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Communications in engineering. Dr. Yan Liu Department of Biomedical, Industrial and Human Factors Engineering Wright State University. Factors in Professional Communications. Audience Analysis Is the communication to an expert or a general audience How formal should the communication be

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Communications in engineering

Communications in engineering

Dr. Yan Liu

Department of Biomedical, Industrial and Human Factors Engineering

Wright State University

Factors in professional communications
Factors in Professional Communications

  • Audience Analysis

    • Is the communication to an expert or a general audience

    • How formal should the communication be

    • What level of detail is expected

    • What is the importance of the communication to the recipient(s)

    • What is the time available for this communication

  • Selection of Format to Convey Message

    • Written

      • Email, memoranda, letters, engineering report

    • Oral

      • Telephone calls, informal talk, formal presentations

    • Graphics

      • Drawings, pictures, maps

Factors in professional communications1
Factors in Professional Communications

  • General Rules

    • The purpose of the communication should be clearly stated at beginning

    • The communication should be direct and to the point

      • Conciseness is necessity

    • Communications have been edited, refined, and practiced, as appropriate

    • Communication should be complete

      • Contains all the required information

    • Select an organizational format appropriate for the communication

Why are engineers often ineffective communicators
Why Are Engineers Often Ineffective Communicators

  • Many engineering students have a natural inclination for math and science but little for writing or oral communications

  • Engineering students often have little understanding of grammar and basic sentence and paragraph structure

Writing resources
Writing Resources

  • WSU Writing Center


    • Helps people become more competent writers within a peer tutoring environment

  • WSU Writing Web


    • An online community for writers

  • Grammar and Language Information

    • The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation


      • An online reference guide and workbook

    • Grammar, Punctuation, and Capitalization

      • (free to download)

      • A handbook for technical writers and editors from NASA

    • etc.

Presentation resources
Presentation Resources

  • Presentation Skills

    • (career training website)


  • Organization

    • Toastmasters International

      • A nonprofit educational organization that operates clubs worldwide for the purpose of helping members improve their communication, public speaking and leadership skills


      • Wright State Toastmasters meets at E103 Student Union at 12:00pm on Mondays (

Engineering report
Engineering Report

  • Purpose

    • Records how and why the work was accomplished and what the results, recommendations, and conclusions were

    • Often the only document related to work that is maintained on file for future reference

  • Typical Elements

    • Title

    • Authors

    • Abstract

    • Introduction

    • Technical approach

    • Results and discussion

    • Conclusions

    • Acknowledgement

    • References

    • Appendix

Engineering report1
Engineering Report

  • Title

    • Brief and descriptive of your work

      • Clearly states what the work was about

      • Use adjectives that describe the distinctive features of the work (e.g. reliable, high-performance, robust, low-cost, etc.)

      • Avoid jargon or vernacular

  • Authors

    • Name

    • Affiliation

    • Contact information of the corresponding author

      • e.g. phone, email

Engineering report2
Engineering Report

  • Abstract

    • A brief (~200 words or less) statement of the essential components of the report

      • Objective(s)

      • Methods(s) used

      • Significant results

      • Conclusions

  • Introduction

    • Provide the necessary background

    • Describe the objective(s)

    • Define the scope of the investigation

    • Identify any previous studies or efforts that are related to the work

Engineering report3
Engineering Report

  • Technical Approach

    • Provides detailed information about how the work was accomplished

      • Theoretical/design principles involved

      • Equations used

      • Design sketches and diagrams

      • Experiment setup and design

      • etc.

  • Results and Discussion

    • If experiments were involved

      • Describe data analyses and their results

      • Describe any complications (e.g. missing data, outliers, etc.) and how they were handled

      • Statistical techniques

        • Understand the techniques applied and the statistics you are reporting

        • Try to use the simplest, appropriate technique that meets the underlying assumptions

Engineering report4
Engineering Report

  • Results and Discussion (Cont.)

    • Each major conclusion should be clearly substantiated

    • Any contradictory theories or results must be explained

    • Use carefully planned tables and graphs

    • Recognize the limitations of the work

    • Suggest future work

  • Conclusions

    • Provide a quick reference about the main conclusions for the reader with limited time

    • Conclusions reached in the results and discussion section are restated in a more general manner

Engineering report5
Engineering Report

  • References

    • There should be a one-to-one match between the references cited in the report and the list of references

    • Various styles of references

      • Chicago Manual of Style


      • IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) Style (Use in your project reports)


      • APA (American Psychological Association) Style


  • Appendix

    • Provide supporting information that is necessary yet not significant enough to be included in the body of the report

      • A complex mathematical proof

      • A questionnaire or survey instrument (unless it is the main contribution of the work)

Ieee reference style
IEEE Reference Style

  • References in the Text

    • References must be numbered in the order in which they appear in the text

    • Once you label the source, use the same number in all subsequent references

    • Each reference number should be enclosed by square brackets on the text line, with a space before the bracket and before the punctuation

      • e.g. “Visualization is crucial to data analysis; it provides a front line of attack, revealing intricate structure in data that cannot be absorbed in any other way [6].”

    • Do not include author(s) in the reference; if you want to stress the author(s), mention the author(s) in the sentence

      • e.g. “Cleveland argued that visualization is crucial to data analysis; it provides a front line of attack, revealing intricate structure in data that cannot be absorbed in any other way [6].”

    • It is not necessary to say "in reference [27]. . . ." "In [27] . . ." is sufficient

    • To cite more than one source at a time

      • Vastly preferred: [1],[3],[5] or [1] – [5]

      • Acceptable: [1, 3, 5] or [1 – 5]

Ieee reference style1
IEEE Reference Style

  • Reference List

    • References must be listed in the same order they were cited in text (numerical order)

    • List only one reference per bracketed number

    • Capitalization and italicization

      • Every important word in the title of a book must be capitalized and italicized

        • Prepositions and articles are not capitalized unless they are the first words in the title

      • Every important word in the title of a journal or conference must be capitalized and italicized

      • Capitalize only the first word of the title of an article, book chapter, thesis, or dissertation

      • Capitalize the "v" in volume for a book title but not for a journal

    • Abbreviations

      • You must either spell out the entire name of each journal or conference proceeding you reference or use accepted abbreviations; You must consistently do one or the other

      • To indicate a page range (e.g. pp. 111-222)

      • Reference one page only, use only one p (e.g. p. 111)

Ieee reference style2
IEEE Reference Style

  • Reference List (Cont.)

    • Author names

      • <first initial>. <middle initial> <last name>

        • e.g. D. L. Tao

      • Two authors

        • <first author> and <second author>

        • e.g. D. L. Tao and L. A. Stevens

      • Three or more authors

        • <first author>, <second author>, <third author>, … and <last author>

        • e.g. D. L. Tao, S. Al Kuran, and L. A. Stevens

Communications in engineering

S. M. Hemmingsen, Soft Science. Saskatoon: University of Saskatchewan Press, 1997.

  • Book Chapter

A. Rezi and M. Allam, "Techniques in array processing by means of transformations," in Control and Dynamic Systems, Vol. 69, Multidimensional Systems, C. T. Leondes, Ed. San Diego: Academic Press, 1995, pp. 133-180

  • Journal

G. Liu, K. Y. Lee, and H. F. Jordan, "TDM and TWDM de Bruijn networks and shufflenets for optical communications," IEEE Transactions on Computers, vol. 46, pp. 695-701, June 1997.

  • Conference proceeding

S. Al Kuran, "The prospects for GaAs MESFET technology in dc-ac voltage conversion," in Proceedings of the Fourth Annual Portable Design Conference, 1997, pp. 137-142.

  • Report (Technical report, Memoranda)

K. E. Elliott and C. M. Greene, "A local adaptive protocol," Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, France, Tech. Rep. 916-1010-BB, July 1997.

Communications in engineering

H. Zhang, "Delay-insensitive networks," M.S. thesis, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada, 1997.

  • Manual

Bell Telephone Laboratories Technical Staff, Transmission System for Communications, Bell Telephone Laboratories, 1995.

  • From the internet

Computational, Optical, and Discharge Physics Group, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, "Hybrid plasma equipment model: Inductively coupled plasma reactive ion etching reactors," December 1995,

  • Patent

K. Kimura and A. Lipeles, "Fuzzy Controller Component," U. S. Patent 14,860,040, December 14, 1996.


  • You must cite all sources of information in your work

  • What is Plagiarism

    • Presenting someone else’s ideas, work, or words as if they were your own

      • Copying from a source without citing it

      • Using the same words without using quotation marks (even with a citation)

  • More Information

    • Wright State University Writing Center:

Oral presentation
Oral Presentation

  • Means to Control Anxiety

    • Well prepared and has a thorough understanding of the material to be presented

    • Become familiar with the size and layout of the room

      • Availability of audio system and podium, the location of light switches, position of projectors, etc.

    • Wear the proper attire

    • Break the “barrier” between the speaker and audience by getting some sort of dialogue going

      • Self introduction, talk about fun “hot topics”, etc.

Oral presentation1
Oral Presentation

  • Title Slide

    • Title of the presentation

    • To which group, organization or meeting the presentation is being given

    • Presenter’s name, affiliation, contact information

    • Date of the presentation

  • Outline

    • Outline of the topics to be discussed

  • Body

    • Introduction

    • Technical approach

    • Results and discussion

    • Conclusions

Oral presentation2
Oral Presentation

  • Use of Visual Aids

    • Advantages

      • Catch the audiences’ attention

      • Facilitate understanding

    • Disadvantages

      • Preparation time

      • Cost