PoE : Fall 2013

aka. Principles of Engineering / ENGR2210


(or http://tiny.cc/poe13f)

Instructors and NINJAs

  Chris Murphy, christopher.murphy@olin.edu

  José Oscar Mur-Miranda, JoseOscar.Mur-Miranda@olin.edu

  Gui Cavalcanti, gui@olin.edu

  Kate Maschan, Katherine.Maschan@students.olin.edu

  Ian Daniher, Ian.Daniher@students.olin.edu

  Nikolay Lapin, Nikolay.Lapin@students.olin.edu

Credits: 4 ENGR (4-4-4)

Prerequisites: ENGR 1110

Grading: ⅓ Labs, ⅔ Project

Course Description

Through a significant project experience, students will learn to integrate analysis, qualitative design, quantitative optimization, experiments, and simulations to improve their ability to engineer real systems. Students will work in small multidisciplinary teams to design and to build a mechatronic system of their own choosing. Each project must include both a nontrivial mechanical system design and a nontrivial electronic system design involving both hardware and software components. Projects will be subject to realistic materials, process, and budgetary constraints.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this course, students will be able to


  During the first third of the semester, you will be working in groups of two or three on a series of labs in which you will gain experience working with the Arduino microcontroller.  Each lab group will submit a joint lab report for each lab.  Microcontrollers are essentially single-chip computers, with a small amount of data and program memory, and a host of peripheral devices that are useful in embedded systems and computer interfaces. You will be learning how to build circuits around these processors, how to write firmware for them, how to program them, and how to use those peripherals that are most relevant to designing mechatronic systems.


  During the last two thirds of the semester, you will be working in a group of three to five students in the class on a design project of your own choosing.  We may provide some project suggestions, which you can adopt, modify, or ignore and devise your own.  At the start of the project phase of the course, each group will be required to submit a brief project pre-proposal sketching out your project idea.  Then, one week into the project phase of the course, each group will turn in a project proposal, which more fully specifies the system you would like to design and prototype. As the project progresses, each group will be required to schedule and deliver two oral design reviews, detailing the progress of your project. Finally, at the end of the semester, each group will need to submit a final report, documenting the entire project. Your report can either be a written report or a project web site. On the last day of class, each group will be required to provide a demo of their prototype for all of the other students in the class.

Course Policies

Late Reports/Milestones:

  Lab reports and project milestones will be due in class on the announced dates. Late reports/milestones will be penalized at a rate of up to 5% per day or fraction thereof.

Project Budgets:

  Each project group will have a total project budget of $250 to cover the cost of materials, supplies, fabrication, and shipping.  One component of this course is working within time and dollar budgets.  Please expect this limit to be firm.

Reimbursing Project Supplies:

  Electronic components should generally be ordered through the ECE Stockroom. To purchase other types of supplies, there are two options:

Notes on Reimbursement: