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Engineering 101 - The Right Tool for the Right Job: Art of Research

Searching vs Finding

Not everyone likes to search, but everyone like to find

Choose the right database!

Begin with the assumption that the information you need is out there - somewhere. If you don't begin with this assumption, you'll quit too soon or be satisfied with inferior results.

Don't aim for the grand slam: You may have to break your search strategy into the smaller components that make up your project. 

Team Project: Developing a diver propulsion vehicle (DPV) to assist scuba divers and allow for improved endurance, range and safety when diving. The vehicle has four primary systems: Power/Propulsion, Controls/Ergonomics, Buoyancy/Stability, and Hydrodynamic Design.

Research is not elegant or pretty - RE search. 

Language is imprecise; there are multiple ways of describing almost everything

  • Synonyms: drinking water, potable water / climatology, meteorology / pellets, briquettes 
  • Contextual synonyms: Project: Wastewater treatment in developing countries. Synonymous phrases for "developing countries": sustainable development, appropriate technology, rural, villages.
  • Contextual definitions: elasticity (building materials and economic markets), election (theology and politics) [danger of using an interdisciplinary database]