The University of Southampton
Courses

FEEG6030 CDT-SIS Group Research Project

Module Overview

This group research project enables you to apply your engineering and science knowledge to a real world engineering problem. The ideas are developed through detailed design, experimentation, computer modelling and/or manufacture. You will also consider and manage wider aspects such as the (a) social, (b) economic, (c) political, (d) legislative, (e) environmental, (f) cultural, (g) ethical (h) and sustainability issues related to the subject matter of the project. Working in groups you will meet regularly with your supervisor and any external sponsor, develop your team working, plan your project, present your work through meetings with your supervisor and sponsor and also prepare and submit reports and oral presentations. You will consolidate your project management skills. At all times you will monitor your progress as a team to ensure you are achieving the objectives set and ensuring quality of output.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

To give you experience in researching and finding solutions to real world sustainable engineering problems. The focus is also on defining, managing and implementing an open-ended group research project. You will apply the knowledge you have gained during your prior higher education studies, plus the knowledge you will gain during the first year of your IPhD, to a real engineering problem thereby integrating research and engineering science. You will also gain experience of working as part of a project team with different experiences and skills; tackle a real need/problem with industrial or commercial links; learn to meet both personal and group objectives; work and deal with people inside and outside the university; handle the administration, organisation and finances of a project and develop a range of communication and presentation skills.

Learning Outcomes

Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Assess the social, economic, political, legislative, environmental, cultural, ethical, technical, environmental and commercial aspects of the problem to be solved in order to develop a comprehensive project brief
  • Evaluate critically your strategy, processes and output
  • Generate ideas related to researching and implementing new or appropriate solutions, systems, components or processes
  • Apply appropriate quantitative science and engineering tools to the analysis of unfamiliar problems
  • Coordinate a creative and innovative research and implementation solution with the effective use of appropriate design methodologies
  • Locate, read, understand and review research papers and be able to describe different research and methodological approaches across disciplines
  • Research information related to research design and discuss within the group
  • Describe any commercial risks [as appropriate]
  • Design a research project using appropriate techniques aimed at providing a solution to a sustainable infrastructure problem.
  • Gather and synthesise data, contextualise your results, recommend further work, or how work could have been improved
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Establish a project plan that is efficient and recognises group strengths and the time frame
  • Prioritise competing demands
  • Record discussions at supervisory and peer based meetings in such a way that they can be effectively referred to in the future
  • Use (if appropriate) computer based engineering tools and modelling to solve problems
  • Reflect on group processes and own role in team work
  • Monitor the progress of your research and the project outcomes
  • Demonstrate independence as a learner
  • Communicate both orally and in writing
  • Manage your time
  • Locate, read, understand and review research papers
  • Plan and meet your own deadlines

Syllabus

Key milestones are: • Initial meeting with supervisor(s). • Nomination of and meeting with your internal second marker/examiner. • Submission of risk assessments. • Data gathering field trips. • Final written report submission. • Oral assessment.

Special Features

These extended group research projects are often industry sponsored allowing you to develop your skills for employment through interaction with industrial partners. You will also develop your ability to work effectively in a group on a complex engineering problem giving you the skills valued by engineering employers.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The main element will be regular meetings, preferably weekly but could be less often, as agreed by all parties between the project supervisors and the students. Initially, these meetings will be used to define the details of the projects and then to review the progress of the group. An initial meeting with the students and the project coordinator will help to clarify the objectives and methods of assessment of the projects. Depending on the project and her/his role in the team, each student could be involved in a wide range of learning activities. The following elements will be common: • Self-directed study: given the size of the projects, you will be responsible for several subtasks. This could include consulting relevant textbooks and researching papers, consulting members of academic staff for technical support, writing computer programs, and liaising with technicians, external companies or ‘clients’. • Group-led work: you will have to synthesise and report your work to the other group members to contribute to the discussions and decision making within the group. Team work will also include organising the project, distributing the tasks between the students and coordinating these tasks. • Reporting: During the regular meetings with the supervisors the students will present their current work. At the end of the first term a presentation describing the project plan and progress of the group will be delivered by each group to the supervisors, project coordinator or external industry sponsor. At the end of the year in June each group will submit a report and deliver a final presentation. You will have support from your project supervisor during the project. Make sure that you effectively use meetings with him or her. It is up to you also to make good use of all the resources available with the Faculty and the University. There is always support from the library to support your research skills see www.southampton.ac.uk/library/resources/ for help with information skills. You will be asked at the end of the project to comment on the contributions made by each member of the group. If you have any problems within the group, discuss them with your supervisor. When you write up your work ensure there is no plagiarism – if you are in doubt, see the Academic Skills guide ‘Referencing your work at: http://www.southampton.ac.uk/unde...hing/academic_skills_guides.html. This guide will also help you to understand how to reference correctly using the referencing system which you should be using.

TypeHours
Supervised time in studio/workshop20
Placement Hours120
Independent Study310
Total study time450

Resources & Reading list

Funds and Other Resource. Resources required are dependent on the project you undertake and you will be given a budget that you must manage to deliver your design to cost. Each project qualifies for funding at a level determined by the core project funding and the number of students in each group. Funds will cover the costs of travel expenses, materials and hospitality for project sponsors. All requests for reimbursement against project funds should be submitted to the CDT-SIS administrator. Each group should appoint a treasurer who is responsible for ensuring that the budget is properly managed.

Assessment

Assessment Strategy

.

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Group report 85%
Oral Assessment 15%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Design 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal

Costs

Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Travel Costs for placements

The University will pay for travel and accommodation, including specific health-related requirements, such as vaccinations. You will be expected to pay for your own food and expenses whilst away. This will then be reimbursed upon your return. You will be expected to keep receipts. You will be expected to purchase your own appropriate weather-specific clothing and toiletries such as sun cream, mosquito repellent.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at www.calendar.soton.ac.uk.

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