Guidelines for Scoping a Project
Our students are drawn from several engineering programs and specialties:
- Agricultural and biosystems engineering
- Biomedical engineering
- Chemical engineering
- Electrical and computer engineering
- Engineering management
- Environmental engineering
- Industrial engineering
- Materials science and engineering
- Mechanical engineering
- Optical sciences and engineering
- Systems engineering
We look to you for suggestions as to the best team composition from among these disciplines, but the composition may have to change depending on availability of the desired disciplines.
Assume that you will have a team of 5-6 students working on the project for an average of 10 hours per week per student over the academic year. Essentially that amounts to about 1,500-1,800 total hours of labor. Challenging the students is a good thing provided the project is doable with the available resources.
We prefer that sponsors name a key contact and an alternate so that students can always get in touch with the sponsor when questions arise. The more contact between a sponsor and team, the better the project outcome in general.
We ask that sponsors provide a brief description of the project goals and required deliverables. It is helpful to supplement that with detailed quantitative requirements that will become the focus of the project planning and design for the remainder of the year. The development of the requirements and a detailed Requirements Review is the first major team activity in August/September.
The student teams go through Preliminary Design Review and Critical Design Review during the fall. A detailed design report with a draft acceptance test plan is developed in December. We invite sponsors to attend the Requirements Review, PDR and CDR if possible.
If the design is approved by the sponsor and UA-provided mentor, the team implements their design and tests the project during the spring, and delivers the final product to the sponsor in May after showing it on Design Day.
Finally, remember that this is a student project, and although the vast majority of our projects are successful fully or in large part, we are unable to guarantee that success. So please don’t give students a project that is on a critical path for your company.