Table of Contents
Phase II: Project Design
To set a clear project mission, set of goals, and action plan so the project has a destination and route to get there. To create the design documents necessary for physically making, doing or testing the proposed project concept.
We have a project proposal form for your team to use. We use this because we want our teams to have a solid blueprint before they start rushing to design or build. We also want to make sure our project teams are fulfilling ESW’s vision, mission, values, and goals, including sustainability and safety. Create a Gantt Chart that encompasses the order of all the project goals needed to accomplish your project mission. Include as many intermediary steps as you can to ensure that nothing will be overlooked. Begin designing your project with any necessary models and tests. If necessary look for professional guidance when designing your project. List all technical specifications needed to implement your design. These may consist of anything important from proper dimensions to required power. Create a budget for the necessary materials and tools (ESW has a few tools and the engineering labs may allow your team access if you meet a few qualifications). Find a place where your team will be working on the project and will be able to store your materials. ESW now has limited storage space and has been allowed to work in the back of EBU II. Propose your design to the Board of Directors and work with them to create a design ready for implementation. When designing your project keep in mind that the safety of our members is always the highest priority. Consider creating a few back-up plans for crucial components of the project so that it can remain on track.
● Review Project Proposal Guidelines: Review the Constitution’s definition of a sustainable project and the document on project proposal guidelines.
● Create a Project Mission and a Set of Goals: Project missions define the final project product/outcome and scope of the project (example: a Solar Tree’s scope could be anywhere from two panels to an array of sixteen). The goals are the intermediary steps it takes to get achieve the mission.
○ Example: The Solar Slider’s mission is to research, design and build a single prototype mobile solar charging station primarily to charge Fleet Service’s electric utility vehicles at UCSD.
● Create Project Parameters:Project parameters set out the boundaries (and goals) for what you’re doing. This is more or less the same as a constraint. For example, a parameter might be to have the final product weigh less than 200 pounds, produce more than 450 W of power, cost less than $150, affect over 50 people, etc. Most likely, your parameters are your team’s decisions on the project’s critical factors from phase I.
○ Example: Solar Slider parameters were i) ability to charge consumer electronics ii) ability to charge utility vehicles from ~35% to ~80% capacity iii) legal roadworthiness iv) American-made supplies when possible. These parameters led to other conclusions: to charge utility vehicles that much, we needed ~1500 W peak output, and to be road-legal, the solar slider had to be less than 102 inches wide.
● Complete Project Plan: the build plan can come in different forms, but the purpose is the same: ensuring the most efficient build process possible. This has to be done especially if you’re trying to coordinate thousands of dollars’ worth of materials, advisors, companies and multiple team members. You may use a GANTT chart, excel, paper and pencil or something else, but make sure to include the following elements
○ Break up the build process into stages: what do you need to build first? After that?
■ Example: for Solar Slider v1, we could order the trailer and build the cage simultaneously. However, we had to wait on the bearings until we finished the cage and got the trailer. We also had to wait for the trailer to build the custom rotating base for the hydraulic ram. These became the stages we built the project in.
○ Ask yourself basic questions about the stages:What resources do you need for the stage (expertise, equipment, location, etc)? Which members are participating? What materials do you need? Which companies are you interacting with? What are the team member’s schedules like during the quarter?
Critical ones are:
■ Materials list: Include the quantity, cost and any relevant safety procedures. Reference where you can get the materials and how (do you have to physically pick them up in some type of truck?).
■ Tools list: which tools do you need? Which will you need professional or some other type of assistance with?
○ Plan with time in mind: Shipping, travel to the work-site, processing financial transactions, performing a repetitive but necessary task (sanding metal, making the same precise cuts in many pieces, etc) can often take lots of time. Also recognize you’re probably underestimating how long even if you try not to.
○ Safety: SAFETY FIRST! Take it seriously and plan it if you can. People involved in the Build Phase need the required training/certification and safety equipment to operate necessary tools and materials. The safety of the build environment also needs to be determined. A proper First Aid kit must available on the build site throughout ALL build hours. Don’t do something your team doesn’t feel prepared to do. Work with your Director or a mentor to find some way to get professional help.
○ Plan for delay: If possible, include a backup plan if things go wrong in each of the stages. Where will you store everything if there is a significant delay (weeks, maybe even a month)? Will you be able to properly protect the materials (ie: metal from rusting)? Who is responsible for taking care of it?
● Find Build Space: We have agreements with various parts of UCSD to host our projects, but they want a specific plan and time frame before accepting them. That’s why you need a build plan. If what we can find at UCSD isn't the appropriate space, you and your Director can search for alternatives.
● Project Termination: Discuss with your team where the finished project will ultimately go and what purpose it will fulfill. It may be a demo or be used by a team or community. It is not limited to this though, think about where your project can best benefit others.
The design process can be broken down into eight steps which are all critical to meet before the gate review.
1. Identify the problem: Although this step may have already been met in earlier reviews, it is important to establish what your project is going to be used for. Without a need there is no reason to do the project. Without a problem there is no need. This step will help make sure you’re team is still aligned with your original project goals and hasn’t begun to stray from those.
2. Identify the criteria and constraints: What are the limitations of your project? Does it have to fit in a certain area? Does it have to be made out of specific materials? What limits are caused by the criteria and constraints? As important as it is to realize what your project can do, it is also important to understand what your project will not accomplish as this can cause unnecessary spending and changing of your design down the road.
3. Brainstorm possible solutions: Have each team member sketch their idea for the project. Be sure to identify and label all parts and indicate if they are intended to move or not. Discuss the strengths of each idea and if strengths can be combined.
i. It’s important not to disregard any team member’s idea no matter how difficult, forward thinking or even outlandish it may seem. All ideas are worth considering in the early design phase
4. Generate ideas: From the sketches, develop two or three ideas thoroughly and make isometric drawings. Include measurements and dimensions on these drawings and save them for presentations or reference.
5. Explore possibilities: Write down the pros and cons for each design.
i. Develop Design Priority matrices to help prioritize and decide design possibilities in an objective manner. Includes: Material, function, etc.
6. Select an approach: Pick the design that best solves the problem at hand. Write a statement as to why the chosen design was picked.
7. Build a model or prototype: Construct a scale model (or full size if desired) based on the drawings. Identify the appropriate tools and materials needed to construct the final design.
8. Refine the design: Review the prototype and note the changes that need to be made based on the criteria and constraints. Write down the solutions to any problems and then modify your prototype.
Before beginning construction, there’s some final things to consider. It’s your and your project Director’s responsibility to decide when and what particular implementation actions are needed. But here are some suggestions.
● Involve Stakeholders: To the extent that it’s possible and useful, include the stakeholders in the design. For example, UCSD administration is far more likely to accept a project that it had a hand in creating. Additionally, you can gain the stakeholder’s insights, and potentially their resources if they like your idea enough.
● Site: Different projects may prefer different locations to implement the product. You’ve probably already identified sites you’d like. Have you talked to the stakeholder involved in that site? Some consideration of the project site should have been done during early planning, but checking in with stakeholders again is always a good move.
● Implementation permission: It may not be appropriate to start building until you have permission from the stakeholders to implement the project. Team members will need to negotiate with certain parties in order to get the land-use permission, and such a process may not be easy. For example, the bottle bench project tries to build a bottle bench in an open space between Price Center and Geisel Library. Yet after a long time of negotiation with school administration, the project failed to obtain the permission, and thus had to change the location.
○ Things other than the location choice may also be considered. For example, the Thailand Biogas team builds a biogas digester for an Thailand Village, and wants to test it out in UCSD. Although human manure will be used in Thailand to be a major material to generate the biogas, it is prohibited to be used on UCSD campus. Thus other substituted materials (such as veggies) may be picked when testing the biogas digester.
What to Submit:
Deliverable: Project Design
● Executive Summary
○ Team Members
● Mission Statement
○ Design Parameters and Constraints
● Timeline and Plan (Gantt Chart)
○ Preliminary Implementation Planning
The gate review for this stage is the project plan. Your team will present your design and project plan to the Board of Directors. The Board will make recommendations and vote on whether to move the project through to the next phase and what immediate resources it can provide to help. You will have the opportunity to discuss your project with the whole Board directly. Set up a meeting time to present to the Board of Directors your project design. Contact the current Vice President of Project Management to set up an appointment.
Remember, this isn’t meant to be a high-stress evaluation period. The purpose of gate review is just to make sure ESW projects have the highest possible chance of success with minimal risks. If you disagree with the board’s recommendations, you can talk to us.
Passing the Phase:
We have a positive reputation with The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF), which funds sustainable projects and initiatives. After passing this phase with a good plan, you gain the right to use ESW’s name and resources in a TGIF application. We’ll also look for a mentor for you, if you don’t already have one or want another one. We’ll give you open access to our tools and try our best to find you appropriate workspace. Open-access means you’ll likely be given access to the ESW Tool Shed by your Director. Please take care of them and yourself! Before you and your teammates can have access to the ESW Tools we ask that your team completes this basic quiz set up by your Board of Directors: ESW Tool Safety Quiz. Keep in contact with your director for your results.