Project Guide

So you have a design problem. Where do you start? This web site is designed to guide you through the beginning steps of your design process. A sample project will be stepped through to provide an example of the process involved. All the issues in this sample will not pertain to your particular project, and everything you need to consider in your project will not necessarily be covered in this sample. However, use this example as a way to get headed in the right direction. Then be creative!

Read the sample problem statement. Then come back and we'll get started!

Now, before you get discouraged or confused, start where you always should, at the beginning, with The Basics. Then come back and we'll go through the next steps you'll need to complete a successful project.

Steps To Success

There are four major steps to a successful design project. Follow the links to see more detail:

  1. Scope out the Problem
  2. Concept Plan
  3. Design a Component
  4. Complete Design and Report


Some tips on getting started and making your life easier:

  1. Get to know your group members. You will be relying on them for a big part of your grade. Get phone numbers, email addresses, whatever helps you keep in contact. Contact each other often, not just at weekly meetings.
  2. Schedule team meetings at regular times and stick to that time and place every week.
  3. Seek other information on how to run a team successfully.
  4. Don't be afraid to ask for help if needed! And ask right away! Your instructors are available through email or stop by during their office hours. They are always willing to help!
  5. Get the work done that you are assigned. Don't rely on everyone else in the group to do it for you.
  6. If you will not be able to attend an important class or meeting, give your group advanced notice.
  7. Follow directions! This makes not only your life, but the life of your professor and your group members easier and less complicated.

Now that you've read the basics, gone through the steps, and been given some tips on how to proceed, give your project a try! Good luck!

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0633602. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recomendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation (NSF).

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Pennsylvania State University
Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics
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