Skip to content

Last update – 2017 Jan 7  (added in first set of guest speakers) 

Signup for Project Lab Intro Session, and request for space 

Course Info 


ENPH 459 Engineering Physics Project I 

Project planning, management and reporting. This course involves writing a project proposal, carrying out an open-ended Engineering project, and reporting the results both orally and in writing.

Credits: 5  Pre-reqs: PHYS 352.

Carl Hansen, Jon Nakane, Bernhard Zender


Guides and Documents

Document Type Documents  
Info Sessions (in March for the September class)  
Project Proposal  / Charter  
Final Recommendation Reports  
Project Completion Reports  

Schedule and Lecture Notes

  2016 – Term 1 Topic
  Tues Sept 22 Submit Team Member and Project Preference List (email).

Mon Oct 3

Wed Oct 5

Initial Project Questionnaire (UBC Connect)

Mon Oct 17

Wed Oct 19

1st draft of proposal (UBC Connect)

Mon Nov7

Wed Nov  9

2nd draft of proposal (UBC Connect)  
  Mon Dec 5 3rd draft of proposal (UBC Connect)  
Week# 2016 – Term 2 Topic
1 Wed Jan 4

Course Overview (ENPH459-Lecture1-2017Jan-v1)


2 Wed Jan 11

No class.  

Walk-through of Project Lab by Bernhard.

3 Wed Jan 18  Carl Hansen  
4 Wed Jan 25 James Taylor, CEO and Founder, Precision Nanosystems  
5 Wed Feb 1 Andrew Booth, CFO STEMCELL Technologies   
6 Wed Feb 8 Allison MacDonald, George Sterling – D-Wave Systems  
7  Wed Feb 15 10min Presentations#1   Schedule here for all upcoming talks
8 Wed Feb 22  Reading Week  
9 Wed Mar 1  10min Presentations#2  
  Thurs Mar 2
 10 Wed Mar 8  10min Presentations#3  
11 Wed Mar 15  10min Presentations#4  
12 Wed Mar 22  10min Presentations#5  Class Discussion- Presentations and Final Reports  (edit)
13 Wed Mar 29  3min wrapup presentations #1  Schedule here for all upcoming talks

Monday April 3rd 11 pm *

Sat Apr 8th 11pm

Final Reports submitted via Connect.   Logbooks Due later in the week.


* tentative based on ENPH social night.

   Wed April 5   3min wrapup presentations #2 Schedule here for all upcoming talks 

Marking Scheme

   Project Proposal 15
   Final Recommendation Report 65
   Professionalism ( Weekly Reports / Project Milestones / Logbook / Participation) 15
   End of Term Presentation 5
   Total 100

Penalties for late submission of Project Proposals that are approved at later dates:

  • Submit in Term1 and gain approval before the first class of ENPH 459 in Term 2 –  no penalty
  • Submit late/for revision and gain approval BEFORE the second class of ENPH 459  in Term 2 – 5% penalty on final mark
  • Submit and gain approval AFTER the second class of ENPH 459  – 15% penalty on final mark, and possibility of other actions (major revision to scope and proposed work plan, being re-assigned to another project or group)


Note:   Different project groups will receive different levels of support from their project sponsors and other technical resources found by the group or others.   In all cases, care will be taken to ensure that academic standing will be based on student contributions to the project.   Students are expected to document all sources of support, through either their Project Sponsors or other sources, and should make it clear what the group contribution was to the project  for proper assessment  (e.g. problem analysis, design, fabrication and testing.)



Term 1 Guidelines  (Sept – Dec)


Group Member Selection

  • Students work in teams of two or three, and  normally form their own groups from the class.   Students may not work on single-person projects in ENPH 459.
  • If you do NOT find a team with similar interests by submission date, you will be asked to submit a Project Selection form with your own preferences, and the Project Lab will work with you to create groups of students with similar interests.  To do this, we normally arrange a time to meet in person or via online chat to discuss the projects.
  • Each member must take on one of the roles described below and the allocation of these responsibilities must be clearly described in the  Project Proposal (refer to “Guide to Project Proposals” for details of the Project, Editorial, and Technical Manager roles).


Project Selection

  • Please do not contact any of the Project Lab sponsors on the Available Project listing without first informing the Project Lab – this prevents our prospective sponsors from being overwhelmed with student requests.
  • For ENPH 459, project selection will occur once all ENPH 479 students have selected a topic, generally starting the end of 2nd week.  Each ENPH 459 group will submit a ranked list of 4-6 preferred projects, and will be assigned by the Project Lab.  Historically, the majority of groups get their 1st-3rd picks.
  • If more than one  group is interested in a particular project, the sponsor and Project Lab Staff will select between the different student groups.  In some instances, project work may be expanded to fit two groups.  Projects are offered and selected simultaneously for both ENPH 459 and 479, so do not be surprised if your desired project has already been chosen by another student group.  As a general rule, ENPH 479 students have a higher priority for project selection, given the tighter time constraints of the course.


Self-Sponsored Projects

  • If you prefer to submit your own project, use the list of available projects as a guide for work which is acceptable for academic credit.
  • You are welcome to collaborate with anyone on or off campus (e.g. other engineering departments, industries or government labs) but final approval for the project topic rests with the faculty member in charge.
  • Students interested in pursuing a self-sponsored project must demonstrate an adequate technical expertise in the field prior to project approval – the lack of an industry or faculty sponsor for a project means that there may be difficulty in accessing appropriate technical resources when required.


Project Proposal Writing

In ENPH 459, you will spend a considerable amount of time preparing your Project Proposals.   This is an iterative process where drafts are submitted to the Project Lab and your project sponsor for comments and revisions.  Use the “Guide to Project Proposals ” found in the Guides and Documents section to set up the document, and to identify all key sections required for the proposal.

Each draft represents a different stage of the document preparation:

First Draft Expectations

  • The First Draft should demonstrate that the team has identified the client’s key key requirements, have a good start in gathering technical information, and are prepared to start on filling out a complete draft of the proposal.
  • Focus on gathering as much background information as possible – often groups will uncover important information at the END of the proposal stage, and will scramble to adjust their projects and work plans at the very last iteration.
  • It is perfectly acceptable to leave First Drafts entirely in point-form.   Do not spend excessive time putting information into prose (that task can be left to the third draft), but do spend some time writing down information and organizing it in some thoughtful manner  
  • For the First Draft, it is expected that:
    • All major sections are present in the document.
    • Background information is described and organized
    • All references are documented (books, papers, websites, conversations, etc).
    • A clear indication of what calculations and theory will be contained in the final proposal (without necessarily having the calculation completed yet).
    • Appropriate photographs and figures, or placeholders indicating what pics/figs are to come, are indicated in the document.
  • The goal of the First Draft is not to have a report containing every piece of information required to start the project, but to rapidly identify the overall direction project, which is best done at as early a stage as possible, even if not all information has been gathered by the team at this point – at this stage, it is more important that the team can IDENTIFY what information is required before the complete proposal submission.
  • This will allow reviewers to:
    • Give guidance on the direction of the proposed work plan;
    • Identify sections where additional information is required for the next draft;
    • Suggest alternative technical contacts, hardware/software, and techniques where appropriate.

Second Draft Expectations

    • Contains all the elements of the proposal.
    • Every paragraph that will be in the final proposal will be described (e.g. a topic sentence and 3-5 bullet points for each planned paragraph is sufficient).
    • This draft must address all of the specific questions asked by reviewers from the First Draft.  Also clearly indicates areas in the proposal that the group knows requires further information before the Third Draft.
    • This iteration may or may not remain in point form, at the discretion of the student team.


Third (Final) Draft

    • This is expected to be the first fully complete draft of your proposal.  It is expected that the majority of groups will receive final approval to proceed with their projects after this submission.


Final Draft Approval


    • Final Draft Approval will require the receipt of a form either explicitly granting approval from the Project Lab to the group to pursue the work as described, or will describe the deficiencies in the Proposal and what is necessary to gain Approval.   Groups which fail to gain approval by the required time will not be allowed to pursue the work until a draft is submitted and approved, and penalties as described in the Marking Scheme section may also be assessed.


Logbooks in Term 1

  • Use of logbooks is encouraged from the beginning of the course.  See the info in Logbooks for Term 2 below for further details.




Term 2 Guidelines (Jan – April)


  • For 459, there is a 2-hour block of time scheduled per week, with a mix of group presentations, discussions and invited speakers.   Check the posted course schedule to see the format for the term.
  • If you have a required or elective course which conflicts with either of those two hours, please contact the Project Lab to discuss options about finding other times in your schedule for weekly updates.  Because of the nature of the in-class sessions and evaluations,we have flexibility in allowing for time conflicts with the courses.



Professionalism ( Weekly Reports / Project Milestones / Logbook / Participation)

Several elements of the course are grouped together to form a combined Professionalism mark for the course.

Weekly Reports

    • One weekly report will be submitted per group by the Editorial Manager.  Weekly reports are due each week by Monday, 5pm. Groups may choose to submit at any point over the weekend prior to the deadline.
    • Weekly Reports will be submitted through UBC Connect.



    • Details on milestone selection can be found in “Guide to Project Proposals
    • Milestones will be submitted via UBC Connect.
    • Milestones can be negotiated and readjusted with the Project Lab during the term, but can be readjusted no more than one week before the original milestone date (i.e. no last-minute changes).
    • Milestones will be updated and marked as completed as part of the Weekly Reports.



    • Students will provide their own suitable Logbooks for the course.  Previously we have suggested using these bound notebooks from Staples.
    • Electronic Logbooks can be submitted as a replacement or in addition to the standard paper logbooks.   All details listed below also apply to electronic versions.  Please submit as a PDF document at the end of the course.
    • Each member of the group is expected to maintain their own logbook to record technical and other relevant information regarding the project.    For most teams, one member of the team (typically the Editorial Manager) is responsible for maintaining a Primary Logbook for the project group.  The Primary Logbook must be regarded as the main record for meetings and progress for the entire group throughout the term.     The Professionalism mark will take this division of responsibilities into consideration.
    • All logbooks will be collected at the end of the term, reviewed by the Project Lab, and stored for a minimum 5 years by the lab, or returned to the student and Project Sponsor on request.
  1. The logbook should contain records of:
    1. meetings minutes from group meetings, discussions with sponsor and other technical people
    2. notable email messages and telephone calls
    3. items ordered or borrowed
    4. weekly objectives (“to-do” list)
    5. sketches of components or test systems
    6. calculations
    7. results of literature search
    8. questions or unsolved problems
    9. observations and recommendations, as they occur.
  2. All documents should be attached (stapled or taped) to the pages of the logbook.
  3. Date each entry.
  4. In many institutions, supervisors will periodically review and sign the log book at in-person meeting.  Discuss with your respective Project Sponsors.


Overall Participation

The Professionalism mark may be adjusted to reflect overall contributions by individual team members to the project based on feedback given during weekly reports, team self-evaluation surveys, and information provided by Project Sponsors.

In-Class Presentations (x3)

  • Groups will be asked to present 3 times during the term – at the start in January, at approximately the mid-point, and at the conclusion of the project.   Groups will be given 6  minutes to summarize and present their project work.  Further details will be given at the start of the term.
  • Only the final presentation at the end of the term will count towards the final presentation mark.
  • Written comments  will be given by the rest of the class and given back to groups for all presentations.


Project Fair

The Engineering Physics Project Fair is held each year on the first Thursday of March.  The Project Fair is an annual event that is the showplace for technological projects involving UBC Engineering Physics and local research and industry, as well as for student groups in ENPH 479 to present and display their completed projects.

All students in ENPH 459 are expected to attend the Project Fair but do not need to provide presentation material for the proceedings.



End of Term Requirements

Project Deliverables

At the end of the project, all relevant materials, prototypes, and supporting material should be transferred to the project sponsor in a timely fashion, typically before the end of final exams in April.   Each year, many projects have ended up abandoned in the project lab because the group did not prepare to hand over the project at the end of the term. To avoid this, please:

    • document all work that will be transferred to the sponsor;
    • label all relevant parts and components as being part of the project;
    • provide all relevant material (user guides, circuit diagrams, mechanical drawings) to the project sponsor.

As you proceed, keep in mind that all of the material will be handed over to your project sponsor at the end of the term – always take their needs and the future utility of your project into consideration as you work.


Final Recommendation Report

For further information, see the Guide to Final Reports for ENPH 459/479.

The final report is an important document and will take a significant amount of time to prepare.  You should allow at least a week to put the report together and to proofread the material.

Project Completion Report

The Project Completion Report is a document which summarizes all of the activities at the conclusion of a  project:  The final project deliverables and changes to the project, financial details, and any follow-up activities which are expected from either the Project Team or Sponsor.

The Project Completion Report is intended to address several issues:

    • Obtain written agreement among all stakeholders that the project has reached a satisfactory conclusion, or specifies what issues are still unresolved.
    • Avoid ambiguities and misconceptions between the project sponsor and team members;
    • Present a definitive conclusion for the project for both the Project Sponsor and Team.
    • Provides agreement for sharing the results of the project with the general community through cIRcle, UBC’s online digital repository (

You are required to obtain either signed or electronic approval from your project sponsors based on the Project Charter, and to submit the Project Completion Report to the Project Lab.  The report must be submitted prior to your final mark being released for the course.  Failure to do so will likely result in your mark for the course being withheld.




End of Page.