Hello everyone! I’d just like to apologise for my lack of posts, I have been bogged down with revision over the past few weeks. Thank fully as of Monday morning the horror that is exam period for me was over. Now just to wait for results and hope that all my hard work paid off!
The engineering department doesn’t give much of a break between exams and starting the next terms work having already started our design module again, although we get a week off labs and lectures; they don’t start till next week.
Towards the beginning of last term I wrote about a management module that second years undertake based around designing and running a new car company. This module is coupled with a design element to give the module, fittingly named, design and management. The management segment only lasts for first term, leaving more time this term to finish our design section, which I thought I’d tell you a bit about now.
Each year there is a different theme to the module for example one year had to design UAV’s, however this year our design theme is energy generation. In our teams, as designated by the department, we have to design and build a wind turbine out of a 0.5 m x 1.0 m x 0.7 mm thick sheet of aluminium. This may seem simple enough but there are a lot of criteria to fit to, such as it must have a maximum output voltage of 24V DC, its free-stream wind speed must be between 15 m/s and 18 m/s meaning we have to design a braking system that will stop it going above that speed. During semester one, we spent most of our time going through the basic ideas and designing a simple model that we then had to present to a visiting design professor, whom then critiqued our plans. Now this term we have to focus on dimensions costs before re-presenting it to the professor again. Then we have to actually build it and test it in the department’s wind tunnel. In the sessions we have had so far it seems to be coming together well, with a list of parts we need to order being made and calculations such as the tensile strength required have been made.
This is a very useful module for anyone aspiring to be an engineer in the future, you are put in a team of people that chances are you don’t know very well which is what a career in engineering will be like. Furthermore you will focus on your discipline of engineering, so as an aerospace engineer I am focused on the propeller and nose cone design, leaving the housing and stand to the mechanical engineers and the circuits to the electrical engineers. Which again is similar to what a career will be like; you will focus on your area of expertise, and then have to reconvene to make it all fit together.
I’ll be sure to give you updates later on in the term on how it is going and get any pictures that I can of it throughout the process.