University of Toronto, Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering

Engineering Strategies & Practice (ESP)

About the Course

APS111,  APS112, APS113, APS111t, APS112t

The role of engineering in society, our relationship with the environment, and the potential and importance our work holds for people are themes in Engineering Strategies & Practice (ESP). This innovative course is designed to foster excitement for engineering through projects that combine creativity and logical methodology. Effective use of written, oral, and graphic professional communication is developed as the term progresses. ESP is a two-course sequence: ESP I in the Fall term and ESP II in the Winter term.

Engineering Strategies & Practice has a clear emphasis on design and communication. The design component is used as a methodology to accomplish several of the learning objectives. It is a vehicle for understanding and practicing problem solving and for developing communication skills. In addition, design problems naturally require a holistic approach to problem solving that takes into account social, environmental, and human factors as design constraints. They offer students a larger view of the scope of engineering, which will gradually be filled in by the subdisciplines of engineering as they go through their undergraduate program. The course objective is to start encouraging students right away in first year to synthesize and integrate their knowledge in the broader engineering context.

The design process is introduced and hands-on projects give students a chance to grapple with the challenges of engineering design. Writing and reading, as engineering activities, are introduced. Students will also learn how to identify social, human, and environmental factors as frontline design considerations. In the second half of the first term, students will participate in a technology-related topical seminar. In small groups, the technical, social, and political issues associated with the chosen topic will be debated and each student will make a presentation on one related aspect.

ESP II focuses on tackling a design project from beginning to end. Students will learn the basics of project management, how to approach a complex problem and break it down into solvable parts, and how to acquire and use information in the design process. In the Winter term, the students team up to work on a major design project. Working with a client, they will go through a complete design process to develop a workable solution to meet the client's need. The end result will be a portfolio of written and graphical work and an oral presentation.

Engineering Strategies & Practice Office

Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering
35 St. George Street, Room 149
Toronto, ON M5S 1A4

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