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International collaboration protocol QAS

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QASlogo.png This page was developed by the Queen's University Applied Sustainability Research Group. QASlogo.png

This page discusses how to run an international collaboration on scientific and engineering research in applied sustainability.

It includes links to software and services and provides an example project: Open source solar spectrum project

The desgin of an international collaboration will be divided into categories related to the development of an engineering project.

Project Scope and Description Definition

The first and most important step of the project is the clear definition of project scope. This will allow for the proper allotment of resources (both human and physical) to the varying aspects of teh project, and will ensure that project completion is possible. Especially in an international context, it is important to ensure that the scope and description of the project is well understood, and is aceivable with the resources available at each location. In order to ensure full comprehension by all parties, the project scope and descriptoin should be written down and sent to all parties in the project. In the case of a modificaiton of scope or description, these modifications should similarily be written and distributed.

Assignment of Roles and Responsibilities

The assignment of roles and responsibilites is required in order to provide a framework which can be used by members of the project to determine their expected contribution. In an international context, this is also very crucial when responsibilities are shared across borders in order to ensure that both groups are building off each other's work, and not re-creating it.

In addition, it is reccomended that each group has a team leader, who is responsible for communicaiton and organization within their group. In a project where a large portion of the collaboration exists over teleconferencing, having one speaker from each group can stramline communications and ensure that important points are being conveyed. It is important that all group members are present and contributing at each teleconference, however it should be the team leaders responsibtility to ensure that they get a chance to speak, and a clear time in which to do it.

Definition of project timelines and goals

Progress tracking


Project completion

Useful software packages and best practices for use

Teams are responsible for:

  1. In week 1, students choose a format for communication in both asynchronous and synchronous situations in private. You enable your advisors to see what is going on....(e.g. Emails are cc'd, blogs passwords are provided).
  2. In week 1, create a Gantt chart of tasks and the individuals that will be responsible for them
  3. Use a logged weekly full team meetings(voice)(private).
  4. Use a design journal/idea blog/chat room/wall, which is logged?(private).
  5. Share design iterations shared on Appropedia [project] and Thingiverse [designs] (public) – history file will track contributions.
  6. Building and testing the devices, with publishing full instructions/protocols.
  7. Develop method of sharing data access between universities and the public. See for example Pachube or consider ftp protocol – whatever is going to work.