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Course title Engineering Research
Course code LauZ5110
Credit points 4
ECTS creditpoints 6
Total Hours in Course 160
Number of hours for lectures 32
Number of hours for seminars and practical classes 32
Independent study hours 96
Date of course confirmation 06/09/2011
Responsible Unit Motor Vehicle Institute
Course developers
Dr. sc. ing., vad.pētn. Ilmārs Dukulis

There is no prerequisite knowledge required for this course
Course abstract
The aim of the course is to get an understanding of the organization of research process in engineering, from problem identification, goal and task formulation to analysis and interpretation of the obtained results. Master students gain knowledge of theoretical and experimental research strategies, planning, methods, tools and equipment, as well as the effective use of modern technologies in the documenting and presentation of research and course projects and master thesis.
Learning outcomes and their assessment
Knowledge of basic research principles, strategies and planning of research in engineering and technologies. Knowledge is assessed in practical works, independent works and exam. Skills in the selection and implementation of theoretical and experimental research methods and techniques. Skills are assessed in practical and independent works. Competence, working in group or independently, to carry out research, evaluate the obtained results, as well as to convince others and argue own viewpoint. Competences are assessed in independent works – by developing a research paper and preparing a publication for a conference (in a group or individually), as well as by developing a part of the master thesis, preparing a presentation and poster template and draft version of master thesis.
Course Content(Calendar)
1. Classification of branches of science. The role of research in the development of civilization. Trends in modern science and research. Organization of scientific work and engineering research, problems. – 4 h
2. Study and research works included in the master study program “Agricultural Engineering”, regulations for their execution and presentation. – 4 h
3. Systems and their analysis in research work. Systematic approach in solving engineering problems. System features, structure and types. Systems and environment. Hierarchy of systems. Links in systems. Engineer and engineering work. The difference between scientific work and engineering work. – 4 h
4. Technical systems, their classification and peculiarities. Research work as a system. Development of research algorithm. Research methods and techniques. – 4 h
5. Research incl. master thesis basic questions: problem, research object, topic, hypothesis. Criteria for choosing the theme of the master thesis. Aims and tasks of master thesis. – 4 h
6. Information processing. Preparation of analytical review. Development of hypothesis and substantiation of work direction. Overview of the situation, strategy of its formation. Summarization of information related to the topic of master thesis, analysis of analogues technical solutions. – 4 h
7. Information sources in engineering research, incl. in preparation of master thesis. Information search. Using IT tools (such as Mendeley) to create a references and list of used information sources. – 4 h
8. Preparation of study paper templates in a word processing application. – 4 h
9. Importing data from various devices into a spreadsheet app for further processing. Data analysis tools. – 4 h
10. Recommendations and effective methods of presentation preparation. Development of presentation templates. Preparation of study paper templates in a presentation application. – 4 h
11. Theoretical and empirical research. Choice or development of experimental research methodology. Development of methodology for experimental research of master thesis. Conducting of experimental studies. Compilation and analysis of experimental research results. – 4 h
12. Theoretical research, its methods. Model, its definition and necessity to create it. Classification of models. Modeling tools. Methods for determining model quality. Optimization. – 4 h
13. Experimental research, its methods. Testing equipment and instruments. Forms and examples of empirical research results. – 4 h
14. Reliability, summarizing and processing of experimental results. Methods of mathematical statistics. Analysis of research results. – 4 h
15. Evaluation of research effectiveness and conclusion of work. Preparation of conclusions and recommendations. Presentation of results. Engineering and economic calculations. Preparation of conclusions and proposals. Preparation of master thesis and presentation. – 4 h
16. Structure of a scientific article. Recommendations for preparing sections of a scientific article. Master students’ conference article template. Draft article. – 4 h
Requirements for awarding credit points
A student receives a successful assessment if he/she has completed and defended the tasks assigned in the practical and independent works, as well as passed a written exam on the theoretical aspects of the study course.
Description of the organization and tasks of students’ independent work
Ten independent tasks: basic data of the master thesis (aim, tasks, list of information sources); scientific articles on the topic of the master thesis and their bibliographic description; processing of measurement results of experimental research examples; preliminary content of the master thesis; a description of the master thesis experiment methodology; master thesis template in a word processing application; master thesis presentation template; advertising slide (poster) template; draft article of the master students’ conference; development and presentation of the master thesis part (approximately 25 pages) (approximately 10 slides).
Criteria for Evaluating Learning Outcomes
Each of the tasks assigned in the practical work and independent tasks, as well as exam questions is assigned a certain number of points. 50% of the total number of points can be obtained in practical work and independent tasks, but 50% – in the exam. Successful evaluation if at least 50% of the total number of points is obtained.
Compulsory reading
1. Holman J.P. (2011) Experimental methods for engineers: 8th edition. McGraw-Hill Education, 768 p.
2. Kumar R. (2011) Research Methodology: a Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners: 3rd edition. SAGE Publications Ltd., 440 p.
3. Kothari C.R. (2012) Research Methodology: Methods and Techniques. 3rd edition. New Age International Pvt Ltd Publishers, 418 p.
4. J. Quirk T. J. (2016) Excel 2016 for Business Statistics: A Guide to Solving Practical Problems (Excel for Statistics). Springer, 260 p.
Further reading
1. Lambert J. (2015) Microsoft Word 2016 Step By Step. Microsoft Press, 624 p.
2. Frye C. (2015) Microsoft Excel 2016 Step By Step. Microsoft Press, 544 p.
3. Lambert J. (2015) Microsoft PowerPoint 2016 Step By Step. Microsoft Press, 512 p.
The study course is included in the compulsory part of the academic higher education master study programme “Agricultural Engineering”.