MECH 407


Fall Semester 2009





Dr. Marcie O’Malley
Office Address                        ME 234



Office Hrs: Make an appointment with Dr. O’Malley via email or at class


Design Technician:  Carlos Amaro     
Design Technician: Joe Gesenheus     

Teaching Assistant:

Dane Powell          RL B10             x2300




Meeting Info:                          8:30-9:50 am MWF (DH 1042, OEDK, or HE 100) as noted on schedule


This class is not like the other courses you have probably taken. There is not a single book or a single concept area or set of equations that you need to master to succeed in this class. Many different topics, tools and ideas will be presented and it is up to you to combine those with your knowledge of mechanical engineering to go through the process of designing a useful product. You are expected to work hard, find your own resources, engage in effective teamwork, be creative, be analytical, and be an independent engineer to succeed in this class. You MUST take both semesters of this course in sequence during the same academic year.


A design and analysis project will be scheduled for the duration of both semesters. The process of developing and building the design project is the primary focus of the course. The project’s topic will be described in detail the in late September. Students will be divided into teams.  Some of the homework assignments will be designed to help students with their design project. During the year, written progress reports, an oral proposal and progress report, an oral business plan, final poster presentation and final oral reports will be required.


A student’s responsibilities in this course may be divided into three areas: 1) Lectures and workshops on important topics in design, 2) the design process itself, and 3) documentation of the design.  Lectures and workshops will occupy about two hours a week.  Each student should expect to devote an average of at least 8 hours per week for the Fall Semester in addition to attending lectures and/or workshops.


Detailed descriptions of the required deliverables will be provided at a later date.  Briefly, they will include:


  • A weekly meeting of the team with its faculty advisor
  • An individual Log Book and a team Project Notebook
  • A mid-semester Design Plan (Fall semester only)
  • An end-of-semester Design Report (each semester)
  • A mid-semester Design Preview Presentation (Fall semester only)
  • An end-of-semester Oral Presentation (each semester)


The course grading will be based on the student’s overall performance, including the following:


The exact value of each of the components below is left to the discretion of the advisor and will be discussed with each team at the first weekly consultation meeting.


(50%)         Team effort:

·        Project Book

·        Project Design Plan Memo and Oral Presentation (Fall Semester only)

·        Semester Project Design Report and Oral Presentation

·        Quality of the final Design (Spring Semester only)


(50%)         Individual effort:

·        Log Book

·        Weekly Progress Reports

·        Weekly Meetings

·        Contribution


Any disputes over grading should be brought to the project mentor. Do not take questions related to grading to the TA.


Attendance at all lectures is expected from all students. Attendance may be taken at random and results provided to project advisors to be factored into the participation grade.


Honor Code Policy


Students are encouraged to talk to each other, to the teaching assistants, to the instructors, or to anyone else about any assignment in the course that is not specifically designated as pledged. This assistance is limited to the discussion of the problem and perhaps sketching of a solution. Homework is considered as pledged. General discussion is acceptable, but homework problems are to be solved individually if not stated otherwise.



Any student with a disability requiring accommodations in this class is encouraged to contact the instructor after class or during office hours. Additionally, students should contact the coordinator for Disabled Student Services in Allen Center.