SYST 490/495 Senior System Design Project (2006/2007)


Instructor: Dr. George L. Donohue

Office: Rm 121 S&T II

Lecture/Lab: S&T II Rm 18

Time: MW 13:30 Ė 14:45

Office Hours: Monday 14:45 to 15:45,

††††††††††††††††††††††† Wednesday 13:00 to 13:30

Suggested Reading:

Thomas L. Friedman, The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century, 2006 Farrar, Straus and Giroux Publishers


FE Review Manual, Michael Lindeburg, 2002 Mbyte pdf file)


Objective:These two courses, together, provide the Capstone experience to the Systems Engineering undergraduate program.It provides the students with the opportunity to put all of the course material that you have covered in the last 3 to 4 years into practice.It also provides the faculty with the opportunity to test your ability to have assimilated the course material and certify that you are ready to receive the Bachelor of Science degree in Systems Engineering.In addition to providing you the opportunity to utilize the systems engineering processes (e.g. requirements determination, work-breakdown structures, Pert Charts, test and evaluation, life cycle costing, etc.) it will require you to use your analytical skills in system modeling, simulation and decision making.Emphasis in these courses will also be placed on written and verbal communication skill development and the creative process of engineering design.You now have the basic skills that should allow you to create new systems that are technically sound, affordable, environmentally compatible and safe.You are required to describe your problem definition, scope, value hierarchy, requirements analysis, modeling and simulation approach for your designs in the Program Proposal that you will submit in late November and present to your sponsors and the faculty in early December.You will be required to manage a complex, unstructured project using the management and teamwork skills that you have developed.The class will be divided into six project teams, each working on a real problem.†† Each student MUST maintain a personal log of all design activity, to be inspected upon demand.You MUST submit a weekly time sheet to your team timekeeper to be used in your EVM project control and submitted at all major program reviews.Qualifying teams will be entered into inter-scholastic senior design competitions at the end of the Spring Semester.GMU has a history of doing very well in these competitions; I expect the same or better from you.


You are all strongly encouraged to take the FE exam in the spring of 2007.A separate FE exam review course is being offered as ENGR 400 on Saturdays leading up to the FE exam, you are strongly advised to take this review course to help you prepare for the mid-term and the FE exam.



Semester Schedule:


Aug. 28. ††Introduction to the course, design problems and time-sheet system.Background discussions and data exchange. Six teams will be formed based upon Team Formulation Co-leader selection today.Each Project Formulation team will select from 2 draft rounds to assemble a team with the best qualifications for achieving a successful project conclusion.The Project teams are suggested to form sub teams such as: 1) process and data analysis team and 2) a modeling, analysis and simulation team 3) Graphics, web page design/implementation, and presentation team, etc..It is anticipated that team leadership duties may rotate throughout the 9-month period of the project (based upon demonstrated performance and workload considerations).This is a 3 hour Lab course and thus a minimum of 10 to 12 hours/week of productive effort is expected.


Each member of the class will give a substantial presentation at some point in the project to faculty and outside project sponsors. Each student will be graded upon his/her presentation ability.The Project Proposal and the final Project Report will be graded for writing style and completeness.The total project grade will represent a sizable portion of each studentís final grade.In addition, each student will be ranked by each team member for total contribution to the program outcome.Team formulation leaders have been identified and will meet at the end of this period for team formation.


August 30. Lab computer hardware and software audit and Team organization day.

September 5. Continued discussion of team projects

September 11. Discussion of Team Projects and Project Scope

September 13.Review Value Hierarchy, Requirements Traceability, WBS, PERT and Critical Path and Life Cycle Concepts

September 18 individual team activity (GLD at TRB/NAS meeting)

September 20. Review Modeling and Simulation for design trade-off analysis

September 25. Teams Present mini discussions of status to date

September 27.Teams Present mini discussions of status to date

Submit Problem Definition and Preliminary Requirements Document, Proposed SOW, Project Labor Cost Estimate for EVM tracking.Present Initial Level 3 Work Breakdown Structure, Estimated Project Time Schedule and Gantt/PERT/CP Charts.(Last Day to Drop class)

October 2. Team A and B Presentation *

October 4. Team C and D Presentation *

October 10. Team E and F Presentation *

October 11. Prelim Report Pass Back and MTE Review

October 16. Mid Term Exam (GRA, GLD at NSWC)

October 19. Discuss Project Investment Decision Report Format and Modeling and

Simulation Plan requirement

October 23. Pass Back Exam and Discussion mid term team self evaluation

October 25. Meet with individual teams for progress discussions

October 30. Meet with individual teams for progress discussions


Nov. 1. no class, schedule individual team meetings for reviews

Nov. 6. Independent team activity (GLD at NSWC)

Nov. 8. Formal Team Progress Presentations*

Nov. 13. Formal Team Progress Presentations

Nov. 15. Formal Team Progress Presentations

Nov. 20. Each team present EVM report

Nov. 27. Dry Run Presentations*

Nov. 29. Dry Run Presentations*

Dec 4.Dry Run Presentations; Final Proposals submitted for Faculty and Sponsor†††††† evaluation

Dec 6. Final Proposal Presentations to Faculty and Project Sponsors

Dec 13. Present first semester team self evaluation and Plan for second semester.Revised Project Milestones


* Actual presentation order will be determined by random draw


Grading:Each studentís final grade will be determined as follows:


30% Mid-Term Exam

25% Project Proposal and Final Project report (written)

25% Faculty / Sponsor Evaluation of Team Presentation

10% Team Project productivity self evaluation

5% Individual presentations

5% Timesheets/Notebooks


Team Assignments:


Team composition on Aug 28.