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Academic year
PPU215 - Research methodology in production projects
Forskningsmetodik i produktionsprojekt
Syllabus adopted 2019-02-20 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: MPPEN
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Five, Four, Three, Fail
Education cycle: Second-cycle
Major subject: Automation and Mechatronics Engineering, Industrial Engineering and Management, Mechanical Engineering

Teaching language: English
Application code: 34118
Open for exchange students: No
Block schedule: A

Module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0114 Project 7,5c Grading: TH   7,5c    

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Mélanie Despeisse

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IAR056   Project in industrial production & organization IAR058   Production project course - pre study IAR059   Project - Scientific Theory & Engineering Methodology


MTS 7,5 hec


In order to be eligible for a second cycle course the applicant needs to fulfil the general and specific entry requirements of the programme that owns the course. (If the second cycle course is owned by a first cycle programme, second cycle entry requirements apply.)
Exemption from the eligibility requirement: Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling these requirements.

Course specific prerequisites

The course is reserved for students in Chalmers Master's Programme in Production Engineering with knowledge requisites corresponding to preceding compulsory courses in the programme.


The purpose of this course is to enable the students to independently and from different perspectives (including ethical) critically and constructively discuss:

- the characteristics of scientific and engineering knowledge

- how science and engineering knowledge should be produced

The aim is that the student should be able to apply a number of theoretical frameworks and methods for generating decision support, in a critical reflection on engineering methodology. A further objective is the ability to formulate and respond to critique in an academic seminar, both orally and in writing. The intention is to make the students aware of Theory of Science and how the standpoints and moral values of individual engineers affect the selected approach as well as the obtained results. Furthermore, the course aims to increase their intellectual skills, especially critical reflection capacity about their impact on society regarding all aspects of sustainability. The course will provide the students with the possibility to train their communication skills, in the form of well-prepared oral as well as written presentations of project results.

Learning outcomes (after completion of the course the student should be able to)

1. Use a structured project methodology to apply knowledge and skills gained in the university education.
 2. Assess the need for scientific information, search for that information and critically evaluate its relevance. 

 3. Write a project planning report, a project report and summarize the project results in a popular-science representation of the project. 

 4. Select appropriate research engineering methods for fulfilling the research project objectives, and critically evaluate used methods with consideration to both scientific trustworthiness and ethical aspects. 

 5. Collaborate professionally in accordance with a project group's needs of structured management and task distribution. 

 6. Perform a clear oral presentation of the project results that is well-suited to its intended audience. 

 7. Give constructive feedback on another project group's work and respond to similar criticism on the own project group's work. 

 8. Practice reflection skills regarding course activities and research engineering work in general. 

 9. Reflect on and reason about ethical aspects of engineering work, academic research and corporate codes of conduct, at different system levels.

 10. Use concepts from Theory of Science to evaluate whether research has been carried out in a trustworthy and defensible manner, in relation to appropriate basic assumptions for a particular field of science.


Conducting scientific production engineering research

  • Professional conduct in group collaborations
  • Deductive and inductive approaches
  • Qualitative and quantitative methods
  • Modelling based on measurements and observations
  • Action research
  • Design of experiments

Theory of Science

  • What is knowledge (epistemology) and reality (ontology)? 
  • Research strategy, Methodology, Methods, Techniques
  • Science versus technology
  • Concepts: hypothesis, experiment, causality, correlation

Engineering ethics

  • How can we define ethics? 
  • Morals, codes of conduct, the concept of ethics
  • Socio-political influences on science and engineering
  • Examples from research and business
  • Academic honesty: plagiarism, copying and referencing
  • Ethical considerations when designing and carrying out research

Reflective Practice
  • Reflection individually and in groups 
  • The importance of reflection for ethical decisions
  • Reflection as an evaluation tool 

Communication skills

  • Report writing
  • Presentation skills  ("live" and production of stand-alone material) 
  • Visualisations
  • Feedback to colleagues
  • Opponent guidelines


The course includes a series of lectures, exercises and seminars aiming to give the students general knowledge about Production-related Research Methodology, Theory of Science, Engineering Ethics and Communication Skills. 

 Project groups are formed at the beginning of the course.

Compulsory activities are found in the Course schedule.

 Each group can call for meeting with a supervisor at least once a week at the university, to get guidance through their projects and assistance with reaching the learning objectives.


Scientific papers 

 Book excerpts 

 Lecture presentations

Examination including compulsory elements

  • Participation in mandatory course activities (or a relevant compensation assignment in agreement with the examiner) is a prerequisite for passing the course. Relevant and respectful feedback to group members is considered a mandatory course activity. 
  • Project group work (consisting of a completed project report, stand-alone information materials and an oral presentation) constitute the group component of the final grade. 
  • An individually formulated reflection portfolio constitutes the individual part of the final grade.
All course activities are evaluated according to quality criteria given in the course and project PMs. The quality of presentations, stand-alone information material and opponent feedback, as well as the individual feedback from project group members, can influence each individual student¿s grade (as assessed by the course teaching staff). 

 The examiner gives the final judgment of the individual grade level based on accumulated credits for each activity and with regard to the individual¿s performance assessment from the project group.

Published: Mon 28 Nov 2016.