Active Asset Tracking System Project (AATS)

Under the Direction of Dr. Pamela Zelbst

The objective of the AATS project is to build an active asset tracking system using RFID technology in order to track high dollar lab assets for the Sower Business Technology Lab.  Building this system not only allows us (students) to learn more about RFID technology and its uses for the business world, but it will also allow us to have hands on experience in project management and planning and control.

The deliverables for this project will be an active asset tracking system, project notebook, presentations with pictures and videos, and reflective papers from all students.

Reflective Comments from Students

“Completing the project successfully showed me that I have to have confidence in myself and that if enough energy and effort is put into something, it can be accomplished.”

“The academic aspect of the class obviously has its place however, there is no substitution for hands on experience.”

“There is so much more that I took out of this class than I can write in this reflective essay.  I am so glad that I signed up for this class, it was very educational, but at the same time, it was fun and enjoyable.”


File/Folder Tracking System

Under the Direction of Dr. Pamela Zelbst

Objective:  To build a reader (RFID) that uses an antenna to track files and folders in and out of inventory.

The EMBA graduate students at Sam Houston State University are learning project management skills and applying them as they build an RFID file and folder tracking system. 

Reflective Comments from Students

“It was rewarding seeing the project come to fruition from its initial development stage, through the production phase, and then to be able to look back at the Gant chart to see the variances in our time.  It made for a much more interesting use of class time than sitting in class taking notes for three hours.”

“I recommend this hands-on teaching method to further enhance students’ interest in and understanding of project management skills and application.”

“I look forward to learning more about Project Management as I think it will be extremely useful in my current job capacity.  Also, thanks for making our 2 weeks on site fun.  It sure beat the heck out of lectures and note taking.”


Phideaux Project

Under the Direction of Dr. Pamela Zelbst

Objective:  The goal of the Phideaux Project was to build a dog door that will be triggered to open by RFID technology embedded in a dog collar.

Reflective Comments from Students

“Between the hands on learning of the project planning methods and the information gained about RFID, this project has truly been a(n) exciting part of my MBA course work.”

“By having a real project with real problems, the tools and application of those tools, I have been able to gain a greater understanding of project planning.”

“The most important thing about this project is that it takes learning and understanding of the subject to an advance level that is beneficial to us as students.”


Smart Shelf Project

Under the Direction of Dr. Pamela Zelbst

Objective:  The Fall 2009 Project Management class proposes to submit a comprehensive project by constructing a Smart Shelf.  The project will include a budget and will attempt to provide the class members with the knowledge and experience needed to advance in the effective management of projects as well as learn about RFID.

The project was expanded to include building an antenna for the smart shelf.

Reflective Comments from Students

“The class came away with I believe a sense of accomplishment, first in the success of the smart shelf actually reading tags, and second with the knowledge that through we had different personalities and traits, all of us could work together to complete the project within the constraints of a project.”

“So, in the end the course was extremely successful and even more enjoyable.  I am a better student and professional because of the wide breadth of knowledge that I was able to attain.”


Serpent and Golf Ball Project

Under the Direction of Dr. Victor E. Sower


robot team


Objective: A graduate OM class in the Fall of 2007 was tasked with responding to a request for proposal to commission and rewrite the instruction manuals for Serpent--a SCARA robot--and to demonstrate the capabilities of the robot by programming it to dispense golf balls and place them on a tee.  The class' first task was to develop a detailed project plan including a work breakdown structure and Gantt chart and to use that plan to manage and control the execution of the project.


Reflective Comment from Student

"I really learned a lot from the class--it was very challenging to my thought process.  I think it should be a mandatory class rather than an elective.  So many of us tend to think in terms of "right or wrong" with no deviation, myself included."


Current Semester Spring 2010

Lego Robot Projects

Under the direction of Dr. Pamela Zelbst

The undergraduate Project Management Course was broken down into 3 teams of 10 members each.  The class was directed to come up with a grading schema for the project.  The three grading schema were then combined and the class came to a consensus on how the project was to be graded by the instructor.  Each team was directed to select a robot they could build out of a Lego Educational robot kit.  Each team was charged with developing a team charter, WBS, budget, resources needed, identifying the deliverables, building the robot, documenting the process, presenting the deliverable in both oral and written form, keeping a lab notebook and identifying lessons learned.  Each group was given $25.00 to purchase instructional material or additional needed parts.

Rubik’s Cube Solver Team

This group has completed and had their project charter signed.  They are creating their WBS using MS Project.  The Rubik’s Cube Solver team has started building and programming their robot.


This group has completed and had their project charter signed.  They are creating their WBS using MS Project.  The Rubik’s Cube Solver team has started building and programming their robot.

M&M Sorter Team

This group is in the process of finishing their charter and creating their WBS.  They have already encountered a major constraint in their efforts to obtain the instructional materials.  The company they are using has sent them the wrong book 3 times.  They are using this time to make sure their plan is solid and in place.

work 2
working 3

Tractor Pull Team

This group has completed and had their project charter signed.  They are creating their WBS using MS Project.  The Tractor Pull team has started building and programming their robot.


Individual Student Projects

In addition, four students, under the direction of Dr. Jeremy Bellah and Dr. Pamela Zelbst, are working independently in the lab on robotic projects such as AGV’s and line applications, and setting up a palletizing simulation.