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For this project module, students are required to work on a specific topic under the supervision of a member of the academic staff. The module aims to present students with challenging engineering problems within a working environment that requires group action. To facilitate this, projects constitute a Sub-Project within a larger main project context. A group of between 4-6 students is responsible for one Main Project context, with each student within the group being responsible for their own Sub-Project.
The project is similar in some ways to the individual project (MECH0020) carried out in Year 3, however the underlying emphasis of the MEng Capstone Group Design Project is on design and group work. Most projects are therefore concerned with solving a particular engineering problem through appropriate design of components, apparatus or systems.
Students are expected to combine the functions of investigation, analysis, and design in their work. Additionally, they are encouraged to follow up designs with a degree of development which usually means at least the partial realisation of ideas through construction and/or testing. Students are also encouraged to view the project as more than just a technical challenge and consider business/financial matters. Issues of manufacturability, the raising of funding/sponsorship and the advertisement of activities through a website are prime examples of this.
The taught content of the module is delivered through tutorials. The remaining part of the module is non-taught group work, and is essentially self-supervised.
Members of staff associated with each project group act as general Group Coordinators but their role is not that of a direct supervisor, since the project group is expected to be substantially self-supervised.
The project module is also supplemented by a coordinated programme of group working meetings, which are designed to assist groups in setting and meeting goals, identifying strengths and weaknesses and in disseminating and presenting their work. In essence, the programme focuses upon the soft skills which most employers would agree are central to the success of any project, irrespective of the technical challenges to be overcome.