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Saturday, 26 November 2011

Preliminary Design Review for 4th year Engineering Project

So, I've been a bit behind in posting as of late, but I have been busy. Additionally, while a lot has been going on, it's more or less similar to the work of which I wrote before. That being said, let me tell you a little about my PDR that I had this week for my engineering class.

As you may or may not remember, my 4th year engineering course is a year-long project with a budget of under $1000. We are supposed to design, plan, and develop a project which lies within that scope and present our progress over the course of 8 months. This past Wednesday was the first of said presentations, known as a Preliminary Design Review.

While our classmates and professor knew a lot about our project, this presentation was also in front of some prominent members from the engineering industry, such as some members of the Professional Engineers of Ontario, and several corporate sponsors.

Everyone was very nervous, but honestly, I was more excited than nervous. Our group, Team BDN (not being very creative and using our first initials for our team name), had practiced several times, and I was confident of our impending success. Additionally, with some help from my friends, Marco Barrettara and Meredith Thompson, our presentation came with a snazzy video which was sure to wow them.

If you are interested in seeing the finished presentation, feel free to contact me.

Our group went first, and I used my usual charm and confidence to win over the audience. The presentation went very well, and it felt very good to have finished. My only concern with the entire process was the issue of marketability. After every presentation was finished, the industry leaders asked several questions and suggested some additional areas of focus, but they also asked about our business plan. While having a target market and knowing how to sell your product is important, it is kind of funny to note that no where in any of my engineering courses do we concern ourselves with why we are designing/making a product. We only deal with creating requirements, functional and performance, for determining how well a design should function. So, being asked so much about how we were going to market our product was a little annoying and a little frustrating as we never even cover it in our curriculum. Also, there's the fact that my team's product, particularly, is not going to market. We are making our integrated GPS/IMU path-tracking device so as to learn more about the software and hardware involved and also for the benefit of our professor who wants to use it once we are done for further research.

Anyway, like I said before, it was a success, and I look forward to our next presentation in the Winter term. Thanks for reading!

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