Engineering problem solving design project: Emergency/Homeless Shelter Design

Julie L.P. Jessop, Tonya Peeples

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The Emergency/Homeless Shelter Design Project was developed for "Engineering Problem Solving I", a freshman engineering course, based on an exercise presented in Engineering Your Future: A Project-Based Introduction to Engineering. The purpose of the project is to encourage students to apply their design skills to serve society. Students are challenged to design a cardboard structure to keep people warm in cold weather, which will be warmed with sunlight and body heat. Classroom activities that help the teams in studying the issues of housing design include a guest lecture by the CEO of PEER Consultants, P.C. (an international civil and environmental engineering consultancy), brainstorming sessions to generate ideas for the design, a virtual building assignment using Energy-10 software to evaluate the energy efficiency of a variety of building materials, and lectures on oral and written communications of technical material. Teams of four first-year students write a proposal for the design of a low-cost shelter and then build and test a prototype of the structure using a basic kit provided to them. The designs are demonstrated during the final week of classes in a poster session where students, faculty and staff are invited to view the shelters and technical posters describing the designs and testing results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5493-5501
Number of pages9
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jan 1 2005
Event2005 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: The Changing Landscape of Engineering and Technology Education in a Global World - Portland, OR, United States
Duration: Jun 12 2005Jun 15 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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