Introduction to the ICED Methodology

The Innovative Conceptual Engineering Design (ICED) methodology was developed by Dr. Charles Camarda and a team of faculty and subject-matter-experts (SMEs) from NASA following the Columbia accident, when NASA struggled with determining the root causes of the Columbia accident, Return-to-Flight (RTF) technology development to ensure crew safety, critical thinking, creativity/innovation, and psychological safety. The ICED methodology was developed to teach junior NASA engineers how to infuse innovation into the design process and to rapidly develop and mature innovative solutions to complex engineering problems. Many of case studies and examples are based on the return-to-flight of Space Shuttle and other real-life experiences and challenges Dr. Camarda experienced during his 46-year career as a NASA research engineer, Astronaut, and senior executive.

Learning Objectives: After completing this module, the student should be able to:

  • Describe the general research and engineering approach to problem solving and the roles of analysis, design, and experimentation
  • The relationship of science and engineering
  • Describe the ICED Methodology and procedural steps
  • Identify the seven key themes of ICED
  • Explain in general how the ICED process can be used to solve a design problem
  • Describe the building-block approach to research, design, and problem solving
  • Describe the usefulness of failure and ways to employ Intelligent Fast Failure (IFF) learning to fail smart, fast, small, cheap, early, and often (SFSCEO) for rapid knowledge capture and success
  • Understand the basic concepts of systems engineering, concept mapping, and information searching

References for Epic Challenge Program and ICED Methodology:

  1. Camarda, Charles J.: “A Return to Innovative Engineering Design, Critical Thinking, and Systems Engineering.” Keynote address presented at “The International Thermal Conductivity Conference (ITCC) and the International Thermal Expansion symposium (ITES), Birmingham, AL, June 24‐27, 2007.
  2. Camarda, Charles J.; Bilen, Sven; de Weck, Olivier, Yen, Jeannette; and Matson, Jack: “Innovative Conceptual Engineering Design – A Template to Teach Problem Solving of Complex Multidisciplinary Design Problems.” American Society for Engineering Education Annual Exposition and Conference, Louisville, Kentucky 2010.
  3. Camarda, Charles J.; de Weck, Olivier; and Do, Sydney: “Innovative Conceptual Engineering Design (ICED): Creativity and Innovation in a CDIO-Like Curriculum.” Proceedings of the 9th International CDIO Conference, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Cambridge Massachusetts, June 9-13, 2013.
  4. Do, Sydney and de Weck, Olivier: “A Personal Airbag System for the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle.” 62nd International Astronautical Congress, Cape Town, SA. International Astronautical Federation 2011.
  5. Do., S.: “An Airbag-Based Crew Impact Attenuation System for the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle.” S.M. Dissertation, Dept. of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, 2011.
  6. Dr. Michael Richey, Mr. Fabian Zender, and Dr. Charles Camarda: “Engineering the Future Workforce by a Global Engineering Industry.” 122nd ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, June 14 – 17, 2015, Seattle, Washington.