This is a completely new course being offered by the Faculty of Engineering to formally recognize the excellent technical work already occurring in the engineering competitive teams. Our intention is that you will use the majority of this time to do your technical work, and that the time burden of preparing your deliverables will be small.  

If you have any additional questions about the course or how to register, contact Dr. Hassan at:

You can read about student experiences in 2017-2018 here

Am I eligible?

You can participate in the course if you:

  • are in 3rd or 4th year in Engineering at McMaster University

  • Participation on a competitive engineering team (including but not limited to: Formula Electric, Baja, Solar Car, EcoCar, Chem E Car, Phase One, Concrete Toboggan)

  • plan to make a substantial technical contribution to your team this academic year (this contribution can be one large project or multiple smaller contributions) OR have a documented past contribution. Note that administrative work is not eligible for this course, nor are individual projects.

How to Register:

  1. Obtain permission from your team's faculty mentor

  2. Get their signature on this form

  3. Give the form to the Associate Dean (Academic) office

  4. Once permission is granted by the Associate Dean, you will get an email confirmation, then you will be able to add the course in Mosaic

What if I have a course conflict?

If you cannot attend lecture due to a conflict you can make alternate arrangements with Dr. Hassan, you are still welcome to join the course.

What if the timeline of my team's competition doesn't line up with the course?

The portfolio evaluation is based on the sum of your technical work, not the timing of that work. If all of your work occurs in fall term, that is perfectly acceptable.  If some of your work occurs in the summer, document it properly and it will count as well.  Documentation can include: notebook entries, photographs, screen grabs of parts, analysis output etc. 

How do i know what "substantial" means?

Generally speaking, if you are a core member of your competitive team you will be making more than enough of a contribution.  You contributions can be one large subsystem, or multiple smaller projects. Additionally, if your faculty mentor or Dr. Hassan think that your work or documentation is insufficient to meet the course requirements, they will alert you during one of the early check in sessions so that you can address the issue well before the end of the course.  


Course Catalog Description:

ENG 4EX3 A/B is a 3-unit course that students can select as one of their technical electives.  The course runs both the Fall and Winter terms, with students meeting regularly with the course coordinator to provide an update on their progress.  Each student will be required to maintain a Learning Portfolio that documents their contributions towards their Team’s objectives.  Each student will be assessed on their Learning Portfolio at mid-term and end-of-year, with final assessment being in the form of Pass/No-Pass.


Additional Information:

Instructor: The course will be coordinated by Dr. Elizabeth Hassan, if you have any questions about the course you can reach her at  

Time Commitment: It is anticipated that the lecture slot will be used only once per month. These sessions will be used for either portfolio reviews or career development work with the goal of helping you leverage your competitive team experience professionally. In addition, you will be expected to make contact digitally (via slack or email) at least one per week and in person once per month (during lecture slot or per your schedule) with Dr. Hassan to check on progress and portfolio. 

Deliverables: You will document your ongoing project work through the portfolio format of your choice, which will be reviewed at the end of each term (fall and winter).  There will be short written assignments due in week 6 of each term (approximately 500 words).  

Evaluation: Deliverables will be assessed both by the faculty mentors and by Dr. Hassan.  The courses is pass-fail.  The criteria for passing is demonstrating a substantive technical design contribution to the team and documenting it properly.  Administrative work is not eligible for this course, nor are individual projects.