E194 – Undergraduate Research
E194 “Undergraduate Research” is a required 3-unit course for the Energy Engineering major, taken in your senior year. The objective of the capstone course is to synthesize and apply what you have learned about energy engineering through an independent project. This project should:
- obviously relate to Energy Engineering
- answer a question that is interesting to you
- involve technical knowledge and skills from two or more courses you’ve taken
- allow you to make a differentiated contribution
- lend itself to research, in that the information you need is available and accessible to you
- fit into some context of research literature that you can identify and explain
As with all courses, the standard workload is 3 hours per week per unit, so you should expect to devote the equivalent of about nine hours (or two half-days) per week to E194 during the semester you are enrolled.
Expectations: Your deliverable will be a final capstone research report. Your final report might end up somewhere around 20 pages in length (single spaced, including figures and/or tables). More important than length, the expectations for your final report are that it
- reflects serious thought, effort and insight on your part
- shows some original work you have personally performed
- teaches your professor something they didn’t already know
- explains the relevance of your topic and how it relates to extant literature
- connects different things you’ve learned
- is carefully edited for grammar and clarity
- is produced at a professional level: something you would be proud to show a future employer.
How do I enroll? Follow these steps.
- Prepare a 1-2 page proposal that outlines your intended project.
- Send the proposal to a potential E194 advisor (e.g. any Energy Engineering faculty member). They will review and indicate if they agree to advise you on this project.
- Submit an E194 Undergraduate Research Enrollment form available here.
- After your E194 advisor approves, then the department staff will send you an enrollment code to use on CalCentral.
- Execute your project, which involves the following steps, where steps 2-4 are iterative.
- define your topic and scope
- gather information
- analyze the information
- write the bulk content of the report
- production: review, edit, revise, and format the report
Plan for 3-5 meetings with your E194 advisor over the course of the semester. These meetings often involve:
- Shaping your project topic, scope, and effort
- Data collection, paper review
- How to synthesize the collected information
- Drafting the report’s outline and key figures
- Reviewing the near-final report.
Your final report, ready for grading, is due to the E194 advisor by 5pm PT Friday of RRR week, unless otherwise indicated.
Q1: Can I review example E194 final reports?
A1: Yes. Ask your E194 advisor to share illustrative example reports.
Q2: Can I count a previous or existing undergraduate research project towards E194? How about an internship outside UC Berkeley?
A2: Maybe. You must still enroll in E194 and identify an advisor. Also, you must still submit a final report that documents your individual efforts and its scope must be commensurate with a semester-long 3-unit course commitment. Finally, the project must be commensurate with the expectations described above.
Q3: I don’t know what to propose. Any advice?
A3: Consider your favorite classes. What topics do you want to study in more detail? Consider your career ambitions. Can you propose a project that gives you a head-start in that area? Do you have a relevant hobby? Finally, consult with your faculty advisor for tips.
Information about the Energy Engineering Science degree requirements can be found on the Berkeley Engineering website here.