01 Oct 2009, Posted by admin in Articles, 0 Comments

Intergrated Project for Mechanical Engineering

The Extended Programme is a special programme within the Mechanical Engineering Programme that offers students who came close to meeting the entry requirements to the Mechanical Engineering course, the opportunity to enrol for the Mechanical Engineering course, but over an extended period of time i.e. 4 years (Extended Programme) instead of the normal 3 years (Mainstream). 39 students are enrolled for the Extended Programme for 2009.

As is the practice in the mainstream course and the extended programme, students are required to do a project every semester (6 months). This is an integrated project that requires the student to use all the skills acquired in the course thus far, to solve an engineering related problem.

The 2009 Extended Programme students were 3 months into their course when they were required to do the project that related to kart racing and SAKRA specifically. The students were divided into groups of 3 or 4 and were handed a project brief that basically outlined the following:


A trolley is needed to support the go-kart to allow maintenance to be carried out on the kart.  The trolley is used to support the kart at a certain height to carry out maintenance.  This trolley is also used to convey the kart as well as a toolbox, helmet and fire extinguisher from the workshop to the pit bay.

Currently, various designs are used and most of them pose some weakness that does not fulfil all their intended employment.

Outputs:   You and your team are required to solve this problem by-

  • Planning the project.
  • Investigating the faults and weaknesses of current designs in use.
  • Perform a market research / survey.
  • Making possible design improvements or new concept.
  • Presenting your design improvements or new concept.
  • Compiling a report

For three weeks the students worked on the project from it being a problem identified in the project brief, to ideas for final concepts.

WEEK 1: The students were handed the brief, divided into groups. They attended a two session workshop on Project Management and had to start planning the project.

The following 2 weeks were dedicated solely to the project. No formal lectures took place and students were allowed the time to work on their project and attend workshops to assist them.

WEEK 2: Students had to hand in their planning for the project and by the end of the week, present their initial concepts for scrutiny by the lecturers.

WEEK 3: Students had to complete their final concepts and present it in PowerPoint, as well as document their entire workings in the form of a report.

Ten final concepts were handed in, and of these, four of the best were chosen for development into the next phases of the project.

The next phase (April – June) of the project involves teaching the students to present their concept drawings in CAD and to improve on their PowerPoint presentation. The presentation will then be done to the management of SAKRA and they (management) will decide on a concept that is most suited to their needs.

The final phase (July – October) will see the chosen concept taken to the manufacturing stage where the Extended Programme students will be required to manufacture the trolley as a project within the subject of Manufacturing.

Written by Felicity Harris (Extended Programme Co-ordinator)

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