This thesis details the tailoring of a systems engineering process for use in undergraduate projects. A case study methodology was used to create and analyse the tailored systems engineering process developed in this thesis. The case studies were conducted on three different undergraduate engineering projects, which were chosen because they all required a more professional approach.
The data presented in this thesis was gathered through one on one interviews with team members of the projects under study. This evidence was collated and analysed to answer the questions presented in this thesis. These results were then compared with the literature, and conclusions reached.
It was found that the introduction of the tailored systems engineering process to the undergraduate projects under consideration provided useful outcomes for both the project and the students involved. The products developed in the projects were of a far superior quality than were developed without the tailored systems engineering process. All of the students involved felt they learnt about systems engineering far more than they would have through more traditional forms of teaching.
These findings show that problem based learning is an effective educational tool for systems engineering when combined with the right sort of projects. This compares favourably with what has been found by Finelli [Finelli, 1999]. Undergraduate projects achieve a greater level of professionalism and produce products that are of a better quality than without a systems engineering framework. This agrees with the statements of Otto and Wood [Otto and Wood, 1999].
The goal of this thesis, to develop a systems engineering process, tailored for undergraduate projects, was fulfilled.