Step 4: Justify your recommendation
This step will support you in justifying and communicating your design to a variety of audiences from your team members to a panel of judges.
If you’ve followed all the previous steps well you should be able to demonstrate that you’re proposing an appropriate design for the problem you’ve identified. As a professional in engineering, you will be expected to be able to explain your idea, and why it is the best solution, to a range of audiences. This might be your boss at work or the local community which you are working with.
Clear communication is vital here! Consider the use of images, diagrams, videos and prototypes/models as well as the written and spoken word to get your idea across. Remember that you might need to use different techniques to to communicate your idea to different audiences. Not everyone will be interested in all the details but also know who will be (your academics for example!). Outlining the process you have gone through should reassure people that you have taken logical steps to reach your proposed design and that you are confident it is appropriate.
The challenge you have been set is based on a real place where real people are facing real issues. Our local partner organisations are keen to work with us to bring you this exciting project because they recognise:
- That it supports your development as an engineer, or someone keen to work in engineering, who will make meaningful contributions to society in the future.
- The ideas you propose might help them address the issues the community faces and they might like to implement them.
To further support the appropriateness of your recommended idea and also provide our partner with key information should they wish to take your idea further, consider including information about the practical aspects of your recommended solution, such as:
- Capital costs
- Operational costs and any business models
- What materials and skills are required and where these are expected to come from
- How the idea will be made / manufactured / constructed
- What maintenance and repair is expected
- What training or education might be needed, for operation or use
Top Tip: Also informing your audience about what ideas you have rejected, and why, is helpful in building confidence that you have undertaken a thorough process and that your final proposed idea really is the best option.
Step 3: Explore lots of options
Once you have analysed the context, defined the problem and identified the design criteria, you can start to explore how engineering and your design ability could make a difference.