Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Week 1: Presentation 1

Now that you have done research related to ATN technologies, it is time to create a presentation in Google Slides to show what you have learned, and how and why ATN technologies should be implemented in Africa!

Topics to cover in your presentation:

  1. Discuss a few key ATN technology features that are superior to conventional modes of personal and public transportation and why. 
  2. Create a few slides that explain what is wrong with current transportation systems (cars, buses, trains, subways, etc). Look at it from various angles: congestion, safety, comfort, privacy, personal security, speed, pollution, etc. 
  3. Create a few slides stating transportation problems you see that Africa suffers from daily. 
  4. Explain how ATN can provide solutions to transportation problems Africa endures, and how it can help the rest of the world.

Guidelines to follow:

  1. Presentation should be completed in Google Slides so the presentation can be "published" to your team blog spots! 
    1. Template for the presentation can be found here: Please create a copy of this Google Slide document and save it in your own drive, then edit it accordingly! 
  2. Please use Assertion-Evidence (A-E) method for your entire presentation. The template I have provided above in step 1 has been set up in A-E method, so please look at the notes in the template and follow them. Please read the following links to understand why A-E method is the best method when creating and giving presentations! This link will help you learn the key principals of A-E method, while this link will visually show you some examples of A-E slides. Remember: there should only be one assertion statement per slide in your presentation, followed by a picture that serves as evidence to your assertion statement. 
  3. Please maintain eye contact with your audience, speak loud enough so the audience in the back of the room can hear you, and dress business casual. 

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Week 1: Getting caught up with Automated Transit Network (ATN) technology!

Now that you can successfully navigate, and have created your individual and team blog spots, it is time to get caught up on ATN technology!

  1. Please read the first 14 pages of "Automated Transit Networks (ATN): A Review of the State of the Industry and Prospects for the Future" authored by Burford Furman, Ph.D., Lawrence Fabian, Sam Ellis, Peter Muller, and Ron Swenson. The publication can be found here: 
    1. The pages from this document will get you caught up on the key principals of ATN technologies, and ATN systems that exist today.
  2. San Jose State University's Mechanical Engineering Department, located in Silicon Valley California, and led by Dr. Burford Furman and Ron Swenson, have been developing ATN technologies since 2012 known as the Spartan Superway. The Spartan Superway and Futran have formed an alliance to aid in implementing a new-age, universal paradigm of urban transportation. Please read the Spartan Superway White Paper to get more detail on ATN technologies that utilize solar energy to provide sufficient energy to power the entire transportation system.
  3. A wide range of projects related to the Spartan Superway Project can be found here: Please explore the International Institute of Sustainable Transportation's library to gain a deeper understanding of work that has been completed to aid the launch of solar-powered ATN technologies.
  4. Finally, the Spartan Superway Project also has a blog spot that should be explored to find work that has been completed by students over the years.

Week 1: Welcome to the University of Johannesburg Futran's Blogspot!

Hello University of Johannesburg Civil Engineering Students!

This blog spot ( will serve as the informational hub for you to receive information related to your class that can include posts from your professor and other faculty, research articles, class assignments, fellow students and more! In addition, you will also create your own blog that will be used to post your class assignments and general updates! The following post titled "Creating your individual and team blog spots" will describe how to create your own individual blogs.

Navigating is simple! The bulk of information, as listed above, can be found in the center of the blog spot (just like this post!) Individual student blogs can be found on the right side of the blog spot. Individual student blogs will appear as hyperlinks that can be clicked to read each student's blog spot. Professors will stay updated with student's blog spots to ensure they are actively posting and keeping up with their assignments. Depending on if their are team configurations, the left side of the blog spot will contain hyperlinks to team blog spots. Creating a team blog spot can be found in "Creating your individual and team blog spots." Below the team blog hyperlinks, hyperlinks for professors and other faculty can be found (Professors should also follow "Creating your individual and team blog spots," but should only create an individual one.)
The blog spots are also easy to modify if needed!

For reference, please see to explore how UJFutran blogspot will be setup.

Week 1: Creating an individual and team blog spot! Creating your first individual and team blog post!

General note: Individual and team blog spots are important for checking accountability to ensure that each student is keeping up with their course work! Blog spots missing information each week tells me that you are not keeping up with your course work. Please be sure to add details to each blog spot post.

To create your individual blogs go here:
  1.  and follow the directions. 
  2. When your blog spot has been created, please click on "New Blog" in the top left corner. Enter in a relevant blog spot title, and an address such as "" 
  3. Before you click on "Create Blog!", please copy and paste your blog address to this Google Form as seen below in the image. 
  4. This is very important as I need your addresses to upload your personal blogs to so they are visible for everyone to see.
  5. Congratulations! You have created your individual blog spot! I will get your blog spot hyperlinks uploaded to soon! 

Creating your first individual blog post!

  1. Once you have inputted your information to the Google Form found above, it is time to create a new post in your individual blog. (These will be created by each student on a weekly basis!) 
    1. Please go to and login! Near the top left of (when you are logged in, there should be a feature that says "Post." Click on "Post" and input a relevant title that concisely portrays what you will be posting about each week (dependent on what your Professor would like to see). Below the title is where you will input the bulk of your information! (See image below!)
  2. Your individual posts will include conceptual ideas, drawings, CAD models, calculations, and anything else related to your individual involvement in your project's design, rapid-prototyping, fabrication, assembly, and testing of your project. 
  3. Information to post in first individual blog post: 
    1. Please include your full name, contact information (email address, phone number), a brief description of yourself (major, expected graduation year, interests, why you want to work on automated transit networks), and finally a picture of you!
  4. To successfully post your blog, click "Publish" on the right side of the screen! (See image below) 
  5. Congratulations! You have successfully posted your first blog spot. 

Creating a team blog spot! (If applicable)
  1. Once teams have been formed.... 
  2. Create a team blog post (one per team) with a name that is descriptive for your team (I.E., UJFutran-Support-Column-Team). PLEASE NOTE: A team's blog spot is created in the same exact way your individual blogs were made, with one small difference (See step 3 below to add multiple authors to your team blog spot). 
  3. allows for multiple authors to participate and collaboratively add information into a single blog spot. To do so, the first author will invite all other team members as authors with admin permission (I.E., adding other team member's email addresses). 
    1. Specifically, go to: [Team blog] > Settings > Basics > Permissions  > Blog Authors
  4. Upon completing this, please copy & paste your address to this Google Form as before. 
  5. This is very important as I need your addresses to upload your personal blogs to so they are visible for everyone to see.
  6. Congratulations! You have created your individual blog spot! I will get your blog spot hyperlinks uploaded to soon! 
Creating your first team blog post! 
  1. Using the same method for creating your first individual blog post, please make a collaborative team post with your team members that includes each member's availability (School & Work Schedule), and contact information so your teammates can easily contact you if need be. This will allow you to schedule time to meet with teammates to work on your project. 
  2. In addition to the above information, add a paragraph description that covers the scope of work and goals for your team's project. 
  3. Congratulations! You have successfully posted your first team blog spot.