ME317 at Stanford teaches systematic methodologies to define, develop, and produce world-class products, processes and services. The methods cover characterization of stakeholder values and requirements, concept development, business-case development, and other life-cycle values such as robustness, serviceability, and environmental compatibility. ME317 is a project-based course; on-campus and remote industry-based students apply the structured methods to realistic development challenges. ME317 is also an active-learning-based course, which means that students are continuously presenting project progress, allowing both peer-review and peer-insight, as well as enabling the faculty and TAs to tune the application of the methods to each project as the course progresses.

Course Delivery

ME317 is delivered on-campus at Stanford in 2 quarters beginning in January and ending in June. Here is more detail on the course content and the course logistics.

ME317A: Product Definition

ME317A addresses key issues of system development. In the course project, student teams identify opportunities for development or improvement and apply the structured methodologies to develop a comprehensive product definition.

ME317B: Quality by Design

ME317B focuses on quality implementation of the product definition. In this 2nd quarter, students apply the methods to optimize the design of the system with respect to cost, quality, and features.

Course Philosophy

M317 is best described as a combination of Design for Six Sigma, user-centered design, and systems engineering. While ME317 has is roots in Design For Manufacturability (design <-- plant floor), today's graduate engineers need experience and tools for developing solutions to complex problems involving multiple life-cycle domains, business processes, and project phases. ME317 relies on Corporate Affiliates in both providing real-world projects for our campus-based students, and student-employees for in-house projects. This support provides the key learning vehicle for the ME317 curriculum, as well as ensures continued development of the design methods.