5E3 is a project-based module, where teams of students work, within a user-centred design framework, to conceptualize and manufacture a high quality prototype to real-world problem. Each team will work to a specific project brief from a project sponsor – typically a business with global scale. Project briefs will be significantly open-ended to facilitate truly innovative solutions to be developed. Students will work with an academic mentor/ supervisor, teaching assistants and a project liaison in the sponsor company. Some of the projects will require liaison with project teams in other universities working on other aspects of the problem. Students will be expected to deliver a working prototype solution of commercial quality at the conclusion of the project.
Each year, Trinity’s teams work on a diverse portfolio of projects with international partners that provide innovative solutions to the needs of different industries, across both the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors. This year’s sponsors included a large multinational software company, an Irish SME that makes agricultural machinery, and not-for-profit charities in the healthcare sector.
Community-based learning/research activity
One of this year’s teams addressed the challenge of helping people with intellectual disability better integrate into society. Working with their end users, the team discovered that navigation and way-finding present significant challenges for people with intellectual disability, and for their carers. Their solution comprised a smartphone app connected to a smart-watch, which gave simple, easy-to-follow directions through the smart-watch and, optionally, through earphones to the user. The carers’ app meanwhile received live updates on the position of the user and their destination, and also monitored their heartrate, which was important in detecting anxiety.
Student learning outcomes
On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:
- Work in in multidisciplinary teams on a technically ambitious and challenging project.
- Identify user needs and develop solution concepts to meet those needs.
- Analyse potential market and societal benefits of developed solutions.
- Conduct patent searches and analyse prior intellectual property.
- Liaise with professional engineers and other staff in the commercial sector in a professional and timely manner.
- Pitch design concepts at an advanced level, utilising prototypes and multi-media tools.
Prototypes and plans that address solutions to day-to-day challenges that they have identified.
Electrical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Mathematics, and Science