In 2006, APPEL Director Roger Forsgren and Ohio State University Associate Professor Anthony Luscher developed a new APPEL course: Seven Axioms of Good Engineering A Case Study Course: Learning From Failure (SAGE).
Specifically tailored to address NASA’s mission and program needs, the course was built around seven core principles that are broadly applicable to all engineers. To bring these principles—or axioms—to life, the course employed a carefully curated selection of case studies. The goal was to supplement the existing skill sets of engineers by asking them to examine the role of historical case studies and engineering failures in critical thinking and good design processes as a means of avoiding classic design errors.
Following the success of the course, Forsgren and Luscher wrote Seven Axioms of Good Engineering: Development of a Case Study-Based Course for NASA. The paper explores the origins and applications of the SAGE course, investigating how the principles were conceived and the ways in which each case study underscores a relevant axiom in order to advance the ability of engineers to apply critical thinking to good design. Overall, the paper offers insight into the role that case study-based learning plays at NASA.