After gliding more or less successfully through the maze of subject matter in the tenure of the engineering, it’s at last time to work on the project. This is the time when the knowledge acquired by the students during the monotonous classroom hours of teaching is put into practical application.
As part of their curriculum, engineering students need to work on a project in line with their course. It is commonly noted that designing a project on their own goes a long way in assimilating the concepts more profoundly than simply cramming up subject matter in the brain and clearing the papers.
Let us look at some of the guidelines to be followed for successful completion of a project starting from scratch -:
Why do we need to design a project in the first place?
Engineering projects or any project for that matter is devised for a particular need. This may be to improvise on an already existing situation or model or as a solution to a problem.
How to zero in on your project topic?
This should be the least of your concerns. There is no dearth of topics out there. The key is to be well informed of the advances in science and technology in everyday life. You must be already aware of the 3D hologram technology that has arrived with a bang of late. You always have mentors in the form of teachers and online resources to bank on.
Get your ideas straight and clear
What purpose is this project going to serve? Who is going to be the end user? Use simple sentences. Note down any pertinent point that comes to your mind. In what way would your project be feasible over an existing model, financially, technologically? Once you have answers to these questions and more, you are good to go.
Plan your project in the right fashion
Always remember a project well planned is half accomplished. Every detail however minute it might be should be recorded in a sequential method. Most of the processes these days follow an iterative cycle. You go on adding the requirements, changing the design, retesting the product until the product reaches its desired shape.
What are the functional requirements and physical requirements of the project? In simple terms, what function or functions is it slated to perform and what are the physical specifications of the product to be developed? To bring out that one project that clicks, project design should be effective enough for development of a product performing all the functions required within the constraints like time, cost, raw materials used etc.
Can you improve on an existing design?
Consider a project on the similar lines has been already done some years ago. Consider how best this can be improved. Science is taking rapid strides. Using available technology, you can improvise on the already existing solutions or create new ones altogether.
Build a prototype
Your prototype is the first working model of your application. There may be minor bugs or issues with it. Be open to any criticism and suggestions. Evaluate your prototype developed against the requirements and see how well it performs within the constraints. The prototype must be tested in an environment similar to the actual operating conditions.
Document the test results
Whether you like it or not, even the best product developed initially would have some issues, so test appropriately under all conditions and meticulously document the test results as you would for other steps. Make sure to document the test results neatly for easy reference at a later stage.
Many a times, it happens that the product developed does not quite match up with the requirements. In that case, review all the steps performed, make the necessary changes, and retest until the outcome is satisfactory.