Engineering Design

Dr. Esposito ENGR-A110 OCC

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TECHNICAL REPORT GUIDELINES

General Guidelines

A technical report must be very detailed in its content and analysis. It is used by all branches of

engineering and sciences. A technical report can be either:

 kept confidential within a company or association, or

 published in the form of a patent, or

 published as a scientific article in peer-reviewed research journals.

In the case they are published as patents, they provide proprietary rights to the patent’s owner. In the case

they are published as scientific articles, they do not give any proprietary rights, but rather serve as a lasting,

readily available record for current and future engineers/researchers to learn from, cross-check their own

findings in similar design/research, expand on the reported design/research, and spur new original

design/research by promoting ideas.

A technical report has to be typed using a word processing computer program. The following rules

shall be observed:

 use of correct grammar, spelling, formulas, etc.  use of past tense to describe activities performed to develop the product or service, present or

past tense to analyze and interpret the results

 “I”, “we” or “students” statements shall not be used. Instead, passive voice shall be used, e.g. the system was designed

 omission of statements that refer to the instructor “the professor said to […]”  the report should be comprehensible to a person external to the college. References to

information that only apply to a specific college shall be avoided, e.g. room number

 proper formatting of tables, graphs, and equations

Specific Guidelines

The following sections must be included:

1. Cover Page a. title of the report b. author c. date

2. Abstract a. less than 200 words b. 1-2 sentences to draw the context. 1-2 sentences to describe the objective of the study

(project). 3-4 sentences to summarize what was done. 1-2 sentences to summarize

most important results. 1-2 sentences to summarize most important conclusions.

3. Motivations and Objectives a. statement of what has already been done in the past in this area (state of the art,) cite

other works if possible

b. statement of the purpose and statement of why it is important to perform this study c. statement of what is new in the work presented in this report and why this research is

being carried out

4. Theory and Analysis a. description of the most important theoretical concepts, scientific laws, and analytical

tools used in the study

b. description of important simplifying assumptions c. presentation of models and equations used (equations must be numbered)

 

 

Dr. Esposito ENGR-A110 OCC

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d. hypothesis for the experiment based on author’s knowledge (if applicable) e. definition of unfamiliar terms and symbols

5. Apparatus and Experimental Procedure a. complete sentences to describe the major actions, materials and pieces of equipment

used to complete the project. All major steps in the procedure and measurements must

be mentioned. For example, one could write “[…] the current transducer (LEM HO

10-P, see data sheet in appendix for further details) was installed on the system to

measure the input electrical current […]”

b. the procedure should be concise c. nothing should be copied from any source. Extreme care must be taken in describing

material from another source as it can easily be considered plagiarism. Everything has

to be written in the author’s own words. It is not allowed to copy part of text and put

it in quotation marks

d. schematic diagrams and technical drawings should be presented e. no result should be included in this section

6. Data and Results a. data presentation should be written in complete sentences which briefly introduced

what data was taken and where it appears in tables and/or graphs. For example, one

could write, “[…] the average values of the electrical current recorded in each test

trials are summarized in Table 1 […]”

b. data tables. Each Table must: i. have a label (Table caption) and proper headings for columns of data

ii. have a unique number iii. be referred to in the report in the order corresponding to Table number.

An example Table appears below:

Trial 1 2 3

Input Current (A) 4.982 4.981 4.985

Table 1 – Input Electrical Current

 

c. graphs (named Figures in a technical report). Each Figure must: i. have a label (Figure caption) and proper headings for columns of data

ii. have a unique number iii. be referred to in the report in the order corresponding to Figure number.

An example Figure appears below:

 

Figure 1 – Engineering Stress-Strain curve for a metal

(MPa)

 

 

Dr. Esposito ENGR-A110 OCC

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d. summary of results in form of tables and figures (see formatting above). The results must be first introduced with a few sentences to help the reader understand them

e. one example calculation for each type of required calculation (correct significant figures and error analysis should be used at all times). Each equation must be

numbered and properly formatted. An example Equation appears below:

Equation 1 𝑇𝑒𝑛𝑠𝑖𝑙𝑒 𝑆𝑡𝑟𝑒𝑠𝑠 = 𝑎𝑝𝑝𝑙𝑖𝑒𝑑 𝑓𝑜𝑟𝑐𝑒

𝑠𝑢𝑟𝑓𝑎𝑐𝑒 𝑎𝑟𝑒𝑎

7. Discussion of Results a. analysis of the results based on qualitative (observations) and quantitative (statistical)

approaches

b. discussion of sources of errors and reliability of results (precision, accuracy, etc.) c. discussion and interpretation of results (thorough and exhaustive) d. discussion of the influence of the simplifying assumptions and how the results would

change if the assumptions were relaxed

e. compare experimental results with theoretical calculations (if applicable)

8. Conclusions a. summary of results in complete sentences with words in a paragraph format b. text should include observations and/or numerical values from the experimental

section and analysis that leads to the stated results and supports conclusions

c. comparison between objectives and experimental results d. summary of main discussion points e. discussion of ways to improve the study/experiment to obtain better results along with

an outlook of future research

9. Nomenclature a. list of symbols and their relative meaning and units used in the report that are not

internationally accepted

10. Appendix a. copies of all original data sheets, additional diagrams, and other manufacturing data b. additional details for the sample calculations used to model, analyze, and process the

data

11. References a. for books: last name of author(s), initials, Book title in italics, edition, name of

publisher and location, year (IEEE format)

b. for Journal articles: last name of author(s), initials, article title in italics, Journal title, volume #, pages, year (IEEE format)

Note on citing references

 a very common way to cite references is to place the number of the reference in square brackets at the end of the sentence, for example “The applied force causes a

longitudinal deformation [12]”. The reference is often explicitly mentioned, for

example “Esposito et al. [12] showed that the applied force causes a longitudinal

deformation”. The reference list is placed at the back of the report and numbered

sequentially according to the IEEE format.

 

 

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