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Preliminary Design Review

Preliminary Design Review

Preliminary Design Review Reports are due no later than 11:59pm Mountain Standard Time (MST; UTC-7), December 1, 2017.


Format and Submission Details

Preliminary Design Review (PDR) Reports are limited to a total of 4 pages.  Pages 1-2 may contain text and graphics (images, figures, etc.); pages 3-4 may only contain graphics with captions.  Pages should be in letter paper size (8.5 in. x 11 in.), with margins no smaller than 1 in. (2.5 cm), text in 10 point font, and single spaced.  Graphics and images are allowed within the page limit, but are not required (they are strongly encouraged).  PDR Reports may be submitted at any time prior to the deadline, and will be reviewed by judges on a rolling basis.  PDR Reports must be submitted no later than December 1, 2017.  This is a considered a non-competitive review milestone, meaning that reports will only be assessed on their own merits.


A header at the top of the first page must identify the URC team's name, university, city and country, the student team lead, and an additional optional point of contact.


Electronic submissions are required in *.doc, *.docx or *.pdf (preferred) file formats.  Google Drive files (*.gdoc) are not allowed for submissions.  Files should be uploaded via a form link that will be sent directly to Student Team Leads (the file may be uploaded by any student team member with a Google account).


Report Content

The PDR Reports is expected to focus on the team structure, resources, and project management plan. Technical details regarding the rover are encouraged, but not required. Judges will be assessing each team's overall level of readiness to undertake the URC competition.


The following are essential elements of information that teams are required to address.  Teams may discuss any other topics that they feel are appropriate.


1. Team Structure

Discuss your team's structure, to include the leadership and overall membership.  A summary of the backgrounds of team members (which academic departments are represented, relevant experience, etc.) should also be discussed (please do not list each team member and their details).  Briefly discuss your team’s communication plan, recruiting plans, and educational outreach plans.


2. Team Resources

Discuss your team's financial and facility resources.  This should include a budget, your fundraising and financial management plan, and your access to appropriate design and fabrication spaces.  


Simply stating that you will build a budget and raise funds is considered insufficient - please describe your budget, fundraising plan, etc.


3. Project Management Plan

Discuss your team's overall approach to the URC system development life cycle.  This plan should explain how you intend to solve the problems, not necessarily the exact solution.  Although not explicitly required, technical design details may be provided to support the project management plan discussion.


Additional required elements of the Project Management Plan include:

  • A work schedule in the form of a Gantt chart specifying responsible people/subteams, tasks, and dates;

  • Document sharing and knowledge management plan;

  • Systems engineering and integration;

  • Testing and evaluation.


Again, simply stating that your team has a subsection of the plan (“we will create and follow a test and evaluation plan”) will be considered insufficient.  The goal is to demonstrate to judges that your team has a plan tailored for you that will help you be successful.


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