EME 807
Technologies for Sustainability Systems

12.6 Final Proposal Preparation


12.6 Final Proposal Preparation

The technology implementation proposal is prepared in two steps: Pre-Proposal (Milestone 5) and Final Proposal (except for the Summer version of this course, which is more compact and therefore skips the Pre-Proposal stage).

At the Pre-Proposal stage, you put together all elements of your assessment and implementation ideas in the form of a written paper. At this point, it may still look like an extended outline with sections partially developed, and some material still in the works. However, the Pre-Proposal document needs to have the final structure and include all the required elements.

The key sections to include in the proposal:

  1. Title page - it should include your name, project title, course number (EME 807), year. At the bottom of your title page, please include the icons of the UN sustainability goals (up to 3) that are specifically addressed by your project.
  2. Executive summary (1 page, to be added for the Final submission) – it should deliver your proposed idea in a concise and compelling way and present the main findings. Executive summary is a "snapshot" of your entire project, rather than a preface to the introduction. It should be readable as a separate document.
  3. Introduction – Explain what this project is about, what problem it solves, what the motivation and goals are, and where it would be implemented. This would be a good place to tie your project idea to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, as well as local and State sustainability targets.
  4. Proposed Implementation Scenario - Provide information on the locale, facility, or community where this project would be implemented. This is where you can express your reasoning why utilizing this particular technology is a good idea and how you envision it.  
  5. Technical background - Select the most relevant technical information that supports your implementation idea. (Do not simply copy the entire Technical Review here, as it may be too bulky and distract the reader from the main ideas of the proposal).
  6. Environmental assessment – Discuss both positive or negative impacts of the project, present a few key metrics to evaluate those impacts. If appropriate, you can present some elements of LCA. (Note that performing a full-scale LCA would not be feasible within the proposal limits and would probably make your message too bulky and less compelling).
  7. Economic analysis – Present any relevant cost information and other metrics to demonstrate economic viability or challenges for the project. Elements of cash flow analysis can be included if appropriate. You can tap into online resources to understand the costs of related materials and services.
  8. Social impacts - Think of a few social metrics that may be important to consider for your proposed locale. How would the project benefit the community and how it may impact the local life level and culture.
  9. Conclusion – Present a strong closing statement with your recommendation for the implementation of the chosen technology. Re-iterate the most important findings and comment on how the goals set up front have been met. Do not underestimate the power of this section - some reviewers read the Conclusion first!
  10. References – Include the full list of citations for the sources used to build your proposal. Be sure to use the professional citation style (especially for web references - URL is not enough!)

On the general note, when preparing your proposal, think about a potential client you are writing it for. It is not the most comprehensive but most compelling proposal that wins. Also be specific – tie your analysis to a specific locale – clearly, implementing a certain technology in the US, or Africa or Australia may have very different effects, promise, and final outcomes.

If at the Pre-Proposal stage, your document still misses some of the information, that is okay, but leave space holders and mark them as, for example, “more information on the environmental impact of this material will be included here,” etc. The Pre-Proposal document will be reviewed by the Instructor and you will have a chance to make changes for the final submission based on that feedback.

Your Final Proposal, which is submitted during the last week of the semester, should be an originally written document that summarizes your investigation of a chosen technology and your implementation scenario. It will be evaluated based on a number of criteria, including idea justification, clear articulation of the social, economic, and environmental benefits, implementation scenario and final recommendations. See final project rubric for more info on how the projects are graded.