Information for supervisors
The most important element of the Honours Program Bachelor is the research project. The size of the project is 13 EC (equivalent to 2 months full time). The topic is chosen by the student, in consultation with his/her supervisor or the supervisor provides an interesting topic to the student. A requirement is that the topic should be supervised by a staff member (examiner) of our AE Faculty. The project will be concluded with a report, using the format of a scientific paper having paragraphs covering the state-of-the-art review, research questions, research strategy, results and discussions, conclusions and references. The aim is not to publish the paper, but this might be a bonus. The projects and its results are also presented during the Symposium, organised by the HPB students.
The time spent as supervisor is limited and the “return of investment” could be high: these students are highly motivated and are the top of their year, so a high level of thinking and research is expected: new ideas, new concepts, out of the box thinking, etc. The amount of time it takes to supervise a student depends per person and should be discussed beforehand. Students will roughly work on their project from February (2nd year BSc) till May the year after (3rd year BSc). The way they plan their project varies; some honours students will also do a minor abroad during their project.
- The level of the project will be the MSc-level (although the size of the project is smaller)
- Size of the project is 13 EC (minimum), which is equivalent to Months (370 hours)
The project should have the following features:
- A brief literature study (state of the art) of the topic
- Clear defined research questions
- A clear research strategy (including test matrix when appropriate)
- Analysis of the problem, results of the research and discussion of the results
- Conclusions and recommendations
- List or references
- A planning (e.g. Gantt chart) including Milestones and Deliverables
- The reporting of the project will be done in the format of a journal paper (as used in the research group), but publication is not an objective. Size of the document: 15-25 pages.
- All projects will have a final presentation (poster, presentation, or else) during the Symposium, organised by the honours students themselves.
- Evaluation of the project is performed by the supervisor and the honours programme coordinator.
- A brief schedule for the student is:
- find a topic, supervisor and research question before February, 2nd year BSc
- state-of-the-art overview and detailed research plan (approx. 25%) by July, 2nd year BSc
- project completed by report and symposium by May, 3rd year BSc
Having undergraduate students exposed to research early is a wonderful idea. While they may not be able to perform some of the tasks because of lack of knowledge, it is possible, I believe, to define self-contained pieces of work associated with research programs which many of them will be able to accomplish quite successfully. This is especially true, as I found out to my pleasant surprise, for honours students. I was approached by two of them and, after some discussion, I gave each of them a few options ranging in difficulty from simple data manipulation to actual model creation leading to publishable work in reputable peer-reviewed journals. Both of them opted for the harder, more demanding topics. As they said, they were in this to broaden their knowledge and skills and not to put a check mark next to a requirement.
It is now eight months later and both students have made tremendous progress and it is still possible that, in the end, we will submit their work to journals for publication. Considering that they have done this in parallel with their full course schedule and in areas where neither of them had been exposed in detail before, I consider myself lucky. I have found two great collaborators, I have made a lot of progress in two research topics, and I have made two very good friends.
Professor, Chair of Aerospace Structures & Computational Mechanics, Dept of Aerospace Engineering