Student’s Guide to a Successful Engineering Group Project

It can be summarized in 5Rs: responsibility, reliance, relationship, respect, and reflection.


(Source: Giphy)

There is a formula to achieve that successful engineering group project.

Engineering students are bombarded with projects which vary from individual to group. They are essential requirements and not merely to fill a grade, because these projects are training grounds to become competent and efficient engineers in companies later on.

But much emphasis should be given to group projects. Individual projects are solely dependent on one person, that is yourself; whereas in group projects, you have to deal with a multitude of tasks along with different personalities in order to produce an output that will yield you significant learning more than just a good grade. For the group project to work, its members should work as a team.


Successful Engineering Group Project (Source: Giphy)

So what should engineering students do to make a group project successful? Here are tips encapsulated in 5 Rs: responsibility, reliance, relationship, respect, and reflection.

Responsibility


Successful Engineering Group Project (Source: Giphy)

What means most to a group project are team members who have a sense of responsibility, in a sense that the commitment one puts to the project must be at maximum. The more commitment one engineering student gives into the project, the more contributions he or she shares to the success of the entire project. Imagine if all of the members provide the same maximum effort: it will be the best project you will ever have.

It’s also not a matter of being busy to be called responsible, but more importantly, being productive. When you are given the task, make sure to complete the work assigned to you.

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There will be hard-headed members of the group that will bring the group down. If you are the group leader, it is your responsibility to remind them of their tasks and make sure that the assignment are followed.

Reliance


Successful Engineering Group Project (Source: Tumblr)

One important factor to be in a group project is being able to trust each other. The tendency of a team with trusts issues may result to some sort of conflict, which will definitely hinder to the success of your engineering project.

More than being able to trust each other is having to help each other. You can rely on your group leader or group members to get some help when you already feel so much burden with the work assigned to you.

Relationship


Successful Engineering Group Project (Source: Celebuzz)

Harmonious relationships among the team members will bring a shared learning regardless if the project succeeds or not. When the members share information, exchange viewpoints, discuss learning strategies, and form good partnerships, the group is empowered to become the best group to accomplish the engineering project.

Along with having relationship within the group is being able to show acceptance to different personalities involved. This is a critical characteristic that every engineer should learn: being able to adapt to different attitudes. One of the main reasons why teachers assign engineering projects as groups, other than the learning, is to be able to manage the completion of the project despite the differences of perspectives. Make necessary adjustment as you see fit.

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Respect


Successful Engineering Group Project (Source: Giphy)

Respect is a two-way street: if you give it to others, others will also give it to you. Make sure to be sensitive to each other’s needs, feelings, and positions. Share your opinions but keep your feet on the ground.

There will be conflicts, some almost omnipresent, on the duration of the engineering project, but do not forget to maintain the respect among the team members.

Another way to show respect to others is through your devotion to the project. You were assigned or chosen to do the project with others so you are required to deliver. A petty project to you might the entire world for the others. You are bound to perform as a sign of respect to the others’ works.

Reflection


Successful Engineering Group Project (Source: MTV)

Every step of the engineering project is critical and it is important to reflect on how much progress has been made by the group, how much you have contributed to the group, how well you have communicated with the members, and how well the project has been done.

Be able to assess your personal performance and others’ as well. An effective reflection is one where you can learn the most.

These 5 Rs when kept in mind by every engineering student will produce the best engineering projects every time.

Frank Taylor

Australian living in sunny Dubai. Chemical engineer, writer, blogger and social good enthusiast. I'm on Twitter @FrankTaylor90

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Student’s Guide to a Successful Engineering Group Project

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