Mayank Sharma
on 21 July, 2013

Guide For A Successful Final Year Project

So, I guess results are out for every college and now all the BE/B.Tech students are busy searching for a good final year project. Before proceeding, I’d like to tell y’all that all final year students can be broadly categorized in two groups. The first group consists of people who will make their projects themselves while the second group consists of people who’ll order it from outside. So if you belong to the second group, you might ignore this article.

I thought of doing a little research and in turn making a small guide that’ll help y’all during this project making phase. So, before selecting the final year project, make sure to keep the following things in your mind:

Significance of Final Year Project:

During the job interview, 85% of your selection will be based on how well you know about your project. Many websites have clearly mentioned that sometimes, the whole interview might be based on your final year project. So, always select a project that you are comfortable with. It should not happen that you’ll end up selecting an amazing, out-of-the-world, project but you don’t even know the ABC of it!

Black Book and its Role in the Project:

An engineering students' holy book is his/her black book. Few companies will allow you to go through your black book before you face the interviewer. I’ve also heard that in case you're stuck during the project’s explanation, you are allowed to have a look at your black book. So while making this book, make sure that you have included all the important points in it.

If possible, try to have an appendix page at the end of your book, just like a reference book. It’ll be helpful while searching for a specific content. Making of an appendix page is not a big thing. Just open an excel sheet. In one column, put all the “words” and in other column, put the “page numbers” corresponding to that word. After doing this, just arrange the “words” column alphabetically and you’ll get your appendix page ready.

Planning and Backups:

Always plan your work beforehand. Remember that once the project name is registered with your college and sheet is sent to the university, teachers won’t allow you to change your project (atleast most colleges don't). The thing that comes just after planning is ‘back up’. Even during my diploma days, I came across people who rarely kept a backup of their contents. ‘Backup’ is a common sense thing that people quite often neglect. More than half of this 7th semester will go in research work. Now just imagine, you are on verge of completing your research work and suddenly your computer crashes! You’ll have to start from scratch if you have no backup.

Personally speaking, I’m always scared of such system failures so I always have 3 copies of my data. The first one is in my PC, second in my pen drive and the third is on cloud. And backup doesn’t mean just having backup of your research work. It also means that you should have back up of all the components as well. If you think that once your project is made, your work is done then I’m sorry to disappoint you but the project can stop working at any stage so be prepared to troubleshoot it.

Team Work:

Another important thing during the project days is your team. Of course, you can't expect an ‘Avenger’ kinda team where every person is a super hero. All I’m telling is know your team and act accordingly. Inside a group, every person has a special ability which you should find and harness. The very basic step of efficient project work is work division. Properly divide work among the group people and once the division is done, make sure not to interfere in their work. I’ve worked with many groups but my personal favourite was the one that I had during my diploma final year. We were five of us. Two were responsible for all the hardware, one was responsible for arranging all the equipments, necesssary instruments, components, etc. The scholar one always taught us the working part and last person, me, was the one who was responsible for all the computer related work for example making presentations, doing research work and all. One thing that you should always remember is to use ‘We’ instead of ‘Me’.

Examples for Selection of Project:

There’s a common misconception among engineering students that there cannot be any final year project without a microcontroller. In reality, there are many projects that can be made without the controller part. If you are from Computers or IT background then you cannot avoid the coding part but if you represent Telecom or Mechanical stream, then you can. If you want a microcontroller based project then you can get many at Google whereas if you don’t want a microcontroller one, then look around you and you’ll find the answer.

You can make a project based on solar. My friend came up with a very good idea for a solar project. We all use the local trains. We know that trains run in an open area. Then why can’t we install solar panels on them and generate electricity? Or, why cannot we put up a small wind turbine at the back side of the train and generate electricity via it? If you’re interested in this project then all you need to do is a little research for making of a small prototype model. If you don’t like solar then you can work on a piezoelectric project and so on. The list is endless.

So, all you need is a superb idea which can help the common man, some dedication to excute it followed by a fantastic team to make your Final Year Project worth it. You're an engineer. It's your time to step on the peddle and accelerate.

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Mayank Sharma

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