Integrating Risk Management Technique Into An Introductory Engineering Course

Integrating Risk Management Technique Into An Introductory Engineering Course

N. Ho, A. Davis, W. Munsch (2012).  Integrating Risk Management Technique Into An Introductory Engineering Course. 11.

The ability of engineering students to identify and mitigate risks in a design project is an essential skill desired for professional engineering practice. However, this skill is not adequately addressed in undergraduate curriculum.

This paper discusses the utilization of the CDIO (Conceiving, Designing, Implementing, Operating) framework to adapt and integrate NASA’s N x M Risk Matrix into a first year introduction to mechanical engineering course, and to evaluate student achievement. The paper first presents an overview of risk management and its application in aerospace. The paper next describes how the NASA N x M Risk Matrix is adapted and incorporated into an introduction to mechanical engineering course at California State University, Northridge, which was developed based on CDIO Standard 4. The Risk Matrix was integrated into the course’s design build project, which requires students to work in teams to: 1) identify the risks in the project; 2) write simple risk statements describing the likelihood of the undesirable risk/event occurring and the severity of the consequences should the undesirable risk/event occur; 3) research, implement and document mitigation steps to reduce the risks throughout the different phases of the project; and 4) discuss how the implemented mitigation steps affect each risk statement.

Evaluation results from a self-report survey and Final Design Presentation assessment show that students are able to demonstrate a working knowledge of the basic concepts, and for the most part, were able articulate those concepts correctly. Several results were identified that represent improvement opportunities for the next course, as well as ways for integrating risk mitigation method into the curriculum. 


Authors (New): 
Nhut Ho
Austin Davis
William Munsch
Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, Inc., USA
California State University, USA
Risk management
Introduction to Engineering
CDIO standard 4
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