Greenhouse Gas Prediction
Technical Communication Project
Task: To identify, research, and present (in both written and oral formats) a topic in engineering that is currently the focus of
ongoing (within the past 5 years) research, investigation, and/or development. The topic must come from the National
Academy of Engineering (NAE) Grand Challenges for Engineering: http://www.engineeringchallenges.org/.
Rationale: Technology is developing at a rapid pace: computers are advancing at astonishing rates, new energy sources are in
the development phase, crushing transportation issues require solutions, and new manufacturing methods are revolutionizing
consumer products. As a professional engineer, you will need to continually educate yourself about advances in technologies to
remain competitive, and this project introduces important information literacy skills to aid in your ability to educate yourself.
This project also shows different ways of defining and solving complex problems depending on the perspective of the team.
1. Read about the NAE Grand Challenges of Engineering and select 1 challenge to research using the library database
Compendex (Engineering Village) – see HW06 for details, and remember that you cannot select the last Grand
Challenge (“Engineer the Tools of Scientific Discovery”).
2. During your research, select 2 journal articles and/or conference papers that approach the challenge using different
strategies. The journal articles/conference papers should be related (similar specific topics).
3. Read the articles and take notes, specifically look problem identification, proposed solution, methods, data,
conclusions, and/or future work identified in both articles/papers.
4. Write a short compare and contrast paper informing the audience how the authors began to solve the complex
problem stated within the NAE Grand Challenge, again focusing on problem identification, proposed solution,
methods, data, conclusions, and/or future work.
5. Repeat the process of selecting and researching a Grand Challenge for Memo #2 and the Presentation.
Content of Submissions (both written and oral):
1. Briefly, describe the NAE Grand Challenge, focusing on the need for this research or development.
2. Compare and Contrast the approaches presented in your sources (problem identification, proposed solution, methods,
data, conclusions, and/or future work).
3. Identify your sources with properly formatted citations. A minimum of 3 sources are required; 2 must be the journal
articles/conference papers. The third reference may be the NAE Grand Challenges website; additional sources (but not
Wikipedia) may be used in your brief description of the Grand Challenge. You must use the IEEE citation style.
Written Format Requirements: Prepare a
? 500 to 600 words
? 1” margins
? double spaced
? font: 12 pt. Times New Roman or 11 pt. Calibri
? include graphics
Oral Format Requirements: Prepare and practice.
? dress well
? 4 to 5 minutes (no substantial videos)
? must be prepared using PowerPoint
? must be submitted by midnight the night prior
(submission link will close)
? graphics are required
Descriptions of Deliverables:
You will select two different topics (NAE Grand Challenges) for this project (due dates are posted in the
table): one for the written portion and a second for the presentation.
In memo format, provide the following information:
1. List the NAE Grand Challenge selected.
2. A short description (paragraph) about the NAE Grand Challenge selected:
i. How does it relate to engineering (what field(s))?
ii. Why is it important?
3. A list of the 2 journal articles/conference papers you will analyze (upload both to Bb Learn).
i. Use proper citation format following IEEE guidelines.
ii. Indicate the type of publication (journal article or conference paper).
Technical Communication Project
Paper #1a will be peer reviewed by your classmates; the grade is dependent upon a complete
submission by the deadline. Full credit is earned by submitting an electronic copy on Bb Learn and
bringing two hard copies to class on the due date. In class, Paper #1a will be traded with two individuals
for peer review.
Each student will peer review two papers and will be graded on the quality of their critique and
completion of a coversheet. Examples of poor and excellent critiques and a coversheet template will be
provided on Bb Learn.
Paper #1b is a revision of Paper #1a based on the feedback provided by your peers. In addition to Paper
#1b, you will also submit both peer reviewed copies of Paper #1a.
Answer a list of questions about the library visit / resources and your research process for the written
portion of the assignment. The list will become available after Paper #1b has been submitted.
Priority for choosing a presentation date and time will be based on attendance and memo submission
(per timestamp in Bb Learn):
Present and turned in a memo
Present, but no memo
Absent, turned in a memo
Absent, no memo
For the presentation, a second topic is required. The purpose of researching a second topic is to further
develop your abilities to find technical publications and then organize that information for an audience.
You should apply the critiques from the paper when preparing and practicing the presentation,
specifically those comments regarding: 1) format, 2) grammar and spelling, 3) organization and clarity,
and 4) technical accuracy. Lastly, you should practice your presentation several times to make sure you
know what you are saying and stay within the 4 to 5 minute range. Practicing alone may be beneficial,
but the nervousness, anxiousness, and/or excitement of presenting in front of a group can be a source
of many mistakes.
Technical Communication Project
Up to 100 points may be awarded to individuals that provide evidence of preparing the presentation at
least 1 week prior to the scheduled presentation date. A generic outline will be awarded little to no
bonus points whereas a completed presentation with a script may be awarded the full bonus points.
Tips for an excellent paper:
The 500-600 word limit will require concise writing. In technical writing, the emphasis is on being brief, clear,
and concise – not poetic. If you have done your research properly, you should have a very difficult time
reducing your writing down to a single page – shorter is harder than longer.
The paper should be technically accurate – use good sources and good information. Popular media and
Wikipedia are often unreliable sources.
The paper should be presented in your own words – nothing should be quoted from another source or student
(if copied text is found, you will receive a 0 on the report).
Your paper should be free from spelling and grammatical errors.
Your paper should not be written in the first person (using pronouns such as: I, we, my, our).
Your paper should be free from slang, colloquialisms, and informal language.
Use appropriate headers (i.e., Introduction, Methods, Results, Conclusion)
Pictures are worth 1000 words… use graphs, pictures, drawings, etc. to help elaborate the text of your paper.
Make sure to use appropriate figure/table captions and reference them in the body of the paper.
If you have a difficult time reading your own paper (out loud), resulting from awkwardly written sentences and
unclear statements, it will be near impossible for the audience. Your grade will reflect this.
Tips for an excellent presentation:
Practice, practice, practice!
o Practice what you want to say by yourself.
o Practice with a video recording device.
o Practice with a small audience.
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