University of Florida

ABE 4042C
Biological Engineering Design I

Semester Taught - Fall

Catalog Description

Credits: 2

Design of engineered agricultural and biological systems and devices. Problem definition analysis, synthesis, project management, economic, environmental and social impacts. Individual and team projects.



Course Objectives

The objective of this course is to introduce students to the techniques of the engineering design process. Students who complete this course will have gained an understanding of the engineering design process from problem definition to finished product. Students will learn to:

  • develop specific design objectives and criteria from poorly defined needs descriptions
  • gather and evaluate design information,
  • conceptualize designs to meet objectives and criteria,
  • evaluate designs,
  • develop and document designs,
  • work in teams.
  • manage design projects and
  • communicate design needs and accomplishments with clients, peers, suppliers, and managers.

Contributions of Course to Meeting the Professional Component for ABET

This course contributes 2 credit hours toward meeting the minimum 48 credit hours of Engineering Topics in the basic-level curriculum for the Bachelor of Science Degree in Agricultural and Biological Engineering.

Relationship of Course to Program Outcomes

From the list of (a) through (k) program outcomes listed below, this course addresses outcomes (a), (c), (d), (e), (f), (g), (h), (j) and (k). Of these, (a), (c), (d), (e), (g), (i) and (k) are assessed.

ABET Program Outcomes

  • (a) Apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering
  • (b) Design and conduct experiments, as well as analyze and interpret data
  • (c) Design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs
  • (d) Function on multi-disciplinary teams
  • (e) Identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems
  • (f) Understand professional and ethical responsibilities
  • (g) Communicate effectively
  • (h) Understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global and societal context
  • (i) Recognize the need for, and engage in life long learning
  • (j) Understand contemporary engineering issues
  • (k) Use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice


Richard V. Scholtz, III
Office: 107 Frazier Rogers Hall
Telephone: Office: 392-1864 ext.107
Class Web site:

 Material/Supply Fees


Class Materials Required

  • Dym, C. & P.  Little. 2008. Engineering Design: A Project Based Introduction. Third Edition. John Wiley& Sons, Inc. New York. 352 pages.
  • Petroski, H.  1998. Invention by Design: How Engineers Get from Thought to Thing. Harvard University Press. Cambridge, MA. 256 pages.
  • NCEES. 2008. FE Supplied-Reference Handbook, Eighth Edition. National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying. Clemson, SC. 258 pages. ($18 @
  • USB Flash Drive (≥1 GB).
  • Daily Calendar (e.g. Daytimer), PDA, or laptop computer w/ calendar software.
  •  Composition or lab notebook.
  • Access to Microsoft Office 2007 or compatible Office Suite (word processor, spreadsheet, presentation programs compatible with the *.docx, *.xlsx and *.pptx formats).
  • Other handout material as it becomes available.

Recommended Reading

  • Christianson, L. & R. Rohrbach. 1986. Design in Agricultural Engineering. American Society of Agricultural Engineers. St. Joseph, MI. 312 pages.
  • Pahl, G., W. Beitz & J. Feldhusen. 2007. Engineering Design: A Systematic Approach. Third Edition. Springer-Verlag New York, LLC. New York. 617 pages.
  • Voland, G. 2003. Engineering By Design. Prentice Hall. Second Edition. New York. 575 pages

Course Outline

  1. Introduction/Time Management
  2. Learning from Failure
  3. Design
  4. Resources
  5. Scheduling
  6. Manufacturing
  7. Materials and Components
  8. Synthesis and Analysis
  9. Safety and Liability
  10. Communication
  11. Standards, Specifications and Documentation
  12. Teamwork and Management
  13. Cost Estimation and Economy
  14. Planned Creativity
  15. Testing and Evaluation
  16. Business  Practices

Attendance and Expectations

Attendance is required – Lectures will cover material from the text as well as material in other references, so it is imperative that students make every effort to attend classes and take good notes. Students are especially encouraged to ask questions during lectures.

All deliverables will comply with the requirements and due date specified at the time of assignment (no deliverable will be due earlier than 3 business days after assignment). No late deliverable will be accepted.

The student is expected to manage their time efficiently, and should anticipate spending three times the length of lectures studying and preparing deliverables outside the classroom. The student should focus on the following: assignments, preparing both design reports and other deliverables, review of notes and lecture materials, and assigned readings.

This class will predominately utilize USCS units, though there is significant interaction with SI units. Mastery of both systems is required.

Announcement Policy

Students will be held responsible for all announcements made in class, which includes any and all changes to this syllabus and the course lecture schedule. Students are expected to attend all lectures and laboratory periods scheduled.


A C- will not be a qualifying grade for critical tracking courses.  In order to graduate, students must have an overall GPA and an upper-division GPA of 2.0 or better (C or better).  Note: a C- average is equivalent to a GPA of 1.67, and therefore, it does not satisfy this graduation requirement.  For more information on grades and grading policies, please visit:

  • 65% Design Deliverables. There will be four design projects throughout the semester, worth 5%, 10%, 20% and 25%. Details will be specified at a later date.
  • 30% Executive Summaries and Homework Assignments. There will be five to eight field trip/guest speaker executive summaries, equally weighted. Other assignments will be periodically assigned as well.
  • 5% Student Self and Team Assessments. Students will be required to maintain digital copies of all materials for their digital portfolio. Student will also periodically set personal course goals and will periodically fill out self-evaluation forms monitoring their performance.
A 91-100% C 71-76%
A- 89-90% C- 69-70%
B+ 87-88% D+ 67-68%
B 81-86% D 61-66%
B- 79-80% D- 59-60%
C+ 77-78% E <60%

The arrangements for makeup assignments should be made before the due date in question unless there is an emergency situation. In which, reviews will be on a case by case basis.

Academic Honesty

Academic Honesty

As a student at the University of Florida, you have committed yourself to uphold the Honor Code, which includes the following pledge: “We, the members of the University of Florida community, pledge to hold ourselves and our peers to the highest standards of honesty and integrity.”  You are expected to exhibit behavior consistent with this commitment to the UF academic community, and on all work submitted for credit at the University of Florida, the following pledge is either required or implied: "On my honor, I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid in doing this assignment." 
It is assumed that you will complete all work independently in each course unless the instructor provides explicit permission for you to collaborate on course tasks (e.g. assignments, papers, quizzes, exams). Furthermore, as part of your obligation to uphold the Honor Code, you should report any condition that facilitates academic misconduct to appropriate personnel. It is your individual responsibility to know and comply with all university policies and procedures regarding academic integrity and the Student Honor Code.  Violations of the Honor Code at the University of Florida will not be tolerated. Violations will be reported to the Dean of Students Office for consideration of disciplinary action. For more information regarding the Student Honor Code, please see:  

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities

The Disability Resource Center coordinates the needed accommodations of students with disabilities. This includes registering disabilities, recommending academic accommodations within the classroom, accessing special adaptive computer equipment, providing interpretation services and mediating faculty-student disability related issues.

0001 Reid Hall, 352-392-8565,  

Software Use

All faculty, staff and student of the University are required and expected to obey the laws and legal agreements governing software use. Failure to do so can lead to monetary damages and/or criminal penalties for the individual violator. Because such violations are also against University policies and rules, disciplinary action will be taken as appropriate. We, the members of the University of Florida community, pledge to uphold ourselves and our peers to the highest standards of honesty and integrity.

Campus Helping Resources

Students experiencing crises or personal problems that interfere with their general well-being are encouraged to utilize the university’s counseling resources. The Counseling & Wellness Center provides confidential counseling services at no cost for currently enrolled students. Resources are available on campus for students having personal problems or lacking clear career or academic goals, which interfere with their academic performance.

  • University Counseling & Wellness Center, 3190 Radio Road, 352-392-1575,

    Counseling Services
    Groups and Workshops
    Outreach and Consultation
    Self-Help Library
    Training Programs
    Community Provider Database

  • Career Resource Center, First Floor JWRU, 392-1601,