Project work

Electric power systems and applications

Our current students regularly say that project work is one of the most satisfying and challenging aspects of their course. In applying theory to practice, your project work will give you an effective way of learning in-depth and give you the chance to understand how different aspects of electronics work together.  

You’ll be able to focus on aspects of the subject that you find most interesting while developing key transferable skills such as problem-solving, communication, teamwork, and time and project management.

Year 1

Individual and group projects

In your first individual mini-project, you’ll design and implement an embedded system to simulate a real-world system (e.g. a washing machine interface). The project will enable you to connect several sensor and display devices to an industry-standard microcontroller and program the microcontroller using various programming techniques.  

In your first group project, you’ll be working as part of a team to design, build and test an autonomous robot or radio-controlled vehicle to steer around a track. The project ends in a competition to see which team has the most innovative, longest running and fun design. 

If you’re studying Music, Multimedia and Electronics you will work on a music creation and production project in our digital audio workstation laboratory. This draws on both creative and technical skills to develop and sequence a soundtrack, for example, for a cinematic application. 

If you’re a Mechatronics and Robotics student then you’ll also complete a Mechanical Engineering design and manufacture project, which includes computer-aided design activities and mathematical modelling to build a prototype ‘buggy’ or ‘glider’.

Year 2

Advanced individual and group projects

During the second year of your course, you’ll be working on more advanced individual and group projects. 

In the Embedded Systems Project module, you’ll be required to complete both an individual and group-based project. The first project in the module is group-based and requires you to work in a small group -typically consisting of three members- to design and develop a menu-driven C++ application. 

The individual project associated with the module requires you to design and develop an embedded system using a microcontroller, several advanced peripheral devices and various programming techniques. The individual project builds on the hardware and software skills you developed in the first year. 

During the projects you gain valuable experience completing weekly online journals, which are similar to logbooks used industry. Further project work is covered in the Microprocessors and Programmable Logic module, where you are required to design a fully-functioning computer from transistors using a hardware description language and industry-standard, internationally recognised simulation tools. 

Other programmes include the High Frequency Electronics module and Transistors and Optoelectronic Devices module. In the High Frequency Module you’ll work on two individual projects centred on transmitter and receiver theory and practice. 

The first project is in the form of a case study for a communication link and receiver front-end amplifier, and the second, the design and simulation of a receiver system. Both projects are assessed through formal reports, similar to those you would be expected to write in industry. In the Transistors and Optoelectronics module, you will take part in a group research project each semester. You will evaluate cutting-edge materials and devices for light generation, detection, and solar power. You will work in small trans-national groups (6-8 students), including students from both the University of Leeds, and our Joint Leeds–SWJTU Engineering School in Chengdu, China. 

If you’re a Mechatronics and Robotics student then you’ll also complete two Mechanical Engineering team-based design and manufacture projects, including the ‘daring dash’. 

Year 3

Major individual project

A significant proportion of your third year is dedicated to project work. Depending on your programme of study, you’ll either do a major individual project in your third year, or you’ll do a group design project in your third year and an individual project in your fourth year. 

Throughout this process, you will be accompanied by two key figures: A supervisor and an assessor. Both play instrumental roles in shaping and refining your skillset and presentation capabilities. Your supervisor, an expert in their field, serves as your compass navigating the complexities of the project. The assessor, equally crucial, along with your supervisor assesses your work and provides forward-looking feedback that extends beyond the academic setting. They offer valuable insights, guide your progress, and help you achieve the intended learning outcomes. Their feedback serves not only as a measure of your progress but also as a catalyst for continuous improvement, equipping you with valuable skills that will benefit you in your future career.

Individual project 

Individual projects give you a chance to show your technical independence and creativity. Working alongside an academic specialist, you’ll have the opportunity to select from a wide variety of topics within electronic and electrical engineering. 

Project examples  

Stroke Rehabilitation Robot for the Wrist 

Kaan Esendag, a third year Mechatronics and Robotics MEng, BEng student designed a stroke rehabilitation robot for rehabilitating the wrist of stroke patients. The device is designed as a modular attachment to MYPAM and the project mainly focuses on mechanical design of the device using CAD programmes such as SolidWorks, as well as designing the whole circuit board and the motor controller on a PCB using EAGLE. 

Examples of some other recent projects include: 

  • Ultra-low cost endoscope design using soft robotics
  • Robots for navigating through the body  
  • Compliant grippers for pick and place applications
  • Image segmentation for task automation within robotic surgery 

Watching this video in China? View this video on Youku.

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Group design project 

You’ll undertake a group design project if you’re studying one of our core degree programmes leading to an MEng Honours degree or if you are a Music, Multimedia and Electronics student. 

Group projects provide an exciting opportunity to prove that you’re ready to be considered a professional engineer. Working with other student engineers, you’ll manage a complex technical project and achieve something to be proud of. Some of our group projects have been truly impressive!

Group design project examples

Conductive surfaces into touch-interactive systems using electric fields 
As part of their third-year group design project, students Christopher Doel, Elie Dib, Thomas Caine and Shahid Sajid created a kit to convert any surface into a touch-interactive system.

View this video on Bilibili.

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Year 4 (MEng)

In your fourth year (MEng), you’ll carry out a substantial research or development-type project. These projects are normally based in one of the School’s research groups. Available topics will typically include: 

  • embedded systems 
  • power electronics 
  • electronic control systems 
  • communications systems 
  • signal processing 
  • microwave electronics 
  • semiconductor electronics 
  • optoelectronics 
  • quantum electronics 
  • nanotechnology. 

While using the knowledge and skills obtained in previous years of study, you’ll also gain experience of: investigating a problem; using available resources to develop a solution; using technical literature; and project management skills including: time planning, managing risk and identifying realistic options. 

Examples of some recent projects include: 

  • autonomous search-and-rescue robot 
  • 4G mobile system simulation 
  • aviation flight tracking receiver 
  • quadrocopter surveillance drone 
  • smart-phone-controlled vivarium for exotic animals 
  • digital image processing 
  • power electronics for renewable energy systems 
  • wearable health monitoring (wireless enabled 'e-health') 
  • underground radio propagation.