Here, an example of an engineering problem will be used as a case study. Apply the strategies and techniques you learn here to your own research problems.
If you don’t have a topic, you can find tips from UBC Library’s Getting Started on Your Research.
You are a co-op student working at Xcellent Engineering, a British Columbia-based engineering firm. You are a member of a multidisciplinary team responsible for contributing to local & provincial disaster response systems in the event of earthquakes, spills, floods, or any other disaster events..
You have been tasked with investigation of risks to engineering systems and structures within Richmond, B.C., specifically in the event of an earthquake.
Some of the questions you must investigate are as follows:
Before you begin searching for information about your problem, you first need to identify what the main concepts of your question are. This will help you determine the best places to look, and the best search terms to use.
Think about how your problem can be simplified to 2-3 main ideas or concepts. Can you ask the question in one sentence? What are the key terms? If you could find the perfect journal article, what would it be about? What would its title be?
Think about all the different ways you could describe your topic(s), such as:
|earthquakes AND||communication networks|
|seismic events||communication service|
|seismic reliability||emergency communication|
|earthquakes AND||wireless communication|
|seismic events||mobile communication|
|seismic damage||cellular communication|
|seismic reliability||satellite communication|
|wireless sensor networks|