Term Project Information

Term Project: Students will be expected to initiate and complete a design project worthy of senior students in Biomedical Engineering. Students will be allowed to work individually or in groups of up to 5 total unless an exemption has been granted.  A project must be selected from the projects proposed list  or must be a project discussed with and agreed upon by the instructor.  The advisor of the project may be another faculty member, but the final grade in this course will be determined by the instructor, in conference with the outside advisor. Deadlines and weekly meetings for verification of activity must be adhered to.  Projects will begin in the Fall semester and will continue through the entire Spring semester. Your advisor may be any faculty member at Vanderbilt or elsewhere (one project was with Northwestern U in 1999, activities will be considered with Eindhoven), or any one in industry, or any responsible staff member in a medical or biological environment, as long as the project is relevant to the process of biomedical design.  Further, you may pair up with other individuals, such as Mechanical Engineering students taking design (2 in 2001, 2 in 2002, 5 in 2003), students at other universities, etc.   Use your time in the 297 seminar to meet your fellow EE, CompE, and ME classmates and perhaps collaborate on a design problem.

You must discuss the proposed project with the proposed advisor, he/she must agree to supervise you.  You will typically reserve a given project by visiting the proposed advisor and agreeing to work with him/her, gaining the mutual acceptance of the advisor, then following up immediately with an email to me stating your topic, advisor, list of team members, and and tentative project title.  This email to me must carbon copy the advisor.  In the case of multiple groups wanting a similar project, the adviser has the right to limit group size and/or specify which group indeed was first on a topic.  If you do not talk with the advisor and gain acceptance you cannot claim or reserve any project.

We are coordinating our timing and expectations for design project work across the departments of BME, EE, ME, and Computer Engineering.  A draft of a policy that will likely complement the above material may be found here.

IP Ownership:  We are coordinating IP matters across the departments of BME, ME, EE, and Computer Engineering.  The document to be found at: http://research.vuse.vanderbilt.edu/design/IP_final.htm details these matters.  You are responsible for reading this material.   We will have one lecture in 297 to elaborate on this matter.

Final:  Confidentiality agreement hereExplanation of policy, here.  Agreement, here.

A copy of a solicitation letter that I have used for new faculty projects may be found here, FYI.

A bit of advice:  Your design project should be a personal cause, not an assignment.  Pick a project that you want to do, we will not assign you a project.  Every year at least one student picks a project with no enthusiasm for it, the results have been dreadful. 

A 2010 document given to the Committee of Visitors in 2010 may be found here.  It is the most up-to-date complete document regarding industrial (and other) sponsorship for all departments teaching senior design.

Weekly Progress Reports: Weekly reports will be posted to the web.  The reports should use the format:  Progress report # (date), current status, work completed, current work, future work, special requests as needed.  See page 47 of the text (edition 1) or pages 29-30 (edition 2).

Teamwork: Groups are responsible for their own conduct, I cannot be judge & jury on a semester plus project, if you want to go in a threesome (or more), and the project demands such a group size, it is part of your responsibility to govern yourselves.  I will poll you in January to see if there are problems, I will do the same in early April for the same reason.  If there are no complaints, teams will receive a common grade.  Please also understand that all groups typically go through the phases of forming,  storming, norming, performing, and transforming - this will be a team learning experieence!

I allow groups to change their project or membership up until late January, after that they are fixed. If you change projects I require a write-up (partial credit final report).  I have yet to have a group dissolve, I generally get 1 group a year that changes direction (out of 30.)

You must involve your advisor!  Keep them posted with the required weekly progress reports.  Invite them to the orals!  Otherwise expect a negative reaction from the advisor when it comes time for reading your paper and giving a grade.

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