|Introduction to Academic Research|
|Important Course Pages|
- 1 Calendar Description
- 2 Learning Objectives
- 3 Projects for 2016
- 4 Projects for 2015
- 5 Projects for 2014
- 6 Projects for 2013
- 7 Projects for 2012
- 8 How to Register
- 9 Prerequisites
- 10 Research Project
- 11 Course Timeline, Deliverables and Grading:
- 12 Research Proposal (developed with project supervisor)
- 13 Research Thesis
- 14 Instructions for Professors Wishing to Advertise Project Ideas
MECH 493 (3) Introduction to Academic Research.
Research project directed by a faculty member in Mechanical Engineering. This course is not eligible for Credit/D/Fail grading. [0-5-1] Prerequisite: Fourth-year standing and at least 80% average in third-year courses and permission of instructor.
- To gain experience of the practice of academic research
- To understand the difference in thinking style required when doing research compared to when doing coursework studies. This thinking involves the creation of new knowledge rather than the acquisition of existing knowledge.
- To gain a deeper knowledge of a specialized area of interest.
- To gain personal insights into the practice of research to provide data for student decisions regarding future study/career choices.
Projects for 2016
- Professor Peter Cripton - Evaluating Bicycle Helmet Efficacy in Real World Impacts (project assigned)
- Professor Gwynn Elfring - Flexibility enhanced propulsion at low Reynolds number (project assigned)
- Professor Gwynn Elfring - Discrete fluid-structure interaction modeling (project assigned)
- Professor Patrick Kirchen - Development of a Laser Based Emission Sensor for Dynamic Engine Testing (project assigned)
- Professor Elizabeth Croft - Exploring the Effect of Proxemics on Human Recognition of Robotic Hand Gestures (project assigned)
- Professor Antony Hodgson - BackTracker System Calibration and Animal/Cadaver Testing (project assigned)
- Professors S. Green & B. Stoeber - Water Transport in Paper
- Professor Boris Stoeber - Viscosity Measurement at high Spatial Resolution
- Professor Ryozo Nagamune - Modeling and Control of a Scaled Offshore Wind Turbine Experimental Setup
- Professor Carl Olivier-Gooch - Applying Error Estimation Methods to Flows with Shocks
Projects for 2015
- Professor Sheldon Green - Thickness Measurement Technique For Impinging Jets on Moving Surface - Completed Project Summary
- Professor Gwynn Elfring - Elastohydrodynamic interactions of swimming microorganisms - Completed Project Summary
- Professor Gary Schajer - Non-inverting interferometer - Completed Project Summary
- Professor Ryozo Nagamune - Modeling and analysis of a scaled floating offshore wind turbine
- Professors S. Green & B. Stoeber - Water Transport in Paper
Projects for 2014
- Professor Peter Cripton - Effects of loading rate during in vitro fracture response of vertebral bodies under impact loading - Completed Project Summary
- Professor Ryozo Nagamune - Position control of a utility-scale floating offshore wind turbine
- Professor Steven Rogak - Ultra-fast exhaust particle measurements for engines
- Professor Boris Stoeber - Artificial mosquito bite - Completed Project Summary
- Professor Boris Stoeber - Rheology of a thermo-responsive material - Completed Project Summary
Projects for 2013
- Professor Boris Stoeber - Experimental Investigation of Falling Droplets Colliding with Sessile Droplets
- Professor Boris Stoeber - Exploring the Physics of Liquid Jets Impacting a Superhydrophobic Surface
- Professor Elizabeth Croft - Investigation of Human Balance and Galvanic Vestibular Stimulation
- Professor Elizabeth Croft - Exploring the Effect of Robotic Pose-able hand in Task Based Gestures in Human-robot Interaction
Projects for 2012
- Filled: Professor Boris Stoeber - Image pre-processing for micro particle image velocimetry - Completed Project Summary
- Filled: Professor Gary Schajer - Residual Stress Measurement in Laminated Components - Completed Project Summary
- Filled: Professor Elizabeth Croft Exploring the effect of robotic articulated hands in human robot collaboration - Completed Project Summary
- Filled: Professor Elizabeth Croft - Exploring human-robot nonverbal negotiation of resource conflicts
How to Register
Prospective students and proposed supervisors are requested to download and fill out the following form and submit it, along with a (unofficial) SISC printout of the student's third year grades, to the MECH office by September 8th (or as soon as possible thereafter). Students will not normally be accepted after the drop/add date.
80% average in third year
A suitable research project will require the student to use and exercise mature thinking and research skills. The student should use their judgement, review the relevant literature, plan and conduct experimental work, reflect and analyze results, formulate conclusion and produce a concise written report. Overall the project should provide an intellectually challenging experience, that is, not be routine or mundane.
Course Timeline, Deliverables and Grading:
Students are expected to devote approximately 20% of their time, or 8-10 h/wk, to their thesis project (one term); if the project is performed over two terms, the weekly commitment may be 4-5 h/wk.
|Deliverable||Deadlines for single term||Deadlines for two terms||Submit to:||Grading Weight|
|Proposal Abstract † (~1 paragraph)||Prior to term or first week||Prior to term or first week||Coordinator||0%|
|Short (Draft) Proposal (~1 page)||Second week of term||Third week of term||Coordinator & Supervisor||0%|
|Research Proposal (~10 pages)||5th week of term||8th week of term||Supervisor||25%|
|Presentation of a Research Paper (~15 min)||10th week of term||10th week of term||Coordinator||0%|
|Thesis (~20 pages)||Start of Dec exam period||Start of April exam period||Coordinator & Supervisor||60%|
|Research Project Presentation (~20 min)||One week after thesis submission||One week after thesis submission||Coordinator & Supervisor|
|Logbook ‡||with thesis||with thesis||Supervisor||10%|
|Web Summary § (100-200 words + picture)||with thesis||with thesis||Coordinator||5%|
- † Abstract: student identifies potential research supervisor; student submits short abstract (~1-2 paragraphs) outlining scope of project by email to course coordinator; proposed supervisor confirms to course coordinator (email okay) willingness to supervise.
- ‡ Note: students are expected to meet with their supervisor weekly and to document these meetings in their logbook. The use of a logbook is part of expected professional engineering practice and also a best practise for research. Students who do not submit their logbook for grading will not be given credit for this course.
- § Please use this template to submit your web summary.
Research Proposal (developed with project supervisor)
The students will prepare a research proposal with the guidance of their supervisors. The draft proposal is intended to help "kickstart" this process and should include your understanding of the research you are undertaking (what are you going to do?), and include pointers to the relevant background literature, the research motivation and questions/hypothesis, methods, and expected deliverables.
Before undertaking any writing students are advised to read Professor Ashby's (author of many papers and textbooks on materials) very readable, and illustrated, guide to writing a research paper.
The final proposal should be no more than 10 pages in length. It should have the following headings (or similar):
- Title (or Cover) Page – does not count toward the total page count.
- Table of Contents
- Introduction (including Statement of Problem, Purpose of Research, and Significance of Research)
- Background (including Literature Survey)
- Description of Proposed Research (including Method or Approach)
- List of References
- Budget and resources required
The final research thesis should have the following sections (or similar). The marking rubric is provided for supervisors as a guideline only:
- Introduction (10%)
- Literature Review (20%)
- Methodology (20%)
- Results (20%)
- Discussion (20%)
- Conclusions (and Recommendations if required) (10%)
Instructions for Professors Wishing to Advertise Project Ideas
Please download and fill in the following template and email to the course coordinator:
including a brief (100-200 word) abstract of the project prior to the start of term (ideally by August 26th).
The course coordinator will collect the project descriptions, post them and advertise to students.