Just to jump in from an outside perspective..

AERO faced similar issues last Spring when we started tackling
design and continue to as we refine our design.

The race car's design/build cycle goes something like this:

  1.  Plan: Research rules of the race and establish action
      objectives that maximize performance within rules and
      available resources.

  2.  Do: Do the plan (analyze, model, source, fab, etc.).

  3.  Check: Compare results with objectives. Report back to Team.

  4.  Act: Based on results refactor process to improve before next
      cycle begins.

The most important resource has been good information. Our
collaboration mechanisms (a Wiki, version controlled repository,
email lists) have proved central to our ability to make good
decisions and thereby produce good results. Testing out our ideas
would be worthless unless we incorporated results into an evolving
(learned), always improving design.

Participation is crucial. Our meetings follow an agenda and always
include time at the end for every person to speak and report
accomplishments from the last week and plans for the week
coming. Meeting agenda is always posted to our Wiki allowing for
any team member to add to it (very useful). The agenda maintains
focus that yields shorter meetings and it has been our experience
that the shorter meetings are usually our most productive.

I had the opportunity to see Brett present your project this week
to my Engineering Management class. He gave a really good
introduction to the background of the effort, and then did a good
dimensional analysis for the design. This seems like a perfect
place to begin. The evaporator is a very interesting engineering
problem, and one in which you could make a big, positive impact
for all stakeholders involved.

Be sure to bug us over at AERO if we can help or you have any
specific questions for how we are organizing our problems or
executing their solutions.

Best of luck!

Cheers, Andrew

|--==> "EK" == Ezra Kahn <[log in to unmask]> writes:

  EK> Yes, it is definitely too soon to start designing sugar refiners.  But
  EK> we still have some pretty basic "pre-design" questions.  Like, who is
  EK> going to be involved in this project?  How are we going to meet and
  EK> communicate with each other?  Should we create a CEMS account?  Use
  EK> google docs?  What exactly do we cumulatively know?  What on/off
  EK> campus resources are available to guide us?

  EK> I, for one, would VERY much like to be involved in this project.
  EK> However, I am still a fresh member to our club, and feel the need to
  EK> officially meet and talk with those I hope to work with.

  EK> My opinion is that established, regular design meetings, separate from
  EK> club business meetings, is necessary.  I think it is also important
  EK> for us, as a group, to work out what our questions are.

  EK> Thanks,

  EK> Ezra

  EK> Quoting "Michael J. Rosen" <[log in to unmask]>:

  >>Where I can help on this is design process. I teach it. A lot.
  >>Can we schedule one of the upcoming EWB meetings to be a design
  >>session? Invite experts and consultants as needed (e.g. Peter).
  >>Quoting Peter DeGraff <[log in to unmask]>:
  >>>I tend to agree.  Before you get too far along, I'd like to sit down
  >>>with the group and Dan, discuss what's currently being done, materials
  >>>available, evaporator design, operational characteristics, fuel
  >>>available, etc.  Just want to start out on the right foot.
  >>>Peter DeGraff, P.E.
  >>>Otter Creek Engineering, Inc.
  >>>P.O. Box 712, 404 East Main Street
  >>>East Middlebury, VT  05740
  >>>(802) 382-8522 (p) (802) 382-8640 (f)
  >>>[log in to unmask]
  >>>>-----Original Message-----
  >>>>From: Engineers Without Borders [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On
  >>>>Behalf Of Michael J. Rosen
  >>>>Sent: Thursday, November 08, 2007 9:05 AM
  >>>>To: [log in to unmask]
  >>>>Subject: Re: Engineering
  >>>>OK, thanks. So "working on designs" means drawing them in
  >>>>SolidWorks? Have there been any group design sessions to
  >>>>actually do the thinking
  >>>>and conceptualizing and arguing and scholarship part of the design
  >>>>process? No criticisim implied; I'm just wondering where the process
  >>>>Quoting Brett Daniel Davis <[log in to unmask]>:
  >>>>>One of the second floor computer labs, if there is room.  I'll be
  >>>>>there by 4 pm.
  >>>>>Quoting "Michael J. Rosen" <[log in to unmask]>:
  >>>>>>Working where in Votey?
  >>>>>>Quoting Brett Daniel Davis <[log in to unmask]>:
  >>>>>>>Hey Everyone,
  >>>>>>>I mentioned that I would be working today in Votey on
  >>>>the designs
  >>>>>>>for the oven from 5-7 tonight.  I won't be in there tonight.
  >>>>>>>However, tomorrow, I'll be working on it around 3 or 4.
  >>>>If you're
  >>>>>>>interested shoot me an email.
  >>>>__________ NOD32 2586 (20071011) Information __________
  >>>>This message was checked by NOD32 antivirus system.

Andrew Laing <[log in to unmask]>
  Pandora's Rule:
        Never open a box you didn't close.