Ipsita's RAD

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Request for Proposal: Ipsita's RAD

Introduction and Overview

In a rapidly progressing and innovation-focused world, there is constantly a push for originality and revolutionary new ideas. As the future of engineering, you have been called upon by the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) in collaboration with NYU Tandon School of Engineering to propose unique, intriguing ideas that will promote technological advancement and improve quality of life. The National Academy of Engineering wants to see how the new generation of engineers will address the Engineering Grand Challenges and technological problems the world faces. They want to reward innovative and exceptional designs and prototypes.

Your team is tasked with identifying a problem that needs to be solved, and then moving forward to propose and develop a solution. At the end of this semester, you will be expected to have a working prototype that you can showcase to your professors and teaching assistants. The product that shows the most creativity, promise, and innovative excellence will win an award. The goal of this endeavor is to address an engineering problem that you believe you can solve or begin to solve. You have the freedom to propose any idea you believe has merit, be it a completely new technology or one that you aspire to adapt. If your proposal is selected, then you will be expected to move forward with your idea and have a concrete prototype by the end of the semester. You will be graded on the effort that is put into the project and in understanding the engineering design process, as well as your ability to explain what you learn from your engineering design endeavor.


You will be utilizing the General Engineering Prototyping Lab and the NYU Tandon MakerSpace to design your projects. The General Engineering Program will provide any applicable tools necessary to assist in prototyping and assembly. An upperclassman mentor from the General Engineering Program will be provided to you. This mentor will act as a guide for you throughout the duration of this project. They will do the majority of your grading, and stay in contact with you about what deliverables will be due and when. You have the freedom to propose an idea based in innovation and/or solving an engineering problem. Once your proposal has been selected by professors and other staff, you will work with your team to meet the goals that you, your mentor, and the professors have agreed upon. In order to complete your project to the best of your ability, you have a budget to order parts that you require. You will communicate what you need to purchase to your mentor, who is in charge of placing your orders and delivering them to you. You will need to submit all deliverables, meet Benchmarks, and complete Milestone presentations on time. Student prototypes will be judged by professors at the end of the semester, and the best teams will be awarded a prize.

Example Project Ideas

  • Air quality tracking and alarm system
  • Drone that can retrieve and deliver small objects
  • Wearable device that uses renewable energy
  • Gesture control of a computer screen
  • Blood sugar medical wearable device
  • Sensors that monitor and help correct posture

*Creativity and innovation are always rewarded.

Microsoft Project

You must create a project schedule to manage your time in Microsoft Project. You can learn Microsoft Project by doing the MS Project Skill Builder. This schedule must include all tasks related to the project from the start of the project to Submission. Click here to access the guide on how to transfer a file. The Microsoft Project schedule should include the following:

  • Minimum of 20 tasks, excluding Milestones
  • Milestones should be clearly indicated on the project plan (duration of zero days)
  • Each task must include the person responsible for completing the task (resource names)
  • Use the "Copy Picture" function to include the project plan in the presentations. Do not take a screenshot
  • Gantt chart must be displayed alongside the tasks list (fit onto one slide)
  • Gantt chart must clearly show a progress line
  • Clearly state during the presentation whether the project is on-time, behind schedule, or ahead of schedule

For help planning the project, review the manual page Planning Project Scheduling & Costs.

Cost Estimate

A cost estimate must be generated that specifies the cost of all the materials and labor required for the construction of the design. Tabulate this cost information clearly in an Excel spreadsheet. Help in calculating the cost is available by reviewing How to plan the schedule and calculate costs for a project. Try to choose parts from amazon.com for ease of purchasing and fast delivery.

Note: You need to provide a cost estimate with a list of parts in your Design and Feasibility Report. Any adjustments or changes over the semester must be documented and shown to your mentor. Be very sure of the parts you ask your mentor to purchase, as you do have a budget of $300.00 .

The cost estimate should include the following:

  • Labor cost breakdown with hours and rates
  • Cost of all materials and components
  • Total cost must be shown in the bottom right corner

* No decimal places; this is an estimate after all. Round appropriately

Milestones, Benchmarks, and Deliverables

As you work on your project, you will be required to present periodic reports on your progress. We call these Milestones. All the items assigned in each Milestone are called deliverables. These deliverables often consist of a combination of written submissions, presentations, and demonstrations. Additionally, you will be required to meet certain benchmarks assigned by your mentor, and hand in reports/deliverables that add to the progress and comprehensiveness of your project.

Design & Feasibility Report

The Design and Feasibility Report is extremely important, as it lays the groundwork for your project. You will be outlining your project idea, inspiration, and goals. The items that are outlined in the cost estimate will be purchased, so choose carefully.

Must Include:

  • Project Overview
  • Goals
  • Design & Approach
  • Cost Estimate (budget of $300.00)

The Design and Feasibility Report is due to your mentor by email at the designated due date provided to you (one week after SLDP groups are determined). A basic outline of what your DFR should look like can be found here: DFR Outline