Yeah...the degree...and the book work aren't as fun. Below are the exact requirements...but basically anything goes as long as we can analyze it engineering-wise, etc.
"Your project should require 30-40 hours to accomplish, including time spent preparing the final oral and written report. You may work as a team (2-3 persons or more depending on project scope) to accomplish the projects. If your project involves your own vehicle, you must purchase all hardware and materials. With instructor approval, you may use the common scrounge, scrap, and bench stock in the Mech Lab.
Your project must relate to some aspect of automotive significance. Since this is an engineering course that satisfies an engineering elective, projects must have significant engineering content. In fact, the engineering content of your project will make up at least 25% of your grade. Hands-on hardware projects are encouraged as long as the engineering content is there.
Your project grade will be based on the entire process of research, design, hands-on work, testing, analysis of results, and the written and oral reporting of these efforts. A project which fails to work but which shows a significant effort using sound engineering principles will receive a better grade than a successful project poorly done. Finally, you will be required to keep a time log of your work throughout the semester. If you are planning a project which will be submitted for multiple classes, be sure you can clearly delineate the portions for each course."