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ENGR-2050-04 Introduction to Engineering Design (IED), section 4

This site is for useful links, generally to things I mentioned in labs.

Who, where, when

  1. Instructors:
    1. Catherine Persoon (Archer Center)
    2. W. Randolph Franklin.
  2. Most info is on LMS.
  3. Lecture: Wed 10am-noon, DCC (aka Darrin) 308
  4. Lab: Mon and Thurs noon-2pm, JEC3207


  1. Zip file of my 3/6/13 lecture on LabView: Powerpoint slides plus 3 videos. Warning: 90MB.
  2. http://wrfranklin.org/ied/lms - Copies, and PDF versions, of many LMS files, because this dir is easier to work with (IMHO).
  3. http://wrfranklin.org/ied/tablet - What I wrote on my tablet during class. The file name is MDD.pdf. M=month, DD=day, e.g., 124.pdf for Jan 24.
    Occasionally I fill in other sections when that instructor is absent. In that case, I code the section number in the file name. E.g., 128s3.pdf is what I wrote on Jan 28 for section 3.

Lab links

Thu 1/24

These illustrate the importance of communication.

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_Climate_Orbiter - lost because of English/metric mismatch.
  2. 2003 Laufenburg Rhine bridge elevation mismatch
    1. http://www.thelocal.de/society/20100903-29599.html - 6 paragraphs down.
    2. http://cddis.nasa.gov/docs/SGP_SAdetail_1011.pdf - slide 3.
    3. various other links
    4. I read somewhere that the story was even worse than reported above. The engineers knew about the datum difference, and added a correction for it. Unfortunately, they ought to have subtracted. So, instead of cancelling the difference, they doubled it.
  3. The First Quebec Bridge Disaster - A Case Study
    There are also many other pages about this example of the effect of arrogance and overconfidence by the leading architect of his time. RPI named a dorm after him.

Thu 1/31

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thing_%28listening_device%29
    (Yesterday's lecture had an example of securing a room from eavesdropping. This link shows the difficulty. Since it's from 1945, you might imagine bugging advances in the following 70 years.
  2. http://tech.slashdot.org/story/13/01/30/1343245/excessive-modularity-hindered-development-of-the-787
    This developing story shows the importance of formalizing specs and communication. The referenced article has a good table of customer specs for the B787.
  3. The Gettysburg Powerpoint Presentation 11/19/1863

Thu 2/7

  1. Addition to today's lecture, which demonstrates how big projects, e.g., going to the moon, take a lot of testing and failing before the successes:
  2. If you did not get my email yesterday, copied below, about next week's miniproject presentations and demos, then tell me today. I need to be able to reliably email you.
    Here are the details for next week's miniproject wrapups.
    We will do all the presentations on Mon and all the demonstrations on Thurs.
    1. Send me your powerpoint presentation files by 9am on Monday. You will use the PC at the front of the room (or, as a backup, my laptop running Windows).
    2. Embedding any multimedia files is preferable. If you don't do that, then zip everything into one file.
    3. Videos are good. However, if you use a video, then it's your responsibility to use a common codec, i.e., one that is available on the lab PC.
    4. Each talk will be 5 minutes, plus 1 minute for questions. That leaves 1 1/2 minutes for speakers to come up to, and leave, the podium.
    5. Please time yourselves so as not to exceed the time.
    6. The talks will be graded according to the rubric on LMS.
    1. Send me your miniproject reports by class time. Word or PDF work. The whole report should be one file, with any images embedded. If using Word, it's your responsibility to ensure that any embedded files are in a common format that can be read with a stock MS Word 2010 installation.
    2. During the lab, we will have about 3 setups so 3 teams can be running simultaneously. Each team will have 10 minutes. I may enlist volunteers to help record other classmates' scores. If so, be impartial; thanks.
    I look forward to seeing your creative solutions.
  3. Concept generation and creativity:
    1. Look at these original and beautiful buildings: Strange Buildings of the World, Amazing Homes
    2. Original auto idea:
      Adventures in Automotive Buoyancy: 2011 Amphicar Swim-In, Grand Lake St. Marys, Celina, Ohio-Part 1
    3. To prepare for mindmapping, consider how to get a boat from one level of water to another, say from the Eble River to the canal crossing it.
      1. Traditional lock
      2. Lift lock http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peterborough_Lift_Lock
      3. Marine railway
      4. Falkirk wheel
      5. Helicopter
    4. Now, mindmap how you might travel to Florida for spring break.
    5. Next pick apart and combine subproblems.
    6. Finally screen the concepts.
  4. Current event relating to activity 6-2 technical writing, properly citing sources:
    Yesterday, Germany's Science and Education minister was in the news for allegedly not properly citing material in her PhD thesis. It's not clear; her supporters say that she did cite adequately. In 2011, Germany's defense minister resigned for plagarizing his PhD thesis. In the 1980s, the President of the IEEE was accused of completely faking his degree. There are many other examples.

Team Project Deadlines

This is from Team\ Project\ Description.docx with customizations in red.

When the syllabus allows 2 days for a milestone, I am using only the 2nd day. This means that each team has 35 minutes max, including setup and takedown, and cannot run long. You don't have to use it all. E.g., the milestone 1 talk is 15 minutes plus 5 for questions.

Milestone One: System Concept Proposal, due 3/7/13

There are two deliverables for this milestone. The first is a PowerPoint presentation by each team of a clear system concept and a proposed project plan during an oral design review with the class. The presentation should explain the problem statement the team is addressing, some examples of benchmarking against available products / technology, information and sketches on the proposed solution and how the team’s solution is unique. You will have 15 minutes for the presentation and 5 minutes for Q&A.

The second team deliverable is a written proposal in the form of a concept memo. Each team member is to write a portion of the memo. Individual modules and their design owners must be clearly identified at this stage of system development. Note: The proposal is not simply a collection of writings of individuals, but should be edited as a comprehensive and contiguous statement of the proposed project. The concept memo should be 5-15 pages in length including a project plan and sketches / illustrations of the proposed project. The “concept memo template” is provided on LMS.

Your instructors may reject your proposal if the system concept is not strong enough or if the project is perceived as trivial / too simple or if the proposal is a repeat of readily available products / technology. Teams with a rejected proposal must work with their instructors to quickly create a new and acceptable proposal.

The grading rubrics are rubrics/IED-PD1-team%20project%20MS%201%20concept%20memo%20rubric.docx and rubrics/IED-PD1-team%20project%20MS%201%20concept%20presentation%20rubric.docx

Milestone Two: Prototype Demonstration Rubric Submission 4/25

This was always in the syllabus for activity 25 on 4/22. Since we're demonstrating projects on 4/29, this can be postponed from 4/22 until 4/25.

Each team is to fill in the milestone 2 demonstration rubric to show each person's subproject and metric.

Milestone Two: Prototype Demonstration 4/29

For this milestone your team will give a demonstration of your functional prototype design and answer questions. The team does not need to explain the design or operation of the project as that will be covered in Milestone 3. There will be a peer evaluation of the demo. You may distribute a one page handout describing the salient features of your design and/or how you will demonstrate them. PowerPoint or poster presentations are not required. You will have up to 20 minutes for the demo including setup / removal and Q&A.

Milestone Three: Design Review and Documentation 5/6

There are two deliverables for this milestone. The first is a PowerPoint presentation on 5/6 based on the technical contents of your final report as well as on the Professional Development aspects (i.e., MBTI, Conflict Resolution, Giving & Receiving Feedback, etc.) and how these tools pimpacted your team development. You may include video clips to enhance your presentation. The presentation should be submitted electronically to your instructor prior to class. Emphasis should be on the work done since the system concept proposal. There will be a peer evaluation of the presentation based on milestone #3 guidelines. Each team will have up to 15 minutes for the presentation and 5 minutes for Q&A.

Final Report 5/8

The second deliverable of milestone 3 is a written technical report. A template (“IED-PD1 Final Report Template”) is provided on LMS. The template includes instructions on how to complete the report, what information is required for each section, etc. The report is typical of that used by industry for the technology transfer aspect of projects. It provides the final documentation for the project and would allow others to understand and perhaps repeat your work or use it as the basis for their own developments. It should be complete in and of itself. The reader should not require your concept memo, demonstration or presentation materials to understand the report.

The final report is due in electronic form to your instructor by the last day of classes. A hard copy may be required at your instructor’s discretion. I (WRF) prefer electronic.