This course does not have "tests" in the traditional sense.  The final "test" of any design project is the designs and reports it produces and of course how it works when implemented in the field.  Obviously a one semester college course cannot fully test field implementation of a full design project, but it can check the written and oral communication of the final result.

The Midterm "test" in this class is a folder progress check as indicated in Grading.  It will be due just before spring break.  Your folder at midterm may be simply a work file of computer runs, outputs and a running "diary" of decisions, plans, and course the work followed.  Obviously such a record will prove invaluable at the end when you must write what you have done and structure a report saying what is to be done with appendices to demonstrate that such decisions are built on sound engineering.  This Midterm "test" is the 10% of your grade .

The Final Exam consists of an oral (20%) and final written presentation (30%) of your work.

The final written report will likely require one or more binders of 1 to 3 inch thickness.  With computer design packages some of your work may be in electronic files though a report that simply "dumps" an electronic file is not acceptable.  All the work you do during the semester will ultimately be directed at producing this one document. This final written report is giving instead of a final examination. It will be due at the end of the time block specified by the university for the final examination. While the exact content of any document must depend on the topic covered the outline below illustrates the organization of a report on an example mineral deposit.

Cover Page

Table of Contents

List of Figures

List of Tables

Executive Summary




    Obviously there are details of any outline that are project specific.

    The points on the final report will be awarded based 60% on content and methodology. Your report will be reviewed to find whether the material required is present and whether it was determined by applicable engineering methods. If material is missing you will be penalized as a percentage of the required work that in the instructors opinion was not done or was not done in a solid engineering manner. A typical way in which many people get in trouble with this standard is to simply put in a filler section of text speaking in general unquantified meaningless terms about a subject just so they have the section in place. While this may be preferable to skipping the section altogether, the amount of time and effort required for a filler fluff section is not a whole lot more than a section not present. A filler fluff section may still have the virtue of defining assumptions that you made in other sections, thus avoiding loosing points for things that make no sense unless someone has the background to know what was going on in other sections.

    The remaining 40% of the points for the final report will be based on organization, English, and appearance. Things like grammar and spelling are checked for English. Appearance will examine the quality of figures and tables. Most figures should be either done as large plots using autocad (or for the good draftsmen remaining by drawing). Organization examines such things as whether one skips aimlessly from topic to topic. Clear well defined paragraphs following a logical sequence from one subject to another usually best avoids topic shifting. Another aspect of organization is good use of appendices. Many designs require significant amounts of supporting calculations. To place such calculations in the main body of a text would divide the logic sequence of the report so much that no one would know where the writer is going. One would probably not want to put a fat old computer printout in the main text. They may prefer a summary table of results with a citation back to an appendix where the program used is explained (including how to read the output) and the input detailed, followed by the output and summary of key conclusions from the output.