Practice based learning for automotive engineering design students

Christian McLening*, John Owen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputConference publication


The automotive industry combines a multitude of professionals to develop a modern car successfully. Within the design and development teams the collaboration and interface between Engineers and Designers is critical to ensure design intent is communicated and maintained throughout the development process. This study highlights recent industry practice with the emergence of Concept Engineers in design teams at Jaguar Land Rover Automotive group. The role of the Concept Engineer emphasises the importance of the Engineering and Design/Styling interface with the Concept engineer able to interact and understand the challenges and specific languages of each specialist area, hence improving efficiency and communication within the design team. Automotive education tends to approach design from two distinct directions, that of engineering design through BSc courses or a more styling design approach through BA and BDes routes. The educational challenge for both types of course is to develop engineers and stylist's who have greater understanding and experience of each other's specialist perspective of design and development. The study gives examples of two such courses in the UK who are developing programmes to help students widen their understanding of the engineering and design spectrum. Initial results suggest the practical approach has been well received by students and encouraged by industry as they seek graduates with specialist knowledge but also a wider appreciation of their role within the design process.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDS 69: Proceedings of E&PDE 2011, the 13th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education
EditorsAhmed Kovacevic, William Ion, et al
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2011
Event13th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education - London, United Kingdom
Duration: 8 Sept 20119 Sept 2011


Conference13th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education
Abbreviated titleE&PDE 2011
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • automotive design
  • concept engineer
  • design
  • engineer
  • practice based learning
  • stylist


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