Ethical Human Centered Design: Practical Approaches for Aerospace Engineering Education

Kaustubh Ray, Breana Cappuccilli, McKenna Eichenauer, Jacob G. Hunter, Brandon E. Sells, Tahira Reid

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Emerging aerospace technologies are complex socio-technical systems which have increasingly significant social and ethical implications. Therefore, design frameworks that focus solely on the technical feasibility of an aerospace solution are potentially limited in scope and impact. Incorporating existing ethicality/morality frameworks with human-centered design may augment traditional engineering design approaches to achieve more innovative solutions to aerospace challenges. However, this area of research remains a novel topic in design engineering and has yet to be explored in a controlled, comparative study. This research explores the influence of intentional design frameworks on outcomes of rapid design challenges for aerospace applications. A clearly defined study methodology is proposed for the evaluation of three design frameworks in order to observe and draw comparisons between traditional engineering design and design thinking. The three frameworks are: traditional engineering, DVF (desirability, viability, fea-sibility), and DVFE (desirability, viability, feasibility, ethicality/morality-an expanded DVF framework). In collaboration with Purdue University’s Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS), we investigate the benefits and drawbacks of these methods with university engineering students. We provide a practical understanding of design thinking approaches from an educational, process, and design perspective. The results of this work suggest that thinking beyond technical constraints and applying an ethical framework to human-centered design has the potential to impact design outcomes in a rapid aerospace design project. This paper lays the groundwork for future practical experiments and shows that the DVFE structure benefits holistic concept development within an educational environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAIAA AVIATION 2022 Forum
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA
ISBN (Print)9781624106354
StatePublished - 2022
EventAIAA AVIATION 2022 Forum - Chicago, United States
Duration: Jun 27 2022Jul 1 2022

Publication series

NameAIAA AVIATION 2022 Forum


ConferenceAIAA AVIATION 2022 Forum
Country/TerritoryUnited States

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering


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