Conduct the preliminary stages involved in the creation of an engineering research project

The Future of Vehicle Power

Learning Outcome 1: Conduct the preliminary stages involved in the creation of an engineering research project

Learning Outcome 2: Produce a research project proposal that clearly defines a research question or hypothesis

Learning Outcome 3: Discuss the key project objectives, the resulting goals and rationale

Learning Outcome 4: Analyse the project specification and identify any project risks

Learning Outcome 5: Produce a comprehensive project proposal that evaluates and justifies the rationale for the research


Completing a piece of research is an opportunity for students to showcase their intellect and talents. It integrates knowledge with different skills and abilities that may not have been assessed previously, which may include seeking out and reviewing original research papers, designing their own experimental work, solving problems as they arise, managing time, finding new ways of analysing and presenting data, and writing an extensive report. Research can always be a challenge but one that can be immensely fulfilling, an experience that goes beyond a mark or a grade but extends into long-lasting areas of personal and professional development.

This unit introduces students to the skills necessary to deliver a complex, independently conducted research project that fits within an engineering context. On successful completion of this unit students will be able to deliver a complex and independent research project in line with the original objectives, explain the critical thinking skills associated with solving engineering problems, consider multiple perspectives in reaching a balanced and conclusion, and communicate effectively a research project`s outcome. Therefore, students develop skills such as critical thinking, analysis, reasoning, interpretation, decision-making, information literacy, information and communication technology literacy, innovation, conflict resolution, creativity, collaboration, adaptability and written and oral communication.

The submission is in the form of a written research project. This should be written in a concise, formal business style using single spacing and font size 11. You are required to make use of headings, paragraphs and subsections, as appropriate to a research project layout, and all the work must be supported with stated research and referenced using the Harvard referencing system. The contents should consist of -

1. A distinctly structured engineering research project plan. This should be agreed with your tutor before embarking on the project report.

2. A completed logbook literature review of published material used, detailing your actions throughout the project.

3. The main body Research Project Report. The format of the report is the standard structure as discussed in the notes and in the body of the assignment brief.

4. A presentation to your tutor and peers using appropriate media. An electronic copy of your presentation should also be submitted.

5. A completed performance review which should be completed upon the research project`s completion.


The company you work for manufactures road going vehicles. You are employed in the research and development team. The company is in the process of developing the next generation of electric vehicles and you have been tasked with researching the latest developments. You have been given the opportunity of focusing on one of the following areas or a similar agreed proposal.
1. Normal/Rapid charging stations
2. Battery power and storage
3. Electric motors in electric vehicles
4. Industrial/urban transfer from petrol/diesel to electric vehicle regarding sales, usage and manufacture.
5. Disposal and recycling of redundant electric vehicles
6. Regeneration of battery energy using vehicle braking systems
7. An alternative eco-friendly energy source (other than petrol/diesel/electric) to power vehicles

Further to this, any other potential ideas surrounding alternative eco-friendly vehicles could be chosen via formative feedback. Your research needs to focus on how new technologies, production processes and materials can be utilised and integrated into the design process and how these potential developments would impact on current manufacturing processes, vehicle development and the environment.

· Your first task is to produce an initial project proposal summary of what you intend to research, identifying the resource requirements and estimation of time required to complete the project

· Your next task is to identify your key project objectives, what it is you are setting out to achieve and how you intend to achieve them, the resulting goals and rationale.

· Identify and justify your selection of the essential elements of the project specification and undertake a SWOT analysis and feasibility study to determine any potential risks associated with the project.

· For further study you would need to produce a comprehensive project proposal, based upon your initial research, which justifies the rationale for your research.