Each student will prepare and submit an individual state-of-the-art (SOTA) report as described below.
Purpose of the SOTA Report
The purpose of the SOTA research is to gather the necessary background information to tackle your project effectively. Engineering design is not a purely creative exercise, but is built on what has been done before. When beginning a design project, it is important to gather information and conduct research to find answers to questions like:
• Has anybody solved this problem before? If so, how did they do it? How well did it work? Can we improve on their solution?
• Has anybody solved a similar problem in a completely different domain? Maybe the solution can be found in nature. The idea for Velcro came from the way burrs stick to a dog’s fur.
• Are there some new or emerging technologies that can be applied to the problem? Maybe these technologies make some old ideas feasible.
• What are the key analytical and/or experimental methods and techniques you will need to successfully solve the problem?
Sometimes emerging technologies are solutions looking for problems. The Goretex company developed a way to coat wire with Teflon. The application they had in mind didn’t work out, but they discovered that these wires made excellent guitar strings.
Your SOTA report shall be prepared using a font size of 11 points and 1.5 lines spacing and must be less than 2000 words plus figures. It should follow the sections listed in Appendix B. You must include a reference list in APA style. This list should contain at least 10 references to scholarly, reliable sources such as journal articles, books, trade publications, standards, patents, and government websites. In your reference list, also include any other sources you consult (for example, supplier websites, news media). The report must contain the following:
1. Search Log and References
Search Log: In your lab book, keep track of the process you follow to find information for your SOTA report. Show evidence of brainstorming for keywords (diagram or list). You are expected to search in the library catalogue and article databases (such as EI Compendex and Scopus), and you may also use online search engines (such as Google or Google Scholar).
For each place you look (catalogue, database, search engine), your search log should include:
• the date you did your research • where you searched, and your rationale for that choice • what search terms you used, and how you combined them • how you modified your search as you proceeded Also make note of points such as: useful subject headings, searches that were particularly
helpful (or useless), problems you ran into and how you addressed those.ES 1050 DESIGN PROJECT III 4
• • • • •
Survey and assessment of current technology and existing solutions.
give a technical description of relevant engineering and scientific principles benchmark the best products/technologies/solutions identify any design failures and lessons to be learned examine the design features and tradeoffs of the best-in-class designs identify technological factors limiting performance. For example, in digital photography, larger image sensors are more expensive but give better images. The technological challenge is to reduce the cost of large sensors and/or improve the performance of small ones.
Survey and assessment of relevant emerging technology.
What new technologies are fundamentally reshaping the market? An example would be digital technology and photography. What new technologies have potential to radically reshape the market in the next few years? Examples include optical computing, DNA computing, nanotechnology, etc.
Assessment criteria may include the following:
• Performance in satisfying requirements. • Human factors and ease of use. • Technological tradeoffs and limitations. • Technological readiness. Is the new technology sufficiently developed to be
practical? Where are we on the S-curve? • Potential benefits. How much better is the new technology compared to the best
existing technology? • Cost.
• Environmental friendliness.
The topic of your SOTA report should relate to what your team is doing for Project III. The SOTA reports can be used to help determine the specific barrier that your group will move forward with, or they can be used to provide background information on a particular barrier (and potential solutions) once it has been chosen. Each group member should work independently on their SOTA report, ideally on a topic different from the other group members.
The report must be submitted both as a paper copy and as an electronic copy through Turnitin.com on Owl. All papers will be subject to submission for textual similarity review to the commercial plagiarism detection software under license to the University for the detection of plagiarism. All papers submitted will be included as source documents in the reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism of papers subsequently submitted to the system. Use of the service is subject to the licensing agreement, currently between The University of Western Ontario and Turnitin.com