Problem Definition Worksheet

Take good notes during your meeting with the sponsor, so that you are able to write-up the answers to the following questions. Bring this write-up to the meeting with the instructor.

Overview of Project Context

    • Describe the context of how the MAE156 project fits into the sponsor’s overall research or industry objectives.

Project Objectives

Concisely list and prioritize the project objectives and constraints

High Priority Objectives

Second Priority Objectives

Other Constraints and Issues

WOW Design Solution

Ask what would their dream design solution would be like. You may not achieve this, but it is good to know what it would be like.

Risk Reduction Objectives

The design team together with their sponsor should identify the first tasks of the project, to be completed during the last 3 weeks of the 156A quarter. These beginning tasks are meant to address high risks aspects of the project early on. Possible risk reduction tests could be a preliminary hardware test, analytical modeling, or software simulation. Ideally each team will identify some hardware and some analytical objectives for the risk reduction phase. The goals of these tests are to explore high areas of risk through simple prototypes and/or analysis. A good risk reduction test will ask specific questions and help make important design decisions, such this method will work and this one is unlikely to work. The results of the risk reduction tests will be presented in the MAE156A final period and will be the major graded portion of sponsored projects during MAE156A.

Intermediate Milestones

Identifying meaningful intermediate milestones is a critical for effective project management. Together with your sponsor identify such milestones, and specify specific performance requirements you aim to meet at each milestone. As the project progresses, these milestones will likely become more specific and their description should be updated.

Individual Component Analysis Topics

The individual component analysis is part of the risk reduction effort. Each student will select a component of the project to investigate. Common topics are evaluation of a component that the team would likely have to purchase during the project. Other components may be evaluations of different software or analytical methods to use. List component topics below:

Weekly Meeting Time with sponsor:

    • Setup a weekly meeting time with the sponsor (these will likely change during 156B).

    • Note: Reserved parking is available for sponsors who come to meetings on campus. Team should request reserved parking 3 days in advance. Conference rooms should also be requested along with parking when needed.