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 rbullet.gif (904 bytes) There are two design projects: an optimization project and a major engineering design project. Late reports are not accepted. If you are going to be away for any reason, including religious holidays or athletic events, you must turn in your report before you travel.

Design Project 1: Design of an Optimal Beverage Container. This project must be done in teams of 3-4 students. The design planning, optimization calculations, model construction, and oral presentation are all performed as a group.  However, one written report must be prepared and turned in by each individual student, and that report must represent the work of the student submitting the report. Details of the bottle lab can be found here.

bottle lab

Figure from The Incredible Shrinking Package. The New York Times, May 12, 2007

Key Dates:

rbullet.gif (904 bytes) Wednesday, September 26, 9am: Deadline to form project groups (3-4 students) or request a group assignment. Email your request for a group assignment or your teammates’ names to Ms. Stephanie Gesualdi (

rbullet.gif (904 bytes) Monday, October 1 – Tuesday, October 2: Each group may pick up one kit of materials from Ms. Gesualdi on the 7th floor of B and H. Materials may be picked up any weekday between 9am and 4pm.

rbullet.gif (904 bytes)  Friday, October 5.  Deadline to sign up for a timeslot for the final presentation on October 12: All group members must be present at the presentation.  Reserve a slot for your group by emailing Ms. Gesualdi.

rbullet.gif (904 bytes) Friday, October 12: Each group makes a 10-minute Design Presentation to a TA or Faculty member in the Petteruti design lab of Prince lab. Click here for a map.  Each group's oral report must be accompanied by Powerpoint-type slides. Written Reports Due: One report per student. TAs are available to help! You must also turn in an evaluation of your teammates' participation in the project. This must be attached to your written report.

Workshop Safety Training:  Shop training is required of every student. Sign up sheets will be passed around in class, and students must sign up in class to attend a shop training session (sessions will run during the weeks of Nov 5th and 12th). Students must read the shop training manual before coming to their session, and write a brief summary outline. Bring this to the session; TAs will collect it. If students do not have a summary with them, or are more than a few minutes late, they will not be permitted to attend the session.

The purpose of this project is to provide you with basic workshop safety training, as well as to familiarize you with the materials and shop tools that you will use to construct your final design project. Working as a team of 6 students, you will construct the simple structure illustrated in the shop training manual. Teaching assistants will provide instructions with use of shop facilities and supervise your work. If you are able to work well as a team, the project will take about one hour.


Design Project 2: Sculptural design. This project is to be done in groups of 4-5 students. Each group must submit a conceptual, embodiment, and final detailed written report. There will also be one oral report per group, at which time the design (and its features) will be presented. All students must complete a mandatory 1 hr workshop safety training exercise before starting construction.  Details are listed above and on the attached shop training manual.

Philippe Starck, for Baccarat, The Marie Coquine, 2005.

Overview: In this project, you will design and construct a one-of-a-kind sculpture, which is either free-standing or a mobile, or a combination of both. Prior to building, groups must show (using appropriate force and moment balance calculations) that the structure is stable and maintains equilibrium. Structures will be judged based on uniqueness, aesthetics, structural stability, cost, and weight. We will hold an exhibition for all designs at the end of the semester, and the winning design will be on semi-permanent display in the lobby of the Barus and Holley building.

A principal requirement is that the machine fit easily in the Barus and Holley lobby, without taking up too much space. Therefore, all designs must have maximum dimensions of 4’ high x 2’ wide x 2’ deep.

The other basic design requirements are as follows:

  • The structure must contain at least one load-bearing cable.
  • The structure must contain a minimum of 10 members/parts.
  • The structure may have no more than 21 joints.
  • The structure must be non-symmetric along at least two axes.
  • The structure must be comprised of at least 3 different member materials (see Appendix A).
  • The structure must contain at least two different joint types (e.g.: pin, hinge, roller, fixed).
  • If the structure is free-standing, it must have no more than 3 contact points with the ground.

Further details on the project can be found here. You will build your design in the Peterutti Design Lab in Prince Lab. Finally, your designs will be shown to the ENGN 0030 faculty and TAs as part of a formal presentation. 

Organizational Details:

  • You must do this project in teams of 4-5 members. Please email Ms. Stephanie Gesualdi ( before noon on Thursday, November 1st to sign up for design groups. You may also ask that she assign you to a team.
  • Your team should start work on the design as early as possible.  The conceptual design phase should be completed by noon on Thursday, November 15th. Each team should hand in a 3-page summary of its conceptual design process, including a brief outline of its selected final design. Independently, each group member must submit the first group evaluation form, available here.
  • The embodiment and detailed design phases must be completed by noon on Thursday, November 29th.  Each team should hand in an embodiment/detailed design report.  Independently, each group member must submit the second group evaluation form, available here.
  • Workshop facilities will be available for your use 9 am–5 pm Mon-Fri between Monday, December 3rd – Tuesday, December 11th.  Be sure to begin your construction work early. 
  • Your designs will be presented and tested on Wednesday, December 12th. The deadline to sign up for a presentation time-slot is Friday, December 7th. All group members MUST be present at this final session. Sign up for a timeslot by emailing Ms. Stephanie Gesualdi The session will last approximately 30 minutes. Presentations will take place in the Peterutti Design Lab (in Prince Lab) from 8am-4pm. At this time you will be asked to:
    • Give a brief (10 minute maximum) oral presentation describing the virtues of your design. The presentation must be accompanied by PowerPoint-style slides. It should include any unique or unusual design features (i.e., moving parts, etc).
    • Turn in your written report materials. A grading rubric for the final report can be found here.
    • Submit the final group evaluation form, available here.
    • Fill in end-of-course surveys.