Individual Component Analysis
Individual Component Analysis Writeup (1 - 2 pages)
Each student will also have the task of gathering information on a component likely to be used in their project. The component may be a mechanical component, an electrical component, or software. This Individual Component analysis is separate from the team risk reduction effort but is meant to support the overall project objective. In addition it is meant to provide experience in the art of gathering information. The component analysis should include:
1. Brief project description.
2. The Functional Requirements (need) of the component
3. A short description of at least 3 different components options
4. A summary table comparing the pros and cons of the different components found (make sure to include cost!)
5. A list of references used. Include databases searched, keywords used, and contacts made during phone calls. Describe how your keywords evolved over the search process.
A literature search should be performed using the Literature Searching References at the bottom of this page.Phone calls should be made to learn more about the products, get pricing information, and request samples where appropriate.
Remember that this is one of the first technical documents you are going to produce, as such, take into consideration the use of formal writing as well as to avoid the use of first person.
The evaluation and comparison of components should be posted on the team website (no hardcopy needed) by the date shown on the course schedule. Post both a document (.doc/.docx) and a PDF file.
Tips for the Art of the Technical Phone Call
a. Review material on the web first so you sound knowledgeable
b. Ask to speak to an application engineer (otherwise you will be directed by default to sales)
c. Introduce yourself as a University of California at San Diego engineering student working on an Industry or research project (whichever is appropriate)
d. Get pricing and availability on all parts in question (ask if they have samples or educational discounts)
e. Ask about pros and cons of the various options. Ask about the strength of the company compared to their competitors.
f. Always get the name, phone number, and email address of the person you spoke to
g. Remember that establishing a relationship on the phone is an art and requires good interpersonal skills. However, the reward for of a good phone call may save you months of research time.
Literature Searching References
Engineering Resources: Collection of Links from around the web
Google Scholar: Scientific articles. If searching from UCSD or through VPN, can allow download of many full articles.
More Literature Searching Links
Don't forget technical phone calls to vendors (they provide a treasure of information not available on the web)!
Example component analysis and literature search by Jason Hamada. This is not a perfect example but it is a good guideline to follow. You can notice the use of first person which should be avoided in technical documents.