Case support activities

Waterloo Cases in Design Engineering (WCDE) supports a variety of development and implementation activities related to case studies at the University of Waterloo. For example, in 2015, we undertook the following separate case activities beyond case development and interaction:

summary of separate case material 2015

Case Modification

Is a case study slightly off-focus for your course? No problem! WCDE can modify an existing case so it’s tailored to your specific learning objectives. 

LRT exhibit (Kitchener)

Light Rail Transit (LRT) on display in Kitchener, 2013 (WikiMedia Commons)

For example, our Light Rail Transit (LRT) case (regarding ION construction in the Region of Waterloo) has been modified several times. It was updated to include new decisions by Council and to reflect the latest construction and planning progress. It was also modified to fit a Recreation & Leisure course and additional concepts within an Engineering Economics course. 

Custom Case Development

If you have a topic or concept that you feel would be best taught using case studies (and you don’t see a matching WCDE case), we can likely develop a new case for you. Here are a few examples of custom case development in 2015:

Earth 153 (Andre Unger)

Mechanical and Mechatronics Safety Committee

Chemical Engineering Concepts (Christine Moresoli)

Flood Management in the Grand River Watershed (photo credit: CBC News)

Near Miss Lab Incident: A Case Study Regarding Piranha Etch 

Reactive Chemical Fire Analysis (photo credit: Vancouver Fire & Rescue Services)

photos from the example custom cases

Implementation Support

We know it can be challenging to try a new teaching style or a new case study. Whether you’re novice or practiced in case teaching methods, WCDE offers implementation support. Highlights of implementation support include the following:

  • Create specific case presentations (typically in PowerPoint), or modify existing presentations
  • Listen and/or provide feedback to students present their case solutions
  • Discuss the various case teaching methods and implementation strategies
  • Support through the facilitation of small group and/or large group discussions
  • Present case problem and/or case solution(s)

examples of implementation support

Joint Publications

Some case implementations are more intensive and involve student surveys, course restructuring and innovative teaching. The insights from these case instructions have been shared at conferences and in journals. We have had 21 joint publications from 2010 − 2015.  Please see a full list of our publications.

 list of conferences and journals we have published with

Instructor Interaction

Some instructors are very involved with WCDE, either because they implement many case studies or because they advocate for the use of case studies in the classroom. We spend a significant amount of our time with these instructors supporting case development, implementation, new initiatives, promotion, networking, workshops, etc.

series of photos of the instructors we've worked with

Engineering IDEAs Clinic Support

venn diagram of WCDE and IDEAs ClinicThe Engineering IDEAs Clinic is a group on campus that supports hands-on  activities to provide opportunities for experiential learning. Many Clinic activities are easily complemented with a case study. We work with instructors and Clinic members to formalize a case study that acts as an introduction or as a follow-up task.


We are happy to help you with case studies in any way that we can! If you have an idea that falls outside of the 6 options listed above, please contact us. We’ll do our best to accommodate your request.

testimonial from Hannah Van Opstal

Hannah Van Opstal

Student, Systems Design Engineering

I think getting case study experience is the first step in really helping students see all the possibilities and everything they can accomplish.