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The Ultimate Goal of Being an Engineer

Essay by   •  December 9, 2018  •  Essay  •  3,624 Words (15 Pages)  •  177 Views

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1.0 Personal Mission Statement

The ultimate goal of being an engineer creating tangible solutions to various societal issues, something I hope to eventually achieve. As I am somewhat midway through my degree, I have yet to attain the necessary experience and skills needed to be such an engineer but through knowledge gained from this module, it will definitely aid me in the future.  The shortcomings I have, will be something I look forward to mitigating and hopefully overcoming.  Throughout the first several semesters, I’ve been conditioned to think using the CDIO method which essentially involved creating a solution first. However the UOIP experience has taught me to widen my horizons and see the bigger picture before undertaking such massive projects. It made me realize that large amount of research and analysis are needed to justify a particular action/product.  This in turn made me a better engineer holistically.  At the end of my learning experience at Taylor’s, I hope to be able to attain a reputable CGPA as it represents a decent metric of one’s discipline in terms of persevering through educational hurdles. Also I hope to apply my various experiences into my work life, and be able to expand my knowledge through a galvanizing entry level job. Obviously such goals are not without its impediments, but through hard work and resilience, I believe anything is possible.

Regarding what strengths I have, I believe that I possess a great deal of discipline in terms on my routine and my organizational skills. Furthermore, I have a wide array of general knowledge due to extensive reading which allows me to contribute to various issues/discussions.  However I do lack tolerance at times, as I am ‘triggered’ by certain baffling actions of others. Another negative trait that I have would probably be that I can be stubborn to thoughts or ideas of others, which in turn makes me very seem very autocratic.

Opportunities which I can capitalize, are the various world-class equipment that Taylor’s provides. This allows me to learn how to utilize new machinery while allowing for my team to do things that many others can’t (e.g. using 3D printers).  Another set of opportunities that this project allows for, is improving my communications and team management skills. As stipulated before, I am not well versed when it comes to tolerance and listening to other ideas. Hence what better way to improve that, than to have a team-work based module.  

As opportunities are present, so are threats. A very possible threat is lack of time and the stress that comes along with it. Having to endure 6 modules in a semester and all with their own tolls and deadlines, is no easy feat.  I could be easily be flustered and cave under the pressure of all these things, and it could seriously hamper my work.

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Figure 1: Personal SWOT anaylsis

2.0 Achievement of various learning outcomes

As stated before, the UOIP method has taught me a new and stimulating method of problem solving. This is due to the need for constructive criticism of various steps in our project and also making a problem-based-solution rather than the other way around. This is a way more pragmatic approach when it comes to dealing with real world challenges, as we simply can’t deliver a solution with no tangible business value and no capability of solving real issues.

LO1 Identify complex engineering challenges that have Business Value        

Observe

As the team needed to deliver on a product with inherent business value, the first thinking technique applied was ‘OBSERVE’. This process involved us taking the most obvious of inefficiencies/redundancies that is around us, and expanding on those observations.  The initial stages of our various observations and small-scale brainstorming were rather hard, as we faced multiple setbacks and rejections. Eventually through utilizing the fly-on-the-wall technique, our group witnesses a large redundancy that Taylor’s lake cleaners were facing. They had to spend significant portions of time cleaning an arguable small section of the lake, and even so it was still inefficient. This gave a light bulb moment, as our team had an epiphany that the product’s business value could stem from solving the observed predicament.  We expanded on this by conducting thorough research and surveying local municipal staff through shadowing. It was made clear, that parties such as DBKL had to incur large costs to maintain our bodies of water which burdened them financially but also was still unable to do a decent enough job of cleaning the lakes/rivers etc. The accumulation of this information made us realize of the drastic need for a product that not only mitigates the waste accumulation in bodies of water, but also create a reasonable and cheap alternative to manual labour.  

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Figure 2: The team researching on our observations

Understand

Upon the observations that were made, our team began understanding the context of the problem with further research so that we may be able to present a quality business value estimate.  Hence we took initiatives by referencing online data and published scripts, and discovered that our oceans are in tremendous harm due to vast amounts of waste accumulating in them due to pollution and lack of cleaning. The observations that we had made earlier also implied that a major reason behind this issue, was the lack of capability in conventional methods of cleaning as well as the costs involved.  Conventional methods involved using a ‘fishnet’ to retrieve all the waste from the oceans and accumulating them into disposal bags on shore. It is replicated by local counties, NGOs, and environmental protection agencies. It was clearly not able to make a dent in terms of cleaning our oceans and lakes.  We also took the time to analyze the issues very holistically by implementing 5-Whys so that we find the root cause of this major issue.  This gave a base of various general statements as to why this conundrum is as such. We also deciphered based on this diagram, several generic reasons with adjunct points with regards to the problem statement. This was illustrated via our Ishikawa diagram.

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Figure 3: 5-Whys diagram for our stated major issue

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Figure 4: Ishikawa diagram

Business Value

To put things into perspective, our team decided to expand on this information by inquiring on costs and time involved to clean a given lake. We also had initial rough ideas as to what we wanted to achieve and it would definitely add business value to the status quo. This eventually led to creating a business value estimation which showed the overwhelming burden of the conventional in comparison to our initial idea of creating a waste accumulating bin (i.e. Bin-Lay-In) as a countermeasure to the issue. It is evident through our research, that our intended solution could potentially save more than 60% of given costs for various stakeholders. Therefore we had come up with an idea that is able to get the job done while being cost friendly.

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