Interactive Simulation for Teaching Engineering Economics

  • Kevin Dahm


A game involving the selection of investments has been integrated into a course on engineering economics. The game challenges students to not only learn engineering economic principles such as present worth, but also to use them to make realistic economic decisions in a competitive setting. Each student starts with $10,000, and is presented with a list of investment opportunities. Students apply the principles learned in class to the possible investments and make decisions, such as how much to bid on a particular mine or factory in an auction. Additional investment opportunities are introduced weekly throughout the semester, with the required analysis growing in complexity as the students? knowledge base increases. The game is interactive; for example the owner of a factory must negotiate the price of raw materials he / she needs with the owner of a mine. Student response to the exercise was extremely positive; they found it both enjoyable and beneficial.