Engineering Project

Unit A4:

Level:                               3

Guided learning:              120 – Double unit

 

 

Unit introduction

In the modern world engineers and technicians are often involved fully or in part with identifying problems and finding suitable solutions. These engineering problems may range from a very large project, such as designing and building a

hydroelectric power station, to smaller projects, such as designing and producing a paper clip to keep notes secure. No matter how large or small, these problems need to be project managed in order to find engineered solutions. This unit will provide learners with opportunities to present their own solutions to engineering projects and should enable them to feel confident in carrying out project work within their chosen engineering discipline at the technician level.

The unit aims to integrate the knowledge and skills learners have gained throughout their programme of study, into a major piece of work that reflects the type of performance expected of an engineering technician. The project is intended to develop the learner’s ability to identify and plan a course of action and follow this through to produce a viable solution/outcome to an agreed specification and timescale.

The end result of the project could be an engineering product, device, service or process or a modification to an existing process or product. As in the real world, the outcome of the project and its presentation are very important, although this project is also about developing the process skills necessary to carry out the project. Throughout the project learners will need to apply the technical skills developed in the other units in the qualification.

 

Learning outcomes

On completion of this unit a learner should:

  • Be able to keep records, specify a project, agree procedures and choose a solution
  • Be able to plan and monitor a project
  • Be able to implement the project plan within agreed procedures
  • Be able to present the project outcome

 

Unit content

 

1    Be able to keep records, specify a project, agree procedures and choose a solution

Project records: written e.g. notes, sketches, drawings; plans and modified plans; targets (setting, monitoring); use of planning tools e.g. paper based, electronic; recording initial concepts e.g. lists, notes, mind mapping, flow diagrams, sketches

Initial concepts: setting limits e.g. time, cost, feasibility, need; value–cost– benefit analysis; generating ideas e.g. group discussion, brainstorming, mind mapping; research techniques; lines of communication

Specification: type of project e.g. product design, plant layout/maintenance, production methods or similar engineering-related topics; technical information

e.g. functionality, reliability, operational conditions, process capability, scale of operation, size, capacity, cost, style, ergonomics, present and future trends; health and safety issues; environmental and sustainability issues; quality standards and legislation; timescales; physical and human resource implications

Procedures: roles and responsibilities e.g. decision making, budget planning and control; reporting methods; resource allocation and limits

Techniques: comparison methods e.g. statistical, graphical, quality and resource requirements/limitations, process capability, fitness-for-purpose; analysis e.g. cost–benefit, feasibility

 

  • Be able to plan and monitor a project

Planning: long-term planning e.g. planners, charts and scheduling techniques (flow charts, Gantt charts, critical path methods, software packages); setting priorities; useful resource information e.g. human and physical

Monitoring: monitor and record achievement e.g. use of logbook and/or diary for record keeping (names, addresses, telephone numbers, meeting dates, email and other correspondence lists); use of logbook e.g. for recording and analysing data or performance records, modifying/updating charts/planners, recording project goals and milestones, initial concepts, project solution technical decisions and information

 

  • Be able to implement the project plan within agreed procedures

Implement: proper use of resources e.g. equipment, tools, materials, within agreed timescale, use of appropriate techniques for generating solutions, adapting project plan where appropriate, maintaining appropriate records

Checking solutions: use of evaluative and analytical techniques e.g. graphs, matrix methods, statistics, Gantt charts, sequencing, scheduling, critical path methods, computer software packages

 

  • Be able to present the project outcome

Presentation: deliver a presentation to a small group e.g. audience including known (peer group, tutors) and unknown (actual or simulated customer or client) participants; use of preparation techniques, presentation styles and techniques; preparation and use of visual aids e.g. overhead transparencies, software packages and projectors, charts, models, video/DVD clips

Project report: logbook/diary record of all events; written technical report including relevant drawings/ circuit diagrams, sketches, charts, graphs etc appropriate to the project solution; use of information and communication technology (ICT) as appropriate to present findings e.g. CAD, DTP, spreadsheets, databases, word processing