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School of Engineering Blog

School of Engineering Blog

A blog for students, staff, alumni and friends of the School of Engineering.

My engineering group project experience 

People working as a group around a table with paper and pens
Reading Time: 3 minutes

By Mozamel, third year BEng (Hons) Chemical Engineering 

As part of my third year degree programme in chemical engineering, we were tasked with making a short report and video about a process plant accident case study as a group of five, with two weeks to complete the assignment.  

In this project we investigated in detail the causes, consequences and lessons learned from a real-life chemical plant explosion that resulted in fifteen fatalities. Analysing an accident case study like this can help our future careers as it gives us practical insight on the importance of safety in process plants. 

To begin with, we looked at the main talking points set out in the brief and divided the required research evenly. I was given the task of making a brief summary of the incident that would be used as the introduction to our report and video. After one week we had completed our research tasks and had made the report but still needed to make a start on the video, which we had no idea what direction to take in.  

After a brainstorming session I mentioned to my group how a student from the year above had taken a more creative route doing the video, presenting the video as a segment on a news channel with anchorpeople, journalists, expert correspondents etc. My group liked the idea and so we made plans on roles, location and scripts as well as deadlines to stay organized.  

When it approached the day to record the video, some scheduling conflicts and weather conditions prevented us from sticking to our plan so we rescheduled to a more suitable day and arranged a study room where weather wouldn’t be an issue.  

When it came to recording the video, we made use of green screens and small microphones borrowed from School lecturers and the Engineering Teaching Organisation (ETO) as well as large A5 pages with our transcripts to read off to make sure would be filming as easy and professional as possible.  

Unfortunately, an emergency came up for two of our members which meant we had to compromise and record our parts separately then edit them together with a video editor. Luckily, I had experience with video editing software called CapCut so had no issue taking on this task. 

Once each individual’s section was recorded, my group sent me their videos and I spliced the videos together, removing any unwanted footage and editing the audio if parts were too quiet or had background noise that was too distracting. The finished product was then showed to our lecturer during the second week of the project before the deadline for input on content and style.  

We were advised to include more slides and explanatory figures and diagrams in our video, so it was more visually friendly and understandable for viewers, which we took into consideration. Originally one of the group hadn’t included figures in their section so we made the effort to add new slides and information that would be edited into their section so they wouldn’t need to rerecord, taking up time we didn’t have. 

When the new slides were made, I carried out the necessary changes and we agreed that the content part of our video was done to a satisfactory level. The last part was now to add interesting graphics and transitions so the video would be more engaging and easier to understand. When I showed the final draft to my group we agreed on its quality and finally handed it in! Once the lecturer marks the assignment, the mark will count towards 10% of our total course grade.  

Overall, I really enjoyed the creative freedom and research from this assignment. I also learned the importance of communicating availability and planning. Thank you for reading my blog! 



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