Seager Tank

In this assignment students will work on teams of 3 to 5 students in order to design a solution for a given (or proposed) design challenge. These teams will create a pitch for their solution that provides the rational for their solution and that will also sell the judges on their idea.

Design Challenges

The three given design challenges are ones that were chosen in different areas of the civil engineering profession and are ones that have a value to the real world. These challenges can be expanded upon or they can be made more specific or applied to a distinct area or problem. Students are also welcome to propose their own challenges. The given challenges are as follows:

    1. Every Place Counts Transportation Challenge – Some communities are cut off from areas of social or economic opportunity by lack of adequate transportation infrastructure.
      1. How might we design new infrastructure or public transportation to connect communities?
      2. Every Place Counts Transportation Challenge
    2. Provide Access to Clean Water – The world’s water supplies face new threats in developed and undeveloped countries related to the availability of clean water.
      1. How might we develop affordable and advanced technologies that guarantee access to clean water for all?
      2. Provide Access to Clean Water
    3. Standards for Adaptive and Resilient Infrastructure – Performance based Standards (PBS) dictate how infrastructure is designed built and operated.
      1. However, with changes in climate and aging infrastructure, how might we build and rebuild infrastructure that is more adaptable and resilient to changing conditions?
      2. Standards for Adaptive and Resilient Infrastructure

Coming Up with Your Solution

Once a design challenge is chosen and teams of 3 to 5 individuals are formed, teams should design a solution for their challenge. This solution can be demonstrated through a conceptual design that clearly outlines what the solution would look like. A conceptual design could be clear drawings or diagrams that illustrate the idea, or a small prototype that shows the rough idea in physical form (i.e. popsicle sticks and string – something very simple). This design does not have to be a full prototype or something that is built, but it should be illustrated clearly enough so that the design can be understood and so that your idea can be communicated.

A good ‘entrepreneurial’ solution is one that:

  • Clearly addresses the problem it aims to solve. It should be clear how the solution will address the problem and what components the design has.
  • Has some sort of innovative component. Your solution should not be something that has been done before. While you are welcome to start with an existing solution, make sure that you improve upon it in some way.
  • Will probably work and is feasible to do.

A poor solution might be one that:

  • Is nothing new. Perhaps it’s something that’s been done before or already exists. Make sure your solution is innovative.
  • Does not address the problem it is meant to solve. Make sure your design will solve the problem.
  • Is not feasible to do. Perhaps it is physically impossible or the technologies do not exist yet. Make sure your solution could reasonably be created.

Design Resources

Iterative Design Process

Human/User Centered Design

Engineering Design Process

Design Process

Your Video Pitch

You will receive an assignment grade based upon your video pitch, which will be uploaded to CritViz. These initial video pitches must be recorded live pitches, and not voiced over presentations. After these videos are submitted, they will be critiqued through a Crit assignment by your peers and assessed by the instructional team. The top five pitches will present live in class to the Seager Tank (much like Shark Tank) and compete for XP.

A (tentative) scale of XP awarded to the final teams is:

  1. 150 XP
  2. 100 XP
  3. 75 XP
  4. 50 XP
  5. 25 XP

The video pitch shall consist of a 5 minute video made by the team and uploaded to YouTube and then submitted to the CritViz assignment. A good pitch includes:

  • A description of the problem that you are trying to solve. This may be one of the given challenges, or a proposed challenge. Teams should also specify if they chose to focus in on a particular area of a challenge or expand on the challenge.
  • A clear description of your proposed solution. This description, while conceptual, should be good enough that we can envision what your final solution would look like if fully developed. In your solution, you should describe the features of it and what design decisions were made in coming to a conclusion.
  • Justification for how the solution addresses the problem. The features of the solution, or design choices made, should match some aspect of the problem, and the specifications of the design should be based upon the problem to be addressed.
  • Justification, and persuasion as to why their solution is the best. What features make it better than other solutions? Why should we pick your solution? Teams should convince us that their solution is better than others and that it will work.

Pitching and Presentation Resources

Adobe Spark

Canva

Duarte

Duarte Diagrammer

Free Resources

Slides Carnival

Startup Tool Kit