Design Project R. B. Darling EE-331 Laboratory Handbook Page D1.1 Design Project-1 Design Project Information and Guidelines Overview of Electronic Circuit Design Introduction Design is what engineers do for a living. This is what all of the physical and mathematical theory, software tools, and laboratory experience lead up to. Yet in addition is required the key element of creativity, without which no new designs can be born. Creativity is more of an innate skill, one which cannot be easily taught, but still one which is the trademark of gifted engineers whose designs show a sense of poignance, freshness, and elegance which makes them immediately successful in the commercial or industrial marketplace. Goals Quite simply, the goal of design is to solve a problem. Unlike many “textbook” design problems in which one simply runs an analysis problem backwards to find the value of a component or two to give a circuit a given behavior, real design involves much more open-ended questions. Unlike “textbook” design problems in which there often exists a unique solution to those few, specific, unknown component values, real design problems are most often characterized by an infinity of possible solutions. The job of the engineer is then not only one of finding asolution, it is a job of finding the bestsolution, subject to other practical constraints. These practical constraints typically involve the size, weight, power consumption, temperature range, sensitivity, reliability, or cost of the final design. The relative importance of these practical constraints will often have more impact on the route the design takes than any of the more technically microscopic specifications themselves. Yet there may still be many possible ways to solve a given problem, even while still satisfying the practical constraints. This feature is why most engineers have chosen the profession that they have. In short, this infinity of possible solutions to any given problem allows an engineer the flexibility to express his or her own creativity. The satisfaction gained by the creative design process is what addicts most engineers to their careers. Thus, the goal of engineering is to solve problems, but to do so in a creative and self-satisfying manner.
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