I hope everything is going well. This week I want to write about one of the coolest group projects I’ve done so far!
As an Industrial & Systems Engineering (ISE) major, I can attest to the fact that ISE classes do a lot of group projects. While I will be the first to admit that I did not enjoy group projects one bit in high school, they are my often my favorite part of courses in college.
Last semester, I took a class classed DSO 435 – Enterprise Data Architecture. Over the course of the entire semester, my group got to create and manage a database for the real-world maritime shipping company, Tai Chong Cheang Steamship Company. A reputable company of almost 100 years, Tai Chong Cheang, TCC for short, is a ship-owning company that actively participates in the marine trades industry through its commercial shipping management and by chartering out ships as logistical support for different dry bulk and oil customers. As TCC owns a sizeable fleet that consists of 10 bulk carriers and 3 oil tankers, it has formed long lasting relationships with oil majors such as Chevron, Shell and British Petroleum and dry bulk companies such as BHP Billiton, EDF Energy and Bunge Limited.
In recent years there have been higher needs for oil tankers and bulk carriers in order to satisfy the global demands for different resources such as oil, grains, soybeans, etc. In order to accommodate the demand of both oil major clients and dry bulk clients, TCC has also increased its fleet size by placing a total of 7 new shipbuilding orders for the next 5 years. However, shipbuilding is a complex process that involves negotiation between both the shipyard and TCC. The long, tedious negotiation that occurs includes the discussion of how to construct the requested ship model in which both the shipyard and ship-owner have their own specifications and standards they wish to meet during the new-building construction.
Without having a proper database to house mass “specs” information, it becomes difficult for the company to properly negotiate with the shipyard and, therefore, makes it difficult to own ships at TCC’s own in-house standards. In order to better the future negotiation process for TCC, our group decided to help TCC by organizing and compartmentalizing the company’s shipbuilding specifications into physical data models.
TCC specifically provided us with the particular specifications they have assigned to navigation equipment on the recently built ship, “CSK Longevity”. The result of this semester’s long project was that we were able to effectively create and populate a physical database that is able to efficiently organize data through physical optimizations and meticulous inclusions of conceptual details of the shipbuilding process. This design also allowed for effective management of data by allowing for queries to be run to better search for information. We optimized the database in order to allow for flexibility of housing different data for different ship types that the company may potentially have to build in the future. In the end, our goal was to to help further TCC’s core competency of owning ships of the highest standards.
— Juliana Porter (@juliana_porter) December 13, 2014
While I learned a ton about databases (and the shipping industry!) last semester, this semester, I’m doing several group projects that are totally different. One of the most interesting projects I’m working on this semester is for my ISE 470 course: Human-Computer Interface Design. In this class, I’m working with a team to design a kitchen interface that will help users to read and understand material about eating healthy, identify healthy food options or recipes, and then assist in the process of actually preparing healthy food. More about that in another blog!
Until next time,