Integrating design and communication in engineering education: A collaboration between northwestern university and the rehabilitation institute of chicago

Penny L Hirsch*, Charles S Yarnoff

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


The required course for freshmen in Northwestern University's engineering school-a 2-quarter sequence called Engineering Design and Communication (EDC)-is noteworthy not only for its project-based focus on user-centered design, but also for its innovative integrated approach to teaching communication, teamwork, and ethics. Thanks to the collaboration between EDC faculty and staff at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, EDC students, at the beginning of their education, experience the excitement of solving problems for real clients and users. At the same time, these authentic design projects offer an ideal setting for teaching students how to communicate effectively to different audiences and perform productively as team members and future leaders in engineering.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)361-366
Number of pages6
JournalTopics in stroke rehabilitation
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2011



  • engineering communication
  • engineering ethics
  • freshman engineering
  • project-based instruction
  • teamwork
  • user-centered design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Community and Home Care
  • Clinical Neurology

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