Student Paper: Small Team Agile Systems Engineering For Rapid Prototyping of Robotic Systems
Charles Noren, Kendra Andersen, Kanika Gakhar, Angela Olinger, Preetam Palchuru, Scott Tran, John Valasek
2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition Proceedings
Angela Olinger is an undergraduate mechanical engineering student at Texas A&M University graduating in May 2018. She plans on completing her Master's of Science degree after graduation before going on to work with materials design in the space industry. She is also a classically trained ballet dancer and continues to enjoy dancing and choreographing. Mr. Preetam Palchuru, Texas A&M University Vehicle Systems & Control Laboratory Preetam Palchuru is an Undergraduate student studying at Texas
... University. He will graduate in May 2018 with a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering. He currently works at the Vehicle Systems and Control Laboratory as an undergraduate researcher. After finishing his undergraduate education, he plans on getting a Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering. Engineering management decisions play critical roles in the ultimate success or failure of a project. The approach taken, the team size, the deliverables and their respective due dates, and the environment are key factors which engineering managers, technical team leads, and educators must all address to complete an assigned goal. While many courses at both the high school and college level focus on achieving set educational outcomes, the manner by which these outcomes are achieved may prove difficult to select due to the dynamic nature of the classroom. From the observations of this team, high school and university project deliverables and educational expectations are commonly, and sufficiently, satisfied by a small team of individuals, and thus it is the focus of this paper to discuss the group dynamics and structure, and the advantages and disadvantages, of the small team approach to engineering challenges. In addition to addressing the role of team size on project completion, an investigation into benefits of the agile systems engineering approach towards technical projects will be discussed with specific regard to the deliverables and time management, learning outcomes, long term project success, knowledge retention, and the learning environment. Finally, it is the goal of this paper to also highlight from the perspective of the students the benefits and challenges of working on a small team with an agile systems approach towards difficult technical challenges.