Helping engineers design smarter: insights from computer-aided design user analytics

Tuesday, November 28, 2023 12:30 pm - 1:20 pm EST


Computer-Aided Design (CAD) technology is fundamental to modern engineering product design. Yet there is little published data and a dirth of research to understand and then optimize the process of the engineer designing with CAD. I will present recent work in which my group conducted a number of studies to collect and analyze CAD user data from professional and educational CAD settings. I’ll outline ways in which CAD tools’ capabilities are evolving, in line with broad technological advances, enabling a more collaborative and distributed design process. I will then discuss implications for design, collaboration and education with CAD.

About the Speaker

Alison Olechowski, PhD, PEng, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering at the University of Toronto. She completed her PhD at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) studying engineering technology management. Dr. Olechowski completed her BSc (Engineering) at Queen’s University and her MS at MIT, both in Mechanical Engineering. Her current research focuses on engineering design; in particular, her group investigates how new technologies can best be used to improve the process and outputs of engineering design and new product development. Her lab is supported by grants from Canada’s national funding agencies, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and industry partners including CAD users and providers.