P16486: Test Rig to Characterize Biochar Housing Materials

Problem Definition

Table of Contents

Team Vision for Problem Definition Phase

After analyzing the customer requirements, the engineering requirements were produced and prioritized to cater to the customer. Research on similar test rig products was then prepared to determine where improvements and new ideas could be applied to the current test rig. These ideas would help to better adapt the current test rig to better fit the purpose of the MSD project. A list of tasks was also created to help plan a course of action in successfully completing this project.

Project Summary

This project is to design and test a testing rig to characterize biochar in housing materials and compare it to standard housing materials, with a focus on temperature and humidity changes. The primary test goal is to run heated, cooling and humidity tests to see if the test rig can record the data, which will lead to conclusions on the effectiveness of biochar. Some of the constraints for this project include the following: a budget of $500, it must be portable, it must accommodate different wall materials and types, it also must be able to accommodate quick changes in test materials as well as be self-powered.

Click here for the Project Charter.

Use Cases

Project Goals and Key Deliverables

Expected end result of the project, what the customer can expect to receive at the end of the project.

Customer Requirements (Needs)

The working Customer Requirements document can be found here: Customer Requirements.xlsx

Engineering Requirements (Metrics & Specifications)

The working Engineering Requirements document can be found here: Engineering Requirements.xlsx


House of Quality


  1. Confirm that satisfaction of the Engineering Requirements implies that all of the Customer Requirements are met.
  2. Facilitate design trade off decisions


  1. Instructions and EXAMPLE must be deleted before the Problem Definition Review.
  2. Identify an owner for this document.
  3. This document will be inspected at all project reviews during MSD1.
  4. Array customer requirements in the first column and the Engineering Requirements across the top row.
  5. Evaluate the correlations between Customer and Engineering Requirements to ensure all of the Customer Requirements will be satisfied if the Engineering Requirements are satisfied.
  6. Evaluate the potential conflicts between the Engineering Requirements.
  7. Evaluate targets set for Engineering Requirements verses best benchmarking results.
  8. Considering the purpose, the team should anticipate potential failure modes associated with construction and use of this document.

Inputs and Source

  1. Template and Example.
  2. Customer Requirements.
  3. Engineering Requirements.
  4. Benchmarking Data.

Outputs and Destination

Provide input to the risk management process.

Design Review Materials

Please click here to download the latest version of the design review presentation.

Plans for next phase

Begin work on the following...

Concept Generation Developing Alternatives

Concept Generation Morph Table

Concept Selection

End-State Deliverables

Functional Analysis

Feasibility Analysis

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