Student team formation, management, and collaboration in PACE global SUT project

Mohammad Kamal Hossain, Stacy Benjamin, Kwanju Kim, Manuel Löwer, Pradosh K. Ray

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


The General Motors (GM) Company and several of its major partners have set up a consortium called PACE to involve students from several countries in a collaborative design process for vehicles of the future. In this article, we describe the activities of the PACE Global Team 2 on the 2010-2012 sustainable urban transport (SUT) Global Project. Students from six universities in four countries worked closely together and designed a production ready SUT. The PACE Program provided a broad outline for the SUT project at the beginning of the project. Each team was charged to define the specifications for their own project that is compatible to the guidelines set by the PACE Program. The biggest challenge was in forming a team across various time zones at the beginning of a project. We managed our large team (29 undergraduate students and 5 faculty members) quite successfully using the SMART - Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely-methodology of George T. Doran to evaluate our strategic plans and project milestones. We divided our team into eight groups comprising 4-5 members, having at least one industrial design and one industrial engineering student in each group. We elected a group leader for each development area to help stay focused on the goals. Every two months, each group exchanged results and provided feedback to each other. We set a deadline for each task to enable continuous progress on the project. We used a hypothesis-analysis-feedback process to design the final product. To create a well-designed SUT, six elements were required: Innovative features, Performance, Safety, Market, Plant, Cost. We communicated using six channels including e-mail, blog, Google Docs, Adobe web conference, social networking system (SNS), and cloud computing. We arranged regular meetings and communicated steadily, using these channels to share ideas and developments in the project. By participating in this project, students learned the process of creating a brand new car constrained to work in a complicated environment. Students also learned how to collaborate with their peers from a different cultural environment residing in different time zones.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - Jun 22 2013
Event2013 ASEE International Forum - Atlanta, United States
Duration: Jun 22 2013 → …


Conference2013 ASEE International Forum
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Period6/22/13 → …

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • Education


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