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Undergraduate Laboratories: Project Laboratory Structure


In all of the ECE labs, the student will be provided with the following information:

  1. A basic statement of the project objective
  2. The team members (if any)

To properly manage a project it is necessary to develop a clear and thorough plan and carefully monitor the execution of the plan. A number of mechanisms have been developed to aid in this process. First, it is necessary to develop the Goals, Objectives and Tasks for the program.

  • A goal is a clearly defined, constructive statement of a desired direction or activity in broad, general terms.
  • An objective is a specific, time-oriented and realistic statement of what is to be done, who is to do it, when it will be done and the criteria by which the results will be judge as successful.
  • A task is one step or one specific action in the attaining of an objective. A group of tasks is a plan of action spelling out how an objective will be reached.
  • Each task should have a deliverable that can be used to verify the task completion.

Within one week after receiving the project, the project team must develop a detailed project plan. Although all projects and project plans are dynamic, it is imperative that a detailed plan be developed initially and continually examined to properly execute the project within time and budget constraints.

The project plan should be put in the form of a Gantt Chart (refer to Project Management Tools) including weekly deliverables and the proposed budget. The Gantt Chart should be developed using Project Management software. This program provides for linking of task (Pert chart) which is essential to properly monitor the project. The Gantt chart should indicate 12 hours per week of work.

For all ECE laboratory projects, activities on the Gantt Chart must be broken down into time intervals no longer than one week in duration. Each task must have a specific deliverable (physical evidence) to indicate the task completion. Completion of the project within the given time and budget constraints is critical. Agreement between all parties (students, faculty advisors, lab instructors, lab director's staff) on acceptable deliverables is required. The project Gantt chart must indicate these weekly deliverables.

The Gantt Chart must be approved and signed by the lab instructor. Each member of the lab team must also sign the Gantt Chart. A signed copy of the Gantt chart must be handed in to the lab TA at the second class meeting.

Most of the projects in the EE labs are team projects. Although each team member will be assigned specific actions by the team, ALL team members are equally responsible for successful completion of the project. Team members will be measured for their contribution to the team by their advisor, lab instructor, lab director's staff and the team itself.

Each project team will have access to a lab bench in the Electrical Engineering undergraduate laboratory and will be expected to do their work in the lab. The lab instructor and/or other lab supervisors will visit the lab periodically to examine and evaluate projects. All equipment checked out from the stockroom must remain in the undergraduate labs. If any equipment is found missing it must immediately be reported.

Post the names of all team members on the lab bench. Keep the lab bench clean. Do not make messes on other lab benches. Do not take equipment for other lab benches without permission. Do not eat or drink in the lab.

Budget

The budget is an essential and integral part of the project. ALL expenses must be budgeted. All parts and equipment used on the project should be included. All equipment has a rental fee of 0.2%, per day, of the purchase (or replacement) price of the equipment. Parts are charged at the purchase price. Charge the indicated hourly rate for your own labor and include a 100% overhead charge. (ECE 3331 - $15/hr; ECE 3332/3/4 - $18/hr; ECE 4333/4 - $25/hr) (Overhead charges in industry are frequently much higher than 100%)