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In EG1003, all your lab work and the semester-long design project will be performed in teams. There is a reason for this. The corporations and government agencies that will eventually employ you have encouraged engineering educators to stress the importance of teamwork.

These organizations have emphasized teamwork because it is a more effective way of dealing with the increasing complexity of the projects their employees undertake, and because they have found that it allows them to bring products to market faster. Some teams share the same location and some do not, exchanging information virtually. All of them practice concurrent engineering, which allows the team to advance the project together instead of having one team member finish their work and hand the project off to the next team member. Working as a team creates efficiencies and, most importantly, provides for the timely delivery of products to the marketplace.[1]

Project management swept through the defense industry in the 1950s and 1960s as a way of handling Department of Defense contracts. The practice is widespread today. Its organizing principle is the wisdom of centering personnel around product development, for example, as opposed to ordering them according to their job function.[1]For you to be successful in this kind of environment, you must learn to be a team player.

In EG1003, this means learning to manage the tasks required to complete your semester-long design project with your partner. If one team member ends up doing all the work, you will not be able to compete with teams that divide the load and optimize their talents. In the lab, it means analyzing the problem and working through the procedures in this manual together, each team member offering encouragement and advice to the others.

Two (or three) heads are better than one. In recitation, it means dividing up the presentation so that each person is allowed to deliver some of the report. If one member of the team does all the talking and the other just stands by, it is obvious to all that you have failed as a team. In your written work, it means splitting up the chores among the members of the team. Perhaps one will be assigned the duty of authoring the slides, while the other prepares the graphics. In this way, you will take advantage of the energy that develops among members of a winning team.


  1. ^ a b Oakes, W.C., L.L. Leone, and C.G. Gunn, Engineering Your Future. Okemos, MI: Great Lakes Press, 2002