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Seminar Starting a Project. Khaled Almotairi Modified by Majid Algethami. Get started. Establish project team Choose topics in the problem area Determine your limits Prepare Gantt chart (timeline) . Problem selection. Evaluate topics

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Seminar starting a project

SeminarStarting a Project


Modified by


Get started
Get started

  • Establish project team

  • Choose topics in the problem area

  • Determine your limits

  • Prepare Gantt chart (timeline)

Problem selection
Problem selection

  • Evaluate topics

  • Do a literature survey on problem area and topics

  • Determine existing solutions

  • Set your objectives and goals

  • Identify realistic design constraints

Desirable criteria for topic selection
Desirable criteria for topic selection

  • Requires use of computer engineering prerequisites (courses)

  • Can be built by students

  • Requires use of other resources (faculty, library, computers, software)

Characteristics of good design practice
Characteristics of good design practice

Good design practices enable difficult design problems to be solved.

  • List criteria, requirements, and constraints

  • Identify users and their tasks

  • Identify effects on the environment

  • Generate multiple solutions

  • Select optimal solutions

  • Best practice


  • A design heuristic is a general (and not necessarily actionable) rule-of-thumb based on experience

  • Heuristics lead to quick design solutions that often work well but may fail in some situations


  • A design guideline is a general rule based on experience and specific knowledge of the design problem that may be applied to a design solution

  • We mean something more specific than heuristics


  • A standard provides more direction about the acceptable solution space by stating technical requirements that must be satisfied by candidate designs

  • Standards do not provide a complete solution, but do dictate a set of requirements that must be satisfied by a solution


  • Specification refers to a description of a solution which provides all of the details.

  • Using a specification, an engineer should be able to reproduce a design exactly


  • an accident caused by a stray camel

Technical communications
Technical Communications

  • Writing is perhaps the most important way in which you will convey your ideas to managers, other engineers, and customers

  • Your communication skills will therefore determine how successful you are as an engineer, perhaps even more so than your technical expertise!

Types of technical documents
Types of Technical Documents

  • Letters

  • Memos

  • Emails

  • Specification documents

  • Bids and proposals

  • Reports



  • Body:

  • - Purpose of the letter

  • Desired outcome

  • Some actions to take

Closing statements

Memos memorandum
Memos (memorandum)

  • It means something to be remembered

  • A written communication between people within a company or an organization

  • It can be forma or informal written communication


  • Electronic mail is sent and received using computing devices and a network (e.g., the Internet)

  • It is like a memo that has not yet been printed

  • It can be formal or informal

  • Email is sent over the Internet, so it is unsecure

  • Don’t send unencrypted email if it contains very sensitive (classified) documents

  • A company or an organization inspects any incoming or outgoing email (you will lose privacy)

Specification documents
Specification Documents

  • The specification document is used by the engineer who design, build, or otherwise provide the product

  • It is basically a list of criteria or tests that determine the characteristics required of a desired product, component, process, or system

  • It usually contains:

    • Introduction and scope: the purpose of the product or service

    • List of requirements

Bids and proposals
Bids and Proposals

  • They are offers from engineers to provide services.

  • A bid is an offer to provide specified services

  • A proposal typically suggests a means of meeting a need that has not been specified precisely and offers to provide the required service

  • When accepted, they are part of legal contracts between the engineers and the clients


  • Report formats vary according to their formality, purpose, and content

  • It should be formal (or less formal) documents

  • It can be:

    • Journal/conference paper

    • Thesis

    • technical report, such as lab report

Writing style
Writing Style

  • Depends on the audience

  • More Lively Writing (usually preferred)

    • First Person, Active Voice, Past/Present Tense

  • More Formal Writing

    • Third Person, Passive Voice, Past/Present Tense

  • Never use slang

Writing mechanics
Writing Mechanics

  • Check Spelling

  • Check Grammar

  • Minimize the use of Acronyms

  • If Acronyms are necessary, always define them at the first use

  • Number all equations, tables, and figures

  • All tables and figures must have captions.

  • All figures must have labeled axes

  • All quantities must have units

Writing the report an approach
Writing the Report: An Approach

  • Decide on a title

  • Create a brief outline with only main section headings

  • Create a more detailed outline with subheadings

  • Create an executive summary

  • Create the main body of text

  • Insert tables, figures, references, and acknowledgements

The best method for presentation of technical reports
The best method for presentation of technical reports

  • The main key to the successful presentation is to repeat your ‘story’ four times:

    • Title (10 words)

    • Abstract (100 words)

    • Introduction (1000 words)

    • in the text (10,000 words)

  • Estimations show that

    • 80% will see only title

    • 15% will read the abstract

    • 4% will read also introduction

    • the surviving 1% will read the whole paper

Abstract executive summary
Abstract (Executive Summary)

  • Repeat the story of the title (What)

  • Why the work was done (Why)

  • How it was done (How)

  • Key results, with numbers as appropriate, conclusions, recommendations


  • This is not a substitute for the report, and so does not echo the abstract

  • Here is the place for context, relation to prior work, general objective, and approach

Related work
Related work

  • Some information on previous work

  • Place the most similar works to what you do

  • How your work is different from others

Theory and analysis
Theory and Analysis

  • Briefly describe the theory relevant to the work

  • Provide design equations

  • Include calculations and computer simulation results

  • Provide values for all key parameters

Experimental procedures
Experimental Procedures

  • Describe Apparatus and Materials

  • Show test setups

  • If this section is well written, any electrical or computer engineer should be able to duplicate your results.

Results and discussion
Results and Discussion

  • Use tables and graphs

  • Consider moving large quantities of raw data, detailed derivations, or code to an appendix

  • Methods of plotting which produce well delineated lines should be considered

  • Results should be critically compared to theory

  • Consider limitations in the theory and engineering tolerances


  • Similar to executive summary

  • Repeat the story

  • Must be concise

  • Reinforces key ideas formed in discussion

  • Includes recommendations for future work, such as implementation of a design

Figures and tables
Figures and Tables

  • Every figure must have a caption

  • All tables must have a title

  • Figure/tables are placed after they are mentioned in the text (all must be mentioned/discussed)

  • Make figures/tables first, and then insert into the text

  • Put the figure/table number beside its title, and put this in a standard location

  • Don’t start a sentence with an abbreviation: Figure vs. Fig.


  • Keep track of those to be acknowledged-keep a diary so that you don’t forget anyone

  • Include: your sponsor, outside sources (companies or agencies), other departments on campus, individuals outside of your team who have helped

  • Be brief


  • Various formats have been developed. Pick one you like such as the IEEE Transactions format

  • Decide on a sequence, such as the order they appear in the text

  • Always give full references such that others may find the item

References examples
References (examples)

  • [1] A. Student and B. Professor, “Very Important Project,” in Journal of Irreproducable Research, vol. 13, no. 9, pp. 25-31, Nov. 2004.

  • [2] C. Dean, The Book of Earth-Shattering Research, Husky Press, Storrs, CT, 2005.