Need Help Getting Ideas For an Undergraduate Thesis Topic

In summary, Chris and the author say that there have been many failed attempts to build viable wave powered generators, and that Chris is being a bit ambitious with his project. They suggest looking at wind energy, fuel cells, and alternative power sources in general.
  • #1
Scylla
7
0
Hello guys,
Please I need help in getting ideas for my undergraduate thesis, I am a mechanical engineering student and I have been searching for a long time with no good results, if anyone has links or good ideas please help me.
Thank you.
 
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  • #2
Build a machine to convert human activity to electrical energy. Find how much energy people could save each year while still eating too much junk food.
 
  • #3
I narrowed the field down to alternative energy sources, any ideas people?
 
  • #4
From a mechanical engineering standpoint: what areas are you intersted in, what's modules have you taken and how can they be applied in some way to alternative energy sources?
 
  • #5
That's a bit of the problem chris, I am trying to build something that would cost effective and have good maintainability in the long run and can at least power one house.
From a mechanical standpoint wind energy is ok, I am looking at fuel cells too but I feel as though all these are pointing towards electrical power production than being mechanically inclined.
Let me know what you think generally. Thanks.
 
  • #6
I think there have been many failed attempts to build viable wave powered generators.Perhaps it may be useful to look at these.
 
  • #7
I think you are being a little bit ambitious with your project and I suspect you are missing the point a little bit of an undergraduate theis. As there are many many areas to even remotely designing and building a cost effective source to power one house and it can't be done in one project.

For example some ideas I can think of regarding the wind energy thing for a home would all be along the lines of.

Feasability of A Wind Turbine for Home Power Generation in Urban Areas.

Now even this could inculde: CFD analysis of some typical air flows in an urban area (massive CFD project) showing how the air flow is disrupted by the other buildings and how its likely to make a wind turbine pointless.
I remember a project done a few years ago (i think it was a masters student) looking at why a corridor between two buildings in Sheffield was notorious for having a wind tunnel effect.

Another project could be to design a way to cheaply attach a existing small scale wind turbine (one large enough to power the average home so a few kilowatts) to a house. So looking at the forces and moments generated by a roof top wind turbine when static and from the vibrations caused by the blades rotating.

What have you been told by your University, they should have some research areas that you can look at to see what other people are looking into and doing to give you an idea of the scope.
 
  • #8
i have always thought building your own propane refrigerator a la "The Mosquito Coast" with Harrison Ford would make for a cool project. This may be stepping into the realm of ChemE however, it does require the use of some mean chemicals.
 
  • #9
What exactly do you mean by undergraduate thesis? I'm sure this isn't quite to graduate thesis scale, but is it more/less than final year project? Same?

Either way, if you're looking into alternative energies, I'm kind of inclined to agree with Chris. I think it would be interesting to do a topic of the INfeasibility of small scale alternative power. Look at the options of buying vs. cost savings. Then perhaps look at cost/design of manufacturing something from scratch. Maybe have a table which compares the cost of various technologies to power a single light bulb.
 

Related to Need Help Getting Ideas For an Undergraduate Thesis Topic

What are some tips for coming up with an undergraduate thesis topic?

1. Start by brainstorming: Write down any and all ideas that come to mind, even if they seem unrelated or unconventional. This can help spark new ideas and connections.

2. Consider your interests: Think about what subjects and topics you are passionate about. This can help guide your search for a thesis topic.

3. Talk to your professors: Seek advice from your professors, as they may have suggestions based on your academic strengths and interests.

4. Look at previous research: Reviewing past studies and literature can help you identify gaps or areas for further exploration.

5. Don't be afraid to be creative: Your thesis topic does not have to be a traditional research question. Consider alternative formats such as a creative project or case study.

How do I narrow down my ideas to choose the best thesis topic?

1. Consider feasibility: Think about the resources, time, and expertise needed to complete each idea. Choose a topic that is realistic and manageable within your constraints.

2. Research the current literature: Make sure there is enough existing research and information on your topic to support a thesis. If there is little available, it may be difficult to find sources and conduct a thorough study.

3. Get feedback: Share your ideas with peers, professors, or mentors to get their opinions and suggestions. They may be able to provide valuable insights and help you narrow down your options.

4. Follow your interests: Ultimately, choose a topic that you are genuinely interested in and passionate about. This will make the research process more enjoyable and motivating.

5. Be open to change: Your thesis topic may evolve and change as you conduct research and learn more about your chosen subject. Don't be afraid to adapt and adjust your focus as needed.

How do I ensure that my thesis topic is original and not already researched?

1. Do a literature review: Conduct a thorough search of existing research on your topic to see what has already been done.

2. Use sources such as online databases, academic journals, and books to gather information.

3. Check for recent publications: Make sure to look for up-to-date studies, as your topic may have been researched in the past but new developments or findings could make it worth exploring again.

4. Consult with your advisor: Your thesis advisor can help you determine if your topic is original and provide guidance on how to make it unique.

5. Be specific: Narrow down your research question to focus on a specific aspect of your topic. This will help you avoid duplicating previous studies.

What are some ways to make my thesis topic more impactful?

1. Choose a relevant topic: Consider current events, social issues, or emerging technologies that could make your research timely and impactful.

2. Conduct original research: A thesis that presents new findings or offers a unique perspective will likely have a greater impact than one that simply summarizes existing research.

3. Consider interdisciplinary approaches: Combining ideas and methods from different disciplines can lead to innovative and impactful research.

4. Have a clear purpose: Make sure your thesis has a clear and specific research question or goal. This will help guide your research and make your findings more impactful.

5. Share your findings: Once your thesis is complete, consider presenting your research at conferences or publishing it in a relevant academic journal to reach a wider audience.

What are some resources for finding inspiration for an undergraduate thesis topic?

1. University resources: Many universities have a writing center or library that can provide resources and guidance for choosing a thesis topic.

2. Online databases: Websites such as ProQuest and JSTOR offer access to a vast collection of academic literature that can help you explore potential topics.

3. Academic journals: Browse recent issues of academic journals in your field to see what topics are currently being researched.

4. Professional organizations: Joining a professional organization in your field can give you access to conferences, publications, and networking opportunities that can inspire potential thesis topics.

5. Peer discussions: Discussing ideas and exchanging feedback with classmates or peers can help generate new ideas and give you a different perspective on potential topics.

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