How to Do Engineering Projects

How to Do Engineering Projects

Engineering projects involve creative problem solving, and they are not hypothesis testing. Each engineering design, software application or device project should have a clear engineering goal which can fit the following model statement:

“The design and construction of a (engineered product) for (target user) to do (some useful function).”

Where can you get project ideas? You may get suggestions from teachers, advisors or mentors. however your idea should be original. Quality entries from previous fairs are good sources of ideas and best practices. Some high school technology curricula address the engineering design process, and many college and professional engineering societies have on-line resources.

You will use the engineering design process to create your fair entry. This process is typical of those used by practicing engineers; the definition of terms and the number of steps may vary, but these are “essential steps.” Your very first step is to start a project notebook in which you will record every step of your process and the results of your design efforts. The process is iterative, meaning the designer will often repeat steps until he or she is confident the design will meet the needs. Note: the terms product, invention, project, design, and solution are often used interchangeably in Fair Guidelines

The Engineering Project Design Process:

  1. Define a need; express as a goal
  2. Establish design criteria and constraints
  3. Evaluate alternative designs
  4. Build a prototype of best design
  5. Test and evaluate the prototype using the design criteria
  6. Analyze test results, make design changes, and retest
  7. Communicate the design

Don’t Follow the Crowd – Explore Your Area of Interest

A final year project is meant to represent your knowledge & skills about the technologies and concepts that you’ve learned and the domain in which you love to work. For example – if you’re having a good command of Python, Statistics, Data Visualization, etc. and are looking forward to making a career as a Data Scientist or Data Engineer then you should opt to build your project around this particular technology or field instead of building any other project just because of any irrelevant reason like your friends are doing it, it would be comparatively easier, etc.  

When you explore your area of interest and build a project around it – it eventually makes you deep diver with the particular technology and makes you more proficient with it. Also, you will feel more confident and comfortable when you’ll be asked the questions, based on your project, by the interviewer.

Identify a Real-Time Problem and Provide a Solution for it With Your Project

Considering a scenario, if an individual is quite good with the Android Development skills, he loves to explore this particular domain and is looking forward to becoming a proficient Android Developer then according to the first tip – he should opt to build a project somewhat related to this particular domain i.e., Android Development.

The point here is you need to incorporate your innovation skills and thinking ability into the project to come up with something worthwhile. There is no point in developing, or you can say copying, the exact same thing that has already been created by your seniors or others. However, you’re expected to not confuse it with taking inspiration from other projects. Obviously, you can get inspired with various different projects and in fact, it is also not necessary to develop a completely new innovative project but the least you can do is come up with some modifications or updates to it.

And the best way to find a perfect project idea is by addressing the real-time problems around you. For instance, if you’ll see it with a larger vision, you will find out that all the tech startups of this era are ignited from a real-time problem of the society whether it be Ola and Uber for ride-sharing services, Swiggy and Zomato for online food delivery, or any other. Hence, you need to address such issues and try to provide a solution for them with your project. And who knows, you may end up with another big platform like Ola, Zomato, or Paytm!

Read Research Papers and Gather Quality Resources

Research Papers and Journals are indeed the best ways to get into the world of the latest technological advancements and to stay updated with all the ongoing researches in any particular domain across the world. Suppose you’re thinking of developing a Blockchain Project around any real-time problem of the society – then reading out the research papers and journals can help you to deep diver with that particular problem and will end you up with insightful findings and facts to solve the problem through your project. Also, research papers based on the particular technology will make you aware of all the latest tech trends in it. However, what you need to remember is to opt for the recommended and worthwhile papers or journals.

And this is not only for research papers but you need to gather all the required resources for your project considering the quality aspect. It can be anything such as books or tutorials, training programs, required hardware & software, open-source contribution platforms, or anything else. The substandard or poor quality resources will not only make things difficult for you but it may also cause you to lose interest in your project.

Choose Your Project Team and Mentor Carefully

Having the right members in your team and the right mentor is very much important when you’re doing your final year project. Let’s first talk about Team Members – the project team should be formed in such a way that all the members are having a clear idea about the project goal & vision, possessing the skills and knowledge required for the project, and most importantly, they should be genuinely interested in doing it. However, it has been observed that students generally don’t consider these aspects while forming a project team that eventually leads to various conflicts and disagreements among the team members. Though, it is also true that when there are multiple minds working on a single project – they will surely come up with various distinct ideas and approaches to do a particular task. Meanwhile, it should be taken positively by having regular discussions and brainstorming sessions with each other and yes, the end-goal of the project theme should be the same in everyone’s mind.

Moreover, if we talk about Mentor – you’ll surely be required to look out for a potential mentor who can guide you through the entire journey of the project development and can solve your queries whether it be related to technical stuff or non-technical ones. You’re recommended to consider a mentor who is an expert or doing really well in the specific field and technology in which you’re looking forward to building the project.

Plan Everything Priorly to Avoid Any Hassle

How many times it has been observed that college projects don’t get completed by the students under the given deadline or there occurs confusion about which task is allotted to whom in the team or other similar situations? Quite a usual thing! But… do you know the root cause behind it? Okay, let us tell you – it is all because of lack of proper PLANNING!  

Yes, planning is the most crucial part of the project development roadmap and there is a need to develop an effective and complete layout plan priorly for the final year project by the students to avoid any hassle and interruption at later stages. It includes almost everything whether it be time management, task allocation, budget management, project layout, and scope, or any other area. Once, you’ll get done with all the planning work and start to execute the plan – you’ll find out that things have become efficient and comparatively easier. Also, the situation like running out of resources, poor communication frameworks, etc. can also be avoided with the help of proper project planning.

Do Analyze the Project at Every Stage

Indeed, it is very much important for the students to keep analyze the project at each stage to determine if the work is going as per the specified plan and the project is fulfilling the desired requirements. Many times what most of the students do is just aim to complete the project anyhow without assessing it throughout the entire phase and it eventually leads them to end up creating something different from the actual desired project. Hence, this regular analysis is necessary to ensure that the project is not deviating from its end goal and is proceeding in the right direction. Also, it helps you to aware of several other aspects such as project deadline, budget, resources, etc. Meanwhile, preparing several test cases and performing the testing process on the project at various stages will also fall under this strategy.

Don’t Take Project Documentation and Presentation Part For Granted

One of the most ignored aspects by the students while working on the final year project – Project Documentation and Presentation! The appropriate documentation for the project is necessary to showcase your work in an official manner and it should be in the prescribed format. The proper Project Documentation and Presentation is crucial not only for academics or grade purposes but also for future endeavors related to placements and interviews. Whether it be of any startup company or a leading IT giant – you’ll always be asked several questions in the interview based on your final year college project. Hence, you’re required to be well-versed with your project and should be able to depict the core idea and vision behind developing it to the faculties, interviewers, or any other concerned person. In addition, it also helps you to enhance several prominent industrial skills such as technical content writing, presentation, and research skills.

Again, you need to know that the final year college projects represent your understanding of engineering fundamentals, your skillset, and your expertise in the particular field & technology. It not only helps you to get a good CGPA or grades but also adds value to your resume and land you up some ravishing career opportunities. So, keep all the above-mentioned tips in your mind and put all your efforts into the project development to get success !

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