Real Experience From Senior Design

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Every engineer has a senior design course during the final year of their academic journey. Many dred this, but in actuality, the course can be leveraged in several ways to position yourself for success in your career. Going beyond expectations, forging great relationships with industry professionals who may be adjunct professors, and achieving true hands experience can yield in more opportunities.

Push the bar higher. At University of Delaware, we had the ability to peer into the archives to examine was teams produced before our time. Most senior design assemblies would simply emulate and reproduce what those had done before us - kicking along the can and accomplishing the status quo. How can you expect to stand out if you do not do more than the year before? You should strive to generate more value to your team and your academic year by thinking outside the box. Raise the bar higher, don't settle for a mediocre project submission.

The prior point segways nicely into differentiating your team from other teams. In my experience, everyone is so busy trying to do what those did before them, or attempting to figure out what other teams are doing for inspiration and ideas. Again, how can you expect to stand out this way? Do something new. Do something different. Be pioneers, don't be a follower team. This is a perfect opportunity to gain special attention and respect from the adjunct professors who teach your course. It will help your credibility when you maintain the relationships with these professors and one day, ask for a job or position which may be available at their company. 

                                                Proposed preliminary design of a GRS-IBS structure.

                                                Proposed preliminary design of a GRS-IBS structure.

Make sure you get the most out of the course. Quantify your accomplishments as a team. How many housing plots did you design for the project? What was the fabricated budget via quantities / estimates for the year? How many members did you organize if you were a team leader (highly encouraged). Senior time gives you a chance to establish real world style experience, so leverage this on your resume, during job fairs, and while you interview. 

Shoutout to the first ever 1% Engineer member, Paul Tab, and his senior design team at University of Delaware!! Congrats on being the top squad for spring semester, and winning 2nd overall for the year. I love UD's senior design course, because of the large team framework to emulate a real engineering division. Make note of the sweet poster Paul's team created, along with the bridge rendering. Seen below is a model of the proposed preliminary design of the GRS-IBS structure.

Do you have cool engineering work you'd like to share with the community? Send me a message about it! 

Jake

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