Technology and Engineering
Unit name and code
Short Answer: 50%
1. Discuss the strategy you propose to use in your personal career to assure you will remain in demand in a changing competitive world. Give at least 4 points. (4 Marks)
My strategy to remain in demand in a changing competitive world will be multifaceted as described below;
Personal performance enhancement – this will entail improving all areas of my job. This will be achieved by constantly getting reviews from my managers and attending forums such as workshops or even reading online in a bid to continuously improve myself and hence position myself for the ever changing competitive world.
Continuous benchmarking of the job market through checking adverts and person specifications for the roles similar to my job’s or those that are in line with my career. For instance if by so doing I find that my engineering skills are not up to scratch, I ensure I update them in line with the market demand.
Knowledge updating by ensuring am up to date with the happenings in my field through such actions as reading professional journals and attending related events including conferences and workshops to ensure I remain credible in the field.
Ensuring I always acquire softer skills including communication and interpersonal skills to ensure I am able to relate with all at all levels.
2. Describe how the steps in managing a project are different from the four basic functions of management. (3 Marks)
The steps used in managing a project range from project conception and initiation up to the time the project is closed and delivered to the customer. In other words, they relate to a specific project and are followed until the completed project is delivered to the customer. In other words, they are only applicable as long as there is an ongoing project. On the other hand, management functions are about the role played by the organization’s management in ensuring its success and apply to every organization such that they will apply regardless of whether there is an ongoing project.
3. In the first part of the semester, we discussed management functions–
Planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. Apply these functions to the technology function of research and development. How do they relate? (3Marks)
The four functions of management including planning, organizing, leading and controlling are closely related to the technology function of research and development. This is because for research and development to be carried out effectively, the department’s leadership or management needs to effectively apply the four management functions. In other words, proper planning, organizing, leading and controlling will obviously lead to successful research and development all other factors held constant. Without proper planning, leadership, organizing and control, any research and development efforts are bound to fail.
4. Discuss the precautions you might take as manager of a new project in building a project team to assure that the project does not get off “on the wrong foot”. List three. (3 Marks)
i) Ensure that the project team is composed of the right people with the right skills that are required for the project execution
ii) Ensure that there can be excellent communication among the team members since even if they had the right skills but there is no communication, this may lead to project failure.
iii) Ensure there can be effective team management. For a certain number of team members depending with project size, there ought to be effective team managers to ensure every aspect of the project is carried out effectively and team performance is regularly monitored to ensure project success.
5. Discuss some of the factors that would be most important in selecting a site for: (3 Marks)
• Asphalt plant
-Environmental factors- the plant should be positioned away from residential areas given its potential for environmental pollution
-Source of raw materials should be near the site
-Source of power since power ought to be readily available
• Software company
-Cost- The cost for acquiring the site need to be considered.
-Capacity- This includes availability of software engineers as well as technical universities
-Capability- this entails presence of specific skills and expertise that a software company explicitly needs including sufficiently sophisticated work and operational environment.
• Shoe factory
-Environmental factors to avoid harmful environmental effects.
6. Give 2 examples of how globalization has affected your life?(4 Marks)
i) Through globalization, I can now enjoy more products at lower prices from the stores.
ii) Owing to globalization, I can now communicate with people from anywhere in the world at any time especially through internet
7. What are some of the steps a manager can take to encourage creativity in his or her technical employees? (3 Marks)
i) Rewarding creativity with suggestions being taken seriously so that they come up with more creative ways of doing things
ii)Setting up innovation teams with each team being asked to come up with creative ideas regarding an aspect.
iii) Have diversity in employees and organize informal settings between diverse employees for interchange of creative ideas.
8. How is work breakdown structure used to provide a common framework to accomplish many tasks? Explain with an example. (4Marks)
Work breakdown structure uses a hierarchical tree structure in breaking down the project deliverables to more specific and measurable chunks making them more precise and concrete and hence project team is aware exactly of what needs to be accomplished within a given deliverable. Resources are allocated with the breakdown helping in better estimating cost risk and time as work is accomplished from the smaller tasks back up to the level of the entire project. All the deliverables specifics are then double checked with stakeholders hence making sure nothing is missing or overlaps. Below is a simplified WBS for a house
Construction of a house
Work-45% Work -23% Work-32%
Budget- $150,000 Budget- $60,000 Budget-$90,000
3.1 Masonry work
Work- 10% Work-19% Work-15%
Budget- $40,000 Budget-$35,000 Budget-$40,000
3.1.1 Lay Masonry
2.1.1 Pour Concrete
Work-5% Work-8% Work-10%
Budget-$7,000 Budget- $15,000 Budget-$13,000
9. How could the Challenger disaster have been prevented? (pg 407 in text) (20 marks)
The commission investigating the disaster indicated O-Ring sealing joint failure in the right SRB as the reason for the disaster. The O-Ring failed to expand to keep the seal tight owing to cold weather thus allowing hot gases to escape. The disaster could however have been avoided. The disaster was a management failure. This is because the issues with O-Rings were well known to the engineering team that worked on the SRB, yet attempts to notify the management had been constantly delayed. The issue of abnormal O-Ring erosion had been observed in previous flights but instead of asking for investigation, NASA management ignored it and instead opted to increase tolerance. Before the launch, NASA had a conference with the manufacturer with a group of the manufacturers’ engineers expressing their deep concern on a possible O-ring failure in cold weather and recommended a postponement of the launch. However, NASA opposed the delay. Thus, the manufacturer yielded to NASA’s pressure giving approval for the launch leading to the disaster. This indicated failure in communication with a management structure that allowed NASA to by-pass safety requirements as the causes of the disaster. Thus, had these issues been resolved, the disaster would have been avoided.
Expand your answer from Q.9 to the Columbia disaster.（3Marks)
The Columbia disaster could have been avoided. The disaster was blamed on a large piece of foam that fell from the shuttle’s external tank fatally breaching the spacecraft wing. Those problems had been known for years, no precautionary safety measures had been taken. It should also be acknowledged that the astronauts aboard were not informed of the risk. The engineers at Johnson Space Center tried to alert senior management at NASA but were ignored. As such, no attempt was made to delay the reentry and hence organize for a rescue mission for the astronauts. Again, lack of communication which resulted in the disaster could have been avoided.
Quantitative Problems: 50%
1. Complete the ES, EF, LS, LF chart and be prepared to answer questions below. (10 marks). Find the slack on all events
2 1 3
1 3 5
a. Give EF of Activity F __7________
b. Give ES of Activity G ___11_______
c. Give LS of Activity F _____9_____
d. Give LF of Activity B _____7_____
e. Give slack for Activity D 4_______
f. Give length of critical path __16_____
2. Submit your resume (or even better, modify your resume to show entrepreneurial experience, strengths and interests) (15 marks)
3. Given three components, each with a reliability of 0.9, calculate the reliability of a total system in which three are arranged in (a)three in series, (b) three in parallel, and (c),(d) two different series/parallel designs each using a total of only three components. (10 marks)
Series =0.9*0.9*0.9 =0.729
Parallel = 1-(1-0.9)*(1-0.9)*(1-0.9) =0.999
Series/Parallel = 0.9*0.9= 0.81
= 1-(1-0.9)*(1-0.81) =0.981
4. For a component to which the bathtub curve model of reliability applies (Figure 10-5.page 258), describe the provisions you would make to assure a low hazard rate in use of the component. (10 marks)
Hazard would result from poor or overlooked design margins, errors in manufacturing of the component which may result in the component failure. Thus, to ensure low hazard rates, it is worthy ensuring that the right components of the system with the right quality are used. Manufacture of such components should avoid using low quality devices of unproven reliability to avoid high hazard rates. This means using devices from reputable suppliers so that there are minimal hazards during the components expected life. Another precaution should include avoiding using interconnections which have been observed to increase hazard rate. There should also be careful handling of the components during transport or even when they are being connected to a system. Handling during manufacture has also been known to damage components and hence handling should be careful while proper testing is done if we are to ensure low hazard rates.
5. Agile methods often improve decision efficiency. Which of the following is the best description of decision efficiency? Select one: (5 marks)
c. Making the best decisions by using the best people and the most
Current information at the most appropriate time.
Mohamed, B2015, Introduction to maintenance engineering: Modeling optimization and management,New York, Willey.