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Unit information: Design Project 4 in 2015/16

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Unit name Design Project 4
Unit code MENGM0010
Credit points 40
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Harper
Open unit status Not open

EMAT20002 Design Project 2



School/department Department of Civil Engineering
Faculty Faculty of Engineering


In Design Project 4, work is conducted in groups of 4-6 students to develop an in-depth understanding of a product or system through research and modelling activities. Although the students communicate and share relevant knowledge as a team, each student has his/her own individual project and develops expertise in a subject area that is valuable to the group design project undertaken in Year 5 (Design Project 5). The individual project involves a detailed investigation of an artefact, process or sub-system that is vital to the overall product/system’s functionality, including the associated economic, environmental, business and social design drivers. Depending on the specific project, the construction of analytical and/or physical models is used to quantify design parameters and to understand manufacturing implications. Each student’s project has separate objectives and reporting, and is marked independently. The projects are run in association with industrial companies and relevant University research teams.

The unit aims to give each student an experience of planning, conducting and recording a detailed research/modelling activity, in order to develop specialist knowledge that can be applied in the Year 5 Group Design Project. A strong emphasis is placed on enhancing the student’s ability to develop and apply analytical models, both to evaluate existing designs and to aid future design work. The unit’s project management lectures aim to provide an understanding of techniques that can be used to co-ordinate project tasks, manage risk, and achieve goals on time and to budget. These techniques can be applied both within this unit’s individual project and during the Year 5 Group Design Project.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of the unit the student will be able to:

  • Plan, conduct and record open-ended investigations.
  • Perform quantitative analytical, numerical and/or experimental modelling.
  • Describe techniques for managing projects effectively.
  • Communicate research methods and outcomes through both oral presentations and formal reports.

Teaching details

Students will work in allocated groups supported by a Project Advisor and Specialist Advisors as required and an advisor from the Industrial Sponsor. Lectures/Labs on Modelling and Project Management are provided to support the work undertaken and each group has at least 3 formal meetings with their Industrial Sponsor during the course of the project (1 Project Introduction Meeting and 2 Progress Review Meetings). Work is presented to staff, students and industrialists at the end of the project via a poster display at a Projects Colloquium.

Assessment Details

There are two formal assessments within the project, an Interim Assessment comprising 20% of the overall mark and a Final Assessment comprising 80%. Each of these assessments will be conducted by at least two academics, not including the Project Advisor.

A. Interim Assessment (20%)

The Interim Assessment is a written report consisting of a description of the project objectives, the background research conducted and a project plan, including details of required resources, potential risks to progress and any risk mitigation measures that may be necessary.

B. Final Assessment (80%)

The Final Assessment is based on the following pieces of evidence:

  • The Final Individual Project Report.
  • A Viva Voce exam, including a 5 minute oral presentation on the work conducted, aided by a project poster, followed by 10-15 minutes of questions from the project assessors.
  • Comments on performance provided by the Project Advisor, including any feedback gained from the Industrial Sponsor.

Reading and References

  1. Engineering Design (Dieter, G. and Schmidt, L.)
  2. Engineering Design Methods: Strategies for Product Design
  3. Engineering Design: A Systematic Approach (Pahl, G. et al.)
  4. Conceptual Design for Engineers (French, M.)
  5. Managing Engineering Design (Hales, C. and Gooch, S.)
  6. Product Design & Development (Ulrich, K. and Eppinger, S.)
  7. The Mechanical Design Process (Ullman, D.)
  8. Total Design (Pugh, S.)
  9. Engineering Systems: Meeting Human Needs in a Complex Technological World (De Weck, O. L. et al.)
  10. Design Structure Matrix Methods and Applications (Eppinger, S. and Browning, T.)