Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 1.5 hours / session

Course Description

Exploration provides an exciting theme for student immersion and investigation of the sea, space and earth. This introduction to engineering subject uses a combination of project based active and experiential learning, with the explicit goals of fostering passion, excitement and creativity. The class will introduce core engineering themes, principles, and modes of thinking. Topics include: historical reflection, societal impact, fundamental principles, system uncertainties, teamwork, ethics, communications, engineering abstractions, constraints and boundaries. Rather than classic problem sets and exams, student teams complete space/earth/ocean exploration-based hands-on design project with weekly milestones. Specialized learning modules enable teams to focus on knowledge required to complete their projects, such as machine elements, electronics, software, acoustics, aero/hydrostatics, aero/hydrodynamics, structures, design process, visualization and communication. This is a CI course that will satisfy the pace requirement: Students must pass one CI by the end of the first year, and two CI subjects by the end of the second year.


Participation 15%
Weekly design notebook review 15%
CI reports 10%
Oral presentations 10%


Design 10%
Does it work? 10%
Data analysis/tech reports 15%
Final poster presentation 15%



Learning Objectives

After completing 2.00AJ/16.00AJ, students will be able to:

  1. Actively participate (100%) in reading and discussing (including inquiry) the Exploration and Engineering FundaMentals materials (from reading assignments before class, in class, during laboratory sessions).
  2. Introduce, use, and calculate engineering fundamental principles.
  3. Propose and evaluate engineering designs (concepts, components, operational system) for human-operated robotic designs for sea, space and earth, and understand societal implications.
  4. Effectively communicate (written and oral), research and document engineering analysis and the design process for an operational system.
  5. Frame and resolve ill-defined problems, and design and operate a robotic vehicle for exploration.
  6. Participate as a contributing member of an engineering team comprised of 4-6 students.

Measurable Outcomes (Assessment Method)

After completing 2.00AJ/16.00AJ, students will be able to:

  1. Engage in engineering inquiry and discussion and demonstrate curiosity. Students accept responsibility for their own learning and are independent learners.

  2. Use and calculate engineering fundamentals (i.e., equations of motion, energy, constitutive equations, momentum, energy, free body diagrams, lift, drag, and propulsion) to evaluate designs and robotic vehicle performance (homework, reading assessments, laboratory recitations, design reviews (PDR and CDR)).

  3. Approximate/estimate performance of vehicles, and possess a breadth of integrated fundamental knowledge in the sciences and engineering, humanities and arts (design notebooks, technical reports, web portfolio, laboratory recitations).

  4. Write a research paper on an exploration topic, present preliminary and completed team design concepts (electronic PDR and CDR presentations to a faculty jury and peers, all students must present orally at either the PDR or CDR), and produce a student individual design portfolio (in either electronic or in hard copy).

    4.1 Written research paper
    4.2 Oral presentation, format, and content
    4.3 Multiple design concepts (PDR)
    4.4 Final design concept (CDR)
    4.5 Drawings (PDR-schematics and multiview, CDR-scale drawings)
    4.6 Calculate engineering parameters (mass, structures, duration, propulsion, electronics)
    4.7 Prepare a term-long schedule and management plan
    4.8 Specify any other additional needs

  5. Team design of robotic exploration vehicle (notebooks, prototypes, drawings (hard copy and electronic), computer models, operational subsystems, operational vehicle, peer instruction).

  6. Contribute effectively to team design (peer evaluations, self evaluations, TA and instructor evaluation).

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2009
Learning Resource Types
Image Gallery
Lecture Notes
Projects with Examples
Design Assignments with Examples
Presentation Assignments
Written Assignments