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EEE2008 : Project and Professional Issues

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Andrew Smith
  • Lecturer: Mr Graham Cole
  • Owning School: Engineering
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


To develop the students’ planning, design, construction and communication skills through teamwork in a design based project

To provide students with the skills to understand the planning and management of technical projects, an appreciation of business organisation and planning, and the opportunity to practice these. To assist students with project activities within their undergraduate studies and to enable them to fulfil their roles as future engineering managers. To provide insight into issues of ethical and sustainable design.

Outline Of Syllabus

Group design and construction project
• Engineering project planning, teamwork and documentation.
• Design of electronic subsystems for inductive position sensing, microprocessor based closed loop control and PWM motor control.
• Development of embedded microprocessor code in C language.
• Construction and testing of electronic subsystems.
• System integration, fault finding and performance optimisation.

Business Fundamentals
• Rational for incorporation. The Company as a legal entity.
• Stakeholders – Founders, Directors, Shareholders, Employees
• Classification of business structures by:
• Stage of Development : Start-ups, SME’s , industrials, conglomorates, multi-nationals
• Investment Basis : private / public,
• Funding sources VCs, Business Angels, Crowdsourcing, Banks
• Markets Served : Consumer, Industrial, Military, Transportation, Utilities
• Class of Goods : Inventoried Products, Made to order, Designed to Order
• Modern Business Organisation

The Design Process
• Design as an integrated activity spanning full product lifecycle from conception to end of use.
• Principles of sustainable design. Component sourcing, manufacturing process considerations; waste byproducts, through life support issues and design for re-use, recycling or recovery.

Project Organisation & Planning
• Describe principles of organisation and planning in the context of engineering projects.
• Discuss the cycle of specification, planning, execution, monitoring, reporting and correction.
• Introduce financial aspects of project planning – cash flow, budgets, contingencies.
• Discuss conduct of meetings identification of team goals, individual actions, follow-up and review.
• Discuss basic risk management. Provide a framework that will assist students in the planning &
execution of 2nd year group projects:

• Group Projects undertaken through a series of assignments each of which produces a component of a business plan.
• Projects to focus on products/services which address some aspect of the key challenges: Globalisation – increased levels of global trade, Climate Change, Demographic Change- - the Ageing Population and Urbanisation- the transfer of population from countryside to cities.

• Ethical Considerations – discussion and exercises highlighting ethical issues faced by engineers and the IET Code of conduct.

Business Strategic Planning
• Corporate Mission Statements
• Strategic Planning: the process of developing & maintaining a viable match between the organization’s objectives skills and resources and its changing market opportunities.
• Discussion of market Attractiveness / Competitive Position Classification and Strategies
• Waste, Health and Safety issues
• The basic Business Strategic Planning Process
• Mission->SWOT->goal formulation->strategy formulation->program formulation

Business Financial Planning
• Financial Planning Overview
• Definition of basic terms: Cash & Cash flow; Sales Forecast and Revenues; Costs, Gross Margin; Overheads and Overhead recovery; Profit;
• Profit & Loss Accounts; Balance Sheets; Cash Flow Statements; Internal Rate of Return
• Pricing: Product Pricing Strategies; Issues of Volume versus Price
• Annual Budgeting as the main driver of fiscal planning
• R& D budgeting
• Project / Product level Budgeting: Design Estimation; Product Cost estimation issues;

Role of Marketing in Business Planning
• What is Marketing? Understanding the Market.
• Methods of gathering data to form an Understanding of the Market
• The Positioning of a Company and its products

The Business Plan
Executive Summary and table of Contents; Current Marketing Situation; SWOT analysis; Issues Analysis – distillation of the key issues to be addressed by plan; Objectives; Projected profit and Loss statement; Controls and methods of Monitoring progress.
Making the Pitch

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion16:006:00System demo (incl. preparation time)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture82:0016:00Business and Industrial Lectures
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture11:001:00Formative Feedback Session
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture12:002:00Introductory Lecture
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion135:0035:00Writing Project Report
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion135:0035:00Writing Business Report
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion13:003:00Buggy Competition
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical93:0027:00Electronics Lab Practical Sessions
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical23:006:00Computer Lab Sessions
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study169:0069:00Independent Study
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures provide basic material and guidance. Most of the work is self-directed by the students with guidance from academic supervisors. Project work forms the major element of the module which is conducted in the school’s laboratories.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Lab exercise302M35Individual System Demonstration (30 minutes)
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Report2M40Group Buggy Project Report (4000 Words)
Report2M25Business Report (3000 Words)
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Lab exercise2MFeedback from supervisor on current progress and understanding
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The module is entirely in-course assessed, requiring the students to work in groups. The main aim of the engineering design is to build a prototype system for an autonomous electronic Buggy. The design tasks are systematically partitioned as three individual subsystems. Each student leads one of these subsystem designs, which is assessed based on the planning, communication, building, and troubleshooting capabilities. The subsystems and overall system demonstration allows for assessment of the design and practical skills, whilst writing skills are assessed in the project thesis, which is generated as part of the module. The module also consists of business and entrepreneurial aspects, where students prepare a business case detailing an innovative solution to a contemporary challenge. The coursework gives the students the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of market research, business organisation, their teamwork, and entrepreneurial skills.

Reading Lists