Centre for Engineering Professional Practice and Engineering Education


What is CE2P2E?
Design is the foundation of all engineering disciplines. Design is the practical solution to real world problems. It is the activity that creates the concepts and develops the new and improved products, processes and technologies required by industry. Almost nothing we use or consume in a modern world has escaped input from engineering design. From bridges to computers, and tractors to packaged food, engineers have had a hand in their creation.

Do engineers work alone or in teams?
Design work today is accomplished by design teams. These teams are composed of people with a variety of technical and non-technical skills that include engineering, technology, marketing and others. Because successful teams don’t just happen, engineering students at the University of Manitoba are provided with opportunities to develop their team building skills.

Is Engineering Design always about developing something new?
Often when engineers are seeking solutions to problems they study how others have addressed similar problems. This provides a source of ideas that may be modified for use in an entirely different manner. Engineering design problems range from the "never done before" to "this needs refinement". Major infrastructure like bridges and roads are unique and require that the design be correct the first time. On the other hand, industrial products normally go through several redesign cycles to deal with problems and situations that were not foreseen in the original design. The basic approach / thought process in all of the above cases is the same.

How do engineers solve problems?
Engineers reduce large problems to a series of smaller solvable problems, and then reassemble the individual solutions into a total solution. For example, an engineer does not design an airplane, but many engineers design many parts which become an airplane. Ultimately as the parts are being assembled the design teams must compromise to assure that the overall objectives are met. The airplane must not only fly, it must be safe, affordable, manufactureable and marketable.

Can I specialize in Design Engineering?
Design engineering is fundamental to all engineering programs. Regardless of the program you select, you will gain experience in design engineering.

How do we teach design?
Our students begin taking design courses in first year. The exposure to design continues through to Capstone Design courses in the graduating year. Design teams work on the creation of solutions to increasingly complex open-ended problems. Design is the process and engineering science and analysis are the tools used to deliver the process. Typically when seeking an answer to an analysis question, there is only one right answer. In design there are many answers.

How does the Faculty of Engineering support design?
Most professors at university have advanced degrees in engineering science so that their strengths are in fundamental knowledge and applied research. To complement this academic strength, Engineers-in-Residence with many years of practice in industry have joined the Faculty to bring real world engineering experience to the staff and students.

We are the only Canadian school with an Associate Dean of Design Education. Our leadership position was recognized by the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) by the awarding of a Chair in Engineering Design. Its mandate is to advance the role of engineering design in undergraduate and graduate programs.