Proposal is the first submitted requirement of the 4th-year design project. A separate proposal should be written and submitted by every student within a project group. The proposal helps to put the project into perspective, and gives the student an opportunity explore the project early in the term while being less busy with other courses. A well-written proposal will shed light into the path ahead and helps to run the project much smoother. Students are encouraged to spend quality time on the proposal.
The supervisor is going to read the proposal and comments on it. Once the proposal is submitted and modified by incorporating the comments of the supervisor, parts of it can be readily used to write the final report. This by itself will save the student valuable time toward the end of the winter term when that final project reports are due.
The proposal carries a weight of 5% in the project, as marked by the supervisor. The proposal would gain the majority of this mark, if it is properly structured, addresses the required information, and satisfies the reader that an appropriate effort has been exerted to explore the topic. The proposal should include the following information.
Project Topic (general area)
The general topic of the project, such as “Solar Energy”, “Photonic Devices”, and “RF IC Design”.
Project Title (group)
Specific title of the project. The title should be specific enough to highlight the main features of the project that makes it distinct. This is like the title of a technical journal or conference article, or a technical report of a company.
Project subtitle (individual part)
A title that highlights the particular part of the project handled by the individual student (writing the proposal). This title should make the role of the student distigvishable from the rest of the group.
A clear statement identifying the goal being sought through the project. If more than one objective are followed, the main one should be stated and the minor ones may follow as listed items.
Explains the importance of the general topic being explored and the positive role it plays in enhancing the welfare of human being, safeguarding the environment, or improving the economy. This should be followed by the motivations behind the project undertaken as a group. Next, the importance of the individual part explored by the student should be justified. All the claims made should be supported by citing appropriate reference, unless they are obviously acceptable.
Explains how the objective is to be approached, and what techniques are to be used to investigate the problems. Also, describes the challenges to overcome and references the state-of-art in the field. The testing, verification, and evaluation techniques that are planned to be used are expected to be outlined as well. It is very important to address references that may help one to understand the topic and gain the necessary skills.
Lists the hardware and software that are required for conducting the project and the role that each one plays. The hardware includes any lab equipment or component and software includes any CAD tool (or specific parts of it) employed, any computer language, and any computer program used for manipulation of the data. Resources that may be used to learn the use of the tools should also be referenced.
Speculates on the possible outcome of the project based on the group effort and the effort of the author. The outcome includes technical results, advancements, innovations, as well as the academic and social learning experience of a graduating engineer. Business, environmental, and health-related implications of the work should be highlighted.
Management and Time Table
Describes the plans for handling the project efficiently and effectively, as a group and as an individual. Note that a major challenge in concluding the project successfully is the interfacing of the individual parts designed by the group members. Regular meetings and close collaborations between the group members is the only way to assure that the individual parts fit together properly.
The student is expected to supply a time table that lists the planned group activity and self activity on a monthly basis. The time table should address the preparation for submitting a progress report in early December, an oral presentation followed by a poster presentation toward the end of March, and submission of the final report in early April. Hence, a major portion of the project should be accomplished by the end of the fall term, and the project should be effectively wrapped up by the end of February. The final results should be obtained by early March. The rest of March should be dedicated to preparation for the oral and poster presentations as well as writing the final report. Some projects may require funding; the request it is due one week after the proposal.
Lists the references cited in the text of the proposal. As a general rule, the bibliography of a document must contain no references without it being previously addressed within the body of the document. There are different reference citation standards. The most widely adopted format by electrical and electronics engineers for publishing their work is the IEEE reference citation standard, as described in the following link http://www.ieee.org/documents/
The proposal is mainly used to guide the student, not to punish. The suggested marking scheme is as follows:
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