Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Research Methods for Scientists and Engineers

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course


DEPARTMENT Institute for Sustainable Energy

DESCRIPTION This study-unit will introduce the student to the importance of research methods and experimental techniques in sustainable energy research and development projects
It will also discuss ethical and moral issues in research and development, Intellectual Property and Patenting.

The unit will then cover literature reviews, online databases and search tools critical thinking. Design of experiments (DOE), full factorial designs, fractional designs, Plackett-Burman designs and analysis of designs and experiments will also be covered.

The study-unit will also discuss data organisation, graphic representation, error analysis regression techniques, hypothesis testing, analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Monte Carlo techniques.

Finally the preparation of reports, papers, publications, conference presentations, consultancy reports and research proposals will be discussed together with oral communication and presentation

Study-unit Aims

The overall teaching goals of this study-unit are to enable students to build a strong basis for successful research in the area of sustainable energy.

Learning Outcomes

1. Knowledge & Understanding: By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- judge the various ethical and moral issues associated with research and development.
- to identify the various processes that need to be undertaken in professional research activities, including the gathering and analysis of information and report presentation.
- to demonstrate a critical, perceptive and constructive analysis of the subject being researched in assignments and during the final exam.

2. Skills (including transferable [generic] skills): By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- apply analytical and critical evaluation skills of published literature.
- compile a literature review.
- apply various techniques for experiment design and data analysis to real life situations.
- have the necessary skills for the successful writing reports and oral presentations.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings

1. Doing Science: Design, Analysis, and Communication of Scientific Research, Ivan Valiela, Oxford University Press, USA; 1st edition, 2000
2. Design of Experiments for Engineers and Scientists, Jiju Antony, Butterworth-Heinemann; 1st edition (November 7, 2003)
3. Getting It Right: R&D Methods for Science and Engineering, Peter Bock, Academic Press; 1st edition (September 13, 2001)

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture, Independent Study & Practicum

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Presentation SEM2 Yes 10%
Practical SEM2 Yes 40%
Research Paper SEM2 Yes 50%

LECTURER/S Marija Cauchi

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.