I am preparing an exam for a course I'm running. It's an engineering course; the exam problems require students to apply conceptual knowledge and quantitative skills taught in lectures and labs.
It's the first time the class has been offered, so I don't have a frame of reference from previous years. There haven't been any in-class quizzes or other opportunities for me to find out directly how long students would take to solve problems similar to the ones on the exam. I also haven't found any similar exams from other universities to serve as a reference.
Obviously, I am much more experienced in the material than my students, so I can't really generalize from how long it takes me to solve these kinds of problems.
This question is for the more experienced educators out there: in a scenario like this, are there any methods or general rules for determining how long you can make the exam, given the time allotted?
I don't want time to be a major issue on this exam; I want most students who are reasonably well prepared to be able to complete the exam in the given time.