APSC400

Technology, Engineering & Management (TEAM)

Personnel

Instructor

Ashwin GuptaDupuis Room 303gupta.ashwin@queensu.ca613-533-6000 ext.77931

Course Description

Multidisciplinary teams of engineering, commerce, law, and/or science students, as appropriate, act as consultants to industrial and governmental clients. Students are provided with a “real life” experience in the context of a supervised industrial project, whereby they employ the conceptual knowledge gained through conventional university courses along with creative problem solving in order to successfully complete a project for their industrial partner. This experiential learning opportunity provides tremendous value to undergraduates who leave the program with skills that distinguish them from their peers. TEAM is one of the sole programs in Canada which provides students with a one-of-a-kind industrial experience where they engage, advise, and learn from their client while gaining technical and business experience outside of the classroom.

The diversity of the project offerings is critical to the success in TEAM. As TEAM is not a senior design course, nor a research project or term paper, nor a thesis course, it is not intended to teach a specific engineering or business curriculum. The work student groups do is entirely predicated on the needs of the industry partner, and may or may not involve concepts from previous course work. Projects can typically be placed into one of the following categories:  

1)    Process Improvement (Heat Integration, Optimization, Modelling & Analysis, etc.)

2)    Feasibility & Design (New Process/Product Proposals, Alternative Production Methods, Batch vs Continuous, etc.)

3)    Business Strategy/Marketing (Economic Modelling & Analysis, Market & Industry Analysis, Business Case Development, etc.)

4)    Environmental Considerations (Sustainable Design, Chemical Reduction Strategies, Inherent Safety, etc.)

5)    Blue-sky (Projects which involve a vague or unknown idea/concept)

Projects serve a variety of industries such as: Oil & Gas, Food & Beverage, Mining & Metals, Energy (non-renewable and alternatives), Manufacturing, Industrial Chemicals, Biotechnology & Environmental, Government, Non-Profit, Charity, and Automotive. Projects are selected based upon the prevailing trends in industry.

Teams regularly interact with clients at both a technical and a management level, and are also assigned an industrial project mentor. This framework, along with the multi-disciplinary nature of project teams, exposes students to a working environment which they will likely encounter upon graduation, that is one which requires collaboration across numerous fields. Assessment in TEAM is structured much like a real job whereby continuous feedback and support is provided by the groups mentors, with the expectation that the group address any deficiencies identified. The course concludes with a comprehensive report and presentation to the client, typically done in the client’s corporate offices.

Owing to the variety of project topics, the specific skills and knowledge each group will acquire over the duration of the course will differ. However, all groups will leave the course with fundamental training in project management, specifically project planning, which is supported by a lecture series from the course instructor and by guest speakers from industry experts.  

Overall, TEAM provides students with a simulated experience of working in a consulting career while finishing their final year of undergraduate study.

PREREQUISITES: Permission of the Instructor

Objectives and Outcomes

The first objective of this course is the development and application of technical and business analysis skills, which will be realized by carrying out a comprehensive analysis of a problem for an industrial client. The second major objective of the course is the development of interpersonal and team skills, particularly amongst the faculties. A third objective of this course is the development of an understanding of professional practice issues, project planning and management, which will be accomplished through the seminar program.

Specific course learning outcomes (CLOs) are (i.e. the students should be able to):

1.    Develop and apply technical and business analysis skills, which will be realized by carrying out a comprehensive analysis of a problem for an industrial client.

2.    Demonstrate interpersonal and team skills in teams comprising of students with diverse backgrounds.

3.    Understand professional practice issues, and develop skills in project planning and management.

This course assesses the following attributes:

Design (CLO 1-3)
CHEE-DE-3. Develops equipment, process or product design incorporating performance requirements and constraints such as quality, yield, reliability, economics, safety, and standards and codes as appropriate.

Economics and project management (CLO 3)
CHEE-ECO-3. Assesses project progress and outcome using technical, professional, and other relevant measurements. Applies efficient management of time and resources, including staying within project scope.

Individual and team work (CLO 2)
CHEE-TEA-1. Contributes to team goal setting, while respecting others’ roles, participates to all aspects of the group work, and treats other team members equitably.

Communications (CLO 1-3)
CHEE-COM-3. Demonstrates formal oral presentations with appropriate language, style, timing and flow, while adapting format, content and tone appropriate to audience and purpose.

Relevance to the Program

TEAM is a course designed to give graduating commerce, science, law, and applied science students a “real life” experience in the context of a supervised industrial project. Unlike a senior thesis or project course, TEAM matches students from various disciplines and faculties to accomplish a short-term consulting project for an industry partner. TEAM is not a senior design course, nor a research project or term paper, nor a thesis course, and is not intended to teach a specific engineering or business curriculum. The work student groups do will be entirely predicated on the needs of your industry partner, and may or may not involve concepts from previous course work. TEAM will allow students to hone their professional, management and interpersonal skills while demonstrating ability to adapt in a working environment.

Course Structure and Activities

The course includes lectures on project management during the fall term to assist in project definition. Regularly scheduled instructor meetings begin in the winter term.

Fall term:
Students bid for the projects of their choice. TEAMs are selected by the instructors, based on the information provided in the bids. Each group will have at least one technical advisor from industry or faculty. As many projects require a confidentiality agreement, these advisors are assigned to a specific group. The first progress report due per the schedule includes a project plan, statement of work (project contract between team and client), confidentiality agreement (if required), intellectual property agreement (if required), and a waiver of liability.

Winter Term:
Groups meet with instructors for 30 minutes each week. A rotating meeting schedule is established, beginning in January. Except for unusual circumstances, groups are also expected to have weekly meetings with their client contact, and bi-weekly meetings with the industry advisor at a minimum. Regular updates in the form of weekly status memos are expected. Progress reports are expected from each group over the course of the term. Further information is available in the TEAM Manual and the reference project management book.

Resources

There are a variety of resources available, for example specialized software, such as flowsheet simulators. This software can be accessed in the Chemical Engineering Department Undergraduate Computing Facility. Participants should not feel obliged to emphasize any particular tool. TEAM groups may also be expected to conduct experimental work, in which case appropriate protocols must be followed, as outlined in the course website.

Text and Course Notes:
It is strongly recommended that all students purchase the book "Project Management for Dummies" written by Stanley E. Portney, as it will be referred to throughout the course. All other information necessary to all projects can be found on the website and in the TEAM Manual. Several reference texts are recommended, all of which are available in the library. A list of these reference materials is provided on the course website. Certain materials may be placed on reserve, if needed.