Problem Definition

In the last 2 years, finding a parking spot at the University, more specifically neat the Engineering building is becoming a problem. Engineering Students are facing this problem at a daily bases especially during morning classes. Therefore, we are planning to find the best solution among different alternatives that would best suit the engineering students at The American University of Sharjah. The solution is a multidisciplinary project that will require engineers from different majors. We will basically evaluate alternatives and then pick the best solution depending on a number of criteria that will be specified later in this project.

Purpose of the Project

The Purpose of the project is to find the best solution among all alternatives to the parking problem near the engineering building. We will work on the best solution and specify the specification of the solution based on civil and mechanical engineering point of view.

Research Methodology

The first step in our project is called “Demand Forecasting”. In this step we will make sure that this problem does actually exist by giving a sample of the Engineering student population at the AUS a survey and request them to fill it. Moreover, we will see if there is a relationship between the increase of number of engineering students and the demand for parking.

After verifying that the parking is becoming an issue for the engineering students, a number of solutions will be proposed. These alternatives will be evaluated relying on a certain criteria. A weight will be given for each criterion which will be based on its importance to the engineering student. The alternative with the higher weight will be chosen.

Then we will implement this solution and provide a detailed specification of it. These specifications will require the knowledge of engineers with different majors. In our case, the specifications will be provided based on civil and mechanical engineering knowledge. Any other parts which will need other majors will be suggested to be done by other engineers at the end of the project.

Overall, statistical analysis and many books and electronic resources will be used to accomplish this project.

Limitations and Problems

The basic issue is the parking problem near the engineering building. We will be facing a lot of problems when we start our project. First, it will be hard to give an estimation of how much a certain project will cost. Second, choosing a sample that represents the population is not an easy task, especially if many people of the sample are living on campus. Third, it might be hard getting the blue prints of the Current AUS parking near the Engineering Building. Forth, there is no architectural plan provided for such parking for this specific area at the AUS, Therefore, the actual design of the best alternative cannot be done. Moreover, the design of such a solution will require at least 7 months, and we only have 4 months to finish the project. Finally, finding the best ventilation, sensors and safety system for the solution may take some time.

Suggested Solutions

After doing some research on the problem and thinking about the possible solutions, we came up with three alternative solutions for our main problem. The first solution is to emerge the free area with the current parking area near the engineering. The second solution is to make an underground parking in addition to the current parking. The third possible solution is to design a multistory parking on the current engineering parking area. These three solutions will be evaluated based on cost, time that it will take to construct, constructability (feasibility of the project) and efficiency (the ease at which students can get from the parking to the engineering building). To solve the cost problem a rough estimation will be given for each project by asking professional engineers in the field about the amount of the materials such as concrete, steel, ventilation system for such project. We will disregard the surveys which points that the individual is living on campus, since we are only looking to the people who are using the parking. To get the blue prints we will ask some civil engineering professors on how can we get these blue prints, and we might go to the head of civil engineering department for that. For this project a design of the building cannot be done, since we do not have any architectural drawing for the proposed parking, therefore a general specifications will be specified for the building such as the total height, width, story height, type of the material used, the mechanical parts that must be used, etc. A research is in progress to find the best mechanical system for such solution.

Tasks