, SCPD). In this distributed environment, paper-based communications no longer reached the whole class in a timely fashion, and team members no longer had the benefit of working with partners side-by-side. To compensate, a suite of Web-centered services were deployed, and ME210 was moved to a completely Web-mediated classroom infrastructure.

We will discuss our experiences in the first year of web-mediated distance learning and teamwork, and demonstrate key technologies that have been enhanced for the class of 95-96.


Jack Hong is a Ph.D. candidate in the Design Division of Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University. He holds an Product Design Engineering from Stanford, a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering (Honors) and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Houston at University Park. His current research interests are in collaborative design tools, interdisciplinary design team dynamics and human-computer interaction.

George Toye, Ph.D. has a background in mechatronics and redundant control systems for complex computer-based systems. He is currently the associate director of the Stanford Center for Design Research, and is centrally involved in the center's study of engineering design activities, processes, and interactive learning. His current research activities include the ARPA funded project ("SHARE") to develop computer network based technology in support of collaborative design and manufacturing activities via the Internet, and the NSF's National Engineering Education Delivery System ("NEEDS") project, in which courseware modules can be found and distributed via the Internet.

Larry Leifer, Ph.D. is Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Stanford, Director of the Stanford Center for Design Research, and instructor of ME210. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering (1962), a Master of Science degree in Product Design (1963) and a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering (1969), all from Stanford University. He has published in the areas of diagnostic electrophysiology, functional assessment of voluntary movement, human operator information processing, rehabilitation robotics, design team protocol analysis, design knowledge capture and concurrent engineering.


Contact Jack Hong ( or read more about ME210 at <>


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