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Please Help in choosing a Final Year Engineering Project

  1. Sep 8, 2014 #1

    I am about to start my 3rd year at my university while studying Automotive Engineering. As you all know, I need a final project to fully complete the 3rd year and I am having a bit of trouble choosing one.

    I was thinking of doing a research project instead of a practical project since I like doing research and like to think I'm pretty good at it. But even this, I have not found a suitable topic to research on. I was reading on using Wind Energy to make electricity. I was thinking about making a report on the alternatives and improvements which could be made to Wind Farms but I thought it would not have been up to standard. Also, my country does not have any Wind Farms so I thought my data would not be accepted.

    I was also thinking of making an RC Plane/Helicopter but again, I thought it would be too trivial to present to the university.

    Please help me to choose a suitable research topic, I actually don't mind doing any topic as long it focuses more on the mechanical side of engineering and not much on the electrical side (I don't really like Electrical & Electronics). But I would consider any and all suggestions you all could suggest.


    PS: I kind of should be discussing this with my lecturers but we are still on vacation and I am far away from the university. I thought it would be better to first decide on a topic then visit the lecturers to decide on the implementation.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 10, 2014 #2
    If you are into mechanics, consider a topic related to stresses, strains, deflections of thin-walled structures, such as car bodies. Finite Element Method is an ultimate tool and a mathematically complex area that would probably satisfy your interest in research.
  4. Sep 11, 2014 #3
    Man, I got a dandy of a project idea for you to think about. It'll be neat to if you can do something with it. So you can probably make this into either an electrical engineering project or a mechanical project. I'm not sure what the requirements are typically on a project but I bet you can talk to your professor or whatever and figure something out on this. And I bet you can do this all on a table-top set-up.

    The suggested idea: Take one of those small nitro RC engines and make it run off of steam. Fasten the thing to a piece of plywood and set it up just like it has a boiler and everything. If you want to make it partially electrical, then make an electrical circuit that controls the flow of steam. If you need to do mechanical, then make it be a mechanical valve that controls the steam flow. I bet you can make something really neat if you sit down and plan this one out. Make it run a very small generator or something.

    Sound interesting?
  5. Sep 12, 2014 #4
    That sounds really interesting, but a few things, I would have to buy the RC Engine right? And not build it. Also, if I do what you suggested, is just showing how the engine runs off steam enough, or do I have to build a model vehicle around it?

    Thanks for the reply
  6. Sep 12, 2014 #5
    I was assuming they requested that you pay for most of your project materials anyways. I was thinking this project could likely be kept somewhere around the $250 range. You don't need a "good" rc engine, just get a worn out one. Of course it's not set up for steam but it doesn't matter anyways, it's just for a project demonstration purpose. I would think you would mostly be able to find a lot of the parts needed to pull this off and only have to truly make minimal parts.

    I do not know if making the engine turn by steam is enough to satisfy your project requirements. I am also pursuing an engineering degree myself, so I was thinking about this same idea if I ended up having to do a project. I'm not sure what a project request or entails. You can leave the crankcase cover off the back of the rc engine and just let the steam/water trickle out or something, you'd have to figure that out.
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