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Senior design projects.

  1. Jan 29, 2007 #1
    Here's part of an email I just got about this week's seminar at my university.

    I read through this, and I was wondering if this is something that might really be built someday. It seems that it is just a bunch of ideas combined so that everyone in the senior design has something they would like to do. One of my friends who is a graduate was working on heat transfer. I see parts of this project that might interest people working on nuclear materials, neutron economy, fusion design, handling of waste, ect. Are design projects just a playground for ideas?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 29, 2007 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Yes and no. Design projects might involve some radical concepts, which may or may not be practical. However, the objective is to take what the senior NE's have learned in the various disciplines of nuclear physics, mechanical engineering (thermodynamics, mechanics of materials, fluid dynamics/mechanics, . . . .), electrical engineering, . . . and pull it together in a design process - which is what happens in real life as an engineer.

    An engineer will be part of a design team, and even though the engineer will be given a specific task, he or she ought to be able to contribute to other tasks, and particularly he or she ought to know how the other tasks will affect his or her own task. For example, if the thermo person wants to raise the hot temperature, then the materials person needs to identify the materials performance issues (contraints, penalties, impossibility) before the thermo group goes to far down that path.

    Design is a complex and dynamic process, and it requires diligent and competent individuals to complete a design efficiently with realistic and achievable goals. Some of the problems existing today are related to the lack of experience and foresight of 30-40 years ago.
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