Materials Education Symposia - Home

2016 Program
8th International Materials Education Symposium (Archived Information)

Talks and poster sessions allowed educators to share ideas and resources for materials-related teaching. There was no restriction based on particular approaches or the use of any particular resources.

Symposium Day One: Thursday, April 7

time session
8.00 am Registration, Coffee, and Poster setup
8.45 am Prof. Mike Ashby, Engineering Department, University of Cambridge, UK
Marc Fry, Education Division, Granta Design, UK
Welcome Address
  SESSION 1: ENGAGING STUDENT INTEREST
9.00 am Session Chairs
Prof. Glenn Daehn, The Ohio State University, USA
Dr. Margarethe Hofmann-Amtenbrink, Mat Search Consulting and 2015 President of Federation of European Materials Societies, Switzerland
Session Introduction
9.05 am Prof. Harry Bhadeshia, Materials Science & Metallurgy, University of Cambridge, UK
On-line tools, quality control and automated assessment in higher education - an amateur approach
9.30 am Prof. Mike Ashby, Engineering Department, University of Cambridge, UK
Bringing processes to life: Process-Property trajectories on Material Property charts
9.55 am Marc Fry, Education Division, Granta Design, UK
Poster Teasers
25 x Poster Presenters invited to give a one-minute presentation
10.20 am Poster Session
Coffee
11.00 am Prof. Sybrand van der Zwaag, TU Delft, The Netherlands
Key material fields to be covered in modern engineering curricula
11.25 am Prof. Stanley Howard, South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, and 2016 President of TMS, USA
Educational Student Engagement Strategies through Professional Society Resources
11.50 am Prof. Mark Miodownik, University College London, UK
Developing a Massively Open On-Line Course to teach the Materials Science of Steel
12.15 pm Session discussion led by the session chair
12.45 pm Lunch
  SESSION 2: MATERIALS, DESIGN, AND BIO-ENGINEERING
1.45 pm Session Chairs
Prof. Mark Miodownik, University College London, UK
Dr. Arlindo Silva, Singapore University of Technology and Design, Singapore
Session Introduction
1.50 pm Dr. Elvin Karana, TU Delft, The Netherlands
Material Driven Design
2.15 pm Dr. Núria Salán, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), Spain
WYTWYG: What you touch is what you get in Materials Science and Technology
2.40 pm Dr. Hugh Shercliff, Engineering Department, University of Cambridge, UK
Navigating the Process Universe
3.05 pm Poster Session continued
Coffee/Afternoon Tea
3.45 pm Dr. Erik Tempelman, TU Delft, The Netherlands
Design-driven materials innovation: what the Light.Touch.Matters project can teach us
4.10 pm Sra. Magda Figuerola, Education Division, Granta Design, UK
Inspiring Students to learn about Materials through Products
4.35 pm Dr. John Dunlop, Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Germany
Inspiration from Nature - Using Biology to Learn about Materials
5.00 pm Session discussion led by the session chair
5.20 pm Concluding remarks
5.30pm Close
7:00pm Symposium Dinner, Peterhouse College

 

Symposium Day Two: Friday, April 8

time session
8.30 am Registration and Coffee
  SESSION 3: BROADENING HORIZONS: CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES
9.00 am Session Chairs
Dr. Zoe Barber, Materials Science & Metallurgy, University of Cambridge, UK
Dr. John Dunlop, Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Germany
Session Introduction
9.05 am Dr. Margarethe Hofmann-Amtenbrink, Mat Search Consulting and 2015 President of Federation of European Materials Societies, Switzerland
Materials in a value chain approach
9.30 am Dr. Cecilia Berlin, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden
The Dos and Don’ts of Game-based Materials Teaching: A Case Study
9.55 am Mr. Frédéric Schuster, French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), France
Innovative processes for high performance functional coatings
10.20 am Dr. Pavel Kasyanik, St. Petersburg Polytechnic University
Associative Dialog Techniques for Teaching Engineers in Large Classes
10.45 am Poster Session continued
Coffee
11.15 am Prof. Glenn Daehn, The Ohio State University, USA
High School Materials Science Curricula: possible goals and opportunities
11.40 am Dr. Danielle Cote, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, USA
The Redesign of a Graduate Phase Transformations Course to Include Strengthening Mechanisms and Alloy Design
12:05 pm Dr. Alexandre Mege-Revil, Ecole Centrale de Lille, France,
Breaking the habits: the transition to reverse classroom in a French engineering school
12.30 pm Session discussion led by the session chair
1.00 pm Lunch
  SESSION 4: PEDAGOGY - THE ART AND SCIENCE OF MATERIALS TEACHING
2.00 pm Session Chairs
Dr. Adrian Lowe, Australian National University, Australia
Hannah Melia, Education Division, Granta Design, UK
Session Introduction
2.05 pm Prof. David Dye, Imperial College, UK
Peer Instruction for Teaching Materials Science and Engineering
2.30 pm Prof. Andy Horsewell, DTU, Denmark
Increasing levels of ability in Materials Engineering
2.55 pm Session discussion led by the session chair
3.25 pm Concluding remarks
3.30pm Close

Optional Post-Symposium Session

4.00 pm CES EduPack Idea Exchange Meeting
5.00 pm Close

 

Tuesday, April 5 and Wednesday, April 6

Optional course and workshops »



Presentation Abstracts

On-line tools, quality control and automated assessment in higher education - an amateur approach

Prof. Harry Bhadeshia, University of Cambridge, UK

Traditional lectures remain the best way of delivering higher education because they involve human beings. Like the chalk and board that have served us well for centuries, there is now a vast range of additional technology that can oil the wheels towards explaining difficult concepts. And apparently difficult concepts must be taught in order to avoid the dumbing down of concepts for the sake of popularity, and to inspire bright young minds. However, these tools can be expensive to implement in a formal manner, and the University authorities may not support the philosophy or resources required (Cambridge does not). I would like to show in this lecture, how to overcome these difficulties at little or no expense, and achieve the best quality control available in the world.


Bringing processes to life: Process-Property trajectories on Material Property charts

Prof. Mike Ashby, Engineering Department, University of Cambridge, and Granta Design, Cambridge, UK

The effect of processing on properties is nicely illustrated by plotting process-trajectories onto material property charts, showing how properties evolve with alloying, blending, heat treatment, working, or foaming.  The talk will show process-trajectory charts for metals, polymers and ceramics.

The trajectory charts are difficult for students to make because they require data for the same material in various different states – the same alloy in different states of heat treatment, or the same polymer with different quantities of different fillers.  To ease this process a new datatable is now available for the CES EduPack 2016 which provides sets of records that meet the necessary criteria, each chosen to illustrate how one or more processes influence properties.   All the records have a complete Level 2 property listing allowing the effect of the process to be explored across the entire list.

The seven sets are:

  1. Alloying and working: copper alloys
  2. Heat treatment: carbon steels
  3. Alloying and heat treatment (1) : stainless steels
  4. Alloying and heat treatment (2): aluminum alloys (illustrated below)
  5. Filling and reinforcement: thermoplastic polymers
  6. Powder processing: sintered ceramics
  7. Foaming: polymers, metals, ceramics

The talk will illustrate what can be done with the Process-Property Trajectory datatable.


Key material fields to be covered in modern engineering curricula

Prof. Sybrand van der Zwaag, TU Delft, The Netherlands

The field of materials science and engineering is already very large and ever expanding. Current topics involve metals, polymers, ceramics, concrete, glass, composites, functional materials and cover the entire range of fundamentals, structure-property relationships, manufacturing issues and behavior in applications. New topics are environmental aspects, material shortage, boo-inspired materials, nano-materials and new carbon based materials, hybrid materials, new manufacturing techniques such as additive manufacturing, and economic aspects. Furthermore, also engineering curricula are evolving continuously. The combination of an ever expanding field and a limited amount of time reserved in engineering curricula for materials science, brings to the table the question of the contents of the materials courses in future engineering curricula. In this presentation I will present the outcome of a short inventory of needs and visions from different engineering curricula in Dutch technical universities. The results will be used to start a fruitful discussion amongst the delegates at the conference.


Educational Student Engagement Strategies through Professional Society Resources

Prof. Stanley Howard, South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, and 2016 President of TMS, USA

Compelling and meaningful engagement in professional society activities offers career-defining experiences to students, not only putting them in contact with established professionals, but also providing motivation and support to excel. This talk outlines valuable student opportunities offered by The Minerals, Metals, and Materials Society (TMS). These include Material Advantage, a student organization that gives emerging professionals access to the knowledge, resources, and scholarship programs of four leading materials professional societies; the very popular TMS Bladesmithing Competition that provides students first-hand experience with historical reduction and forging; the successful student-run symposium initiative supported by the TMS Education Committee; and the TMS Materials Bowl, a highly competitive student competition that celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2016. The presentation will also touch on the support TMS offers early career professionals as they transition from student to the world of work through its Young Professionals programs and continuing education courses focused on “soft skills” development and mentorship. TMS also is the lead society for ABET accreditation in Materials and Metallurgical Engineering.


Developing a Massively Open On-Line Course to teach the Materials Science of Steel

Prof. Mark Miodownik, University College London, UK

This talk describes the process of conceiving, writing, filming and running a Massively Open On-Line Course (MOOC) to teach the materials science of steel and steel making [1]. This course is an introduction to steel, exploring its history and cultural context, where it comes from, how it works, why we use so much of it, and how we might use it in the future. The course has no academic pre-requites and is designed to appeal equally to school children, teachers, workers in the steel industry, and to the general public. The course is delivered in a lively manner using everyday examples, demonstrations, and film footage of steel making. It was launched in June 2015 and within six weeks the course had been  taken by 7200 participants from 139 countries and a had completion rate of 28%. The work was carried out in collaboration with the steel company Tenaris and the MOOC is hosted on the edX platform [1]. In this talk I will describe the problems and pitfalls we encountered, discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this type of educational resource, and its potential impact.

https://www.class-central.com/mooc/3398/edx-steel101x-introduction-to-steel


Material Driven Design

Dr. Elvin Karana, TU Delft, The Netherlands

Materials research constantly evolves to offer novel, superior materials as better alternatives to convention (e.g. bio-­‐based materials, smart materials, recycled and/or recyclable materials, etc.). In order to introduce these emerging materials to societies through proper applications, material scientists and industries involved in the development of new materials have reached out to academics and professionals in design, art, architecture and crafts (Miodownik, 2007). The challenge for designers in such ‘Material Driven Design (MDD) projects is to arrive at an embodiment which highlights the unique qualities of a material from functional and experiential perspectives. This requires qualifying the material not only for what it is, but also for what it does (Manzini 1986), what it expresses to us, what it elicits from us (Karana et al., 2015), what it makes us do (Giaccardi and Karana, 2015). In order to support the MDD projects through such an understanding, we have recently developed a method to facilitate designing for material experiences when a particular material is the point of departure in the design process (Karana et al., in press).

The MDD method has been used by a number of design students within a dedicated course on ‘materials and design’ given at the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering (DUT).  In informal discussions, students expressed their satisfaction in being led through a method which supported them to gain competences in exploring, understanding, defining and mobilizing unique material properties and experiential qualities in design. The method has also proved to be successful in helping design students to structure, communicate and reflect on their actions in design for material experiences.


WYTWYG: What you touch is what you get in Materials Science and Technology

Dr. Núria Salán, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), Spain

Materials Science and Technology subjects are included in many engineering degrees curricula. Knowledge and understanding of contents related to materials structures are crucial to ensuring a successful appreciation of subsequent chapters. It could be possible to use day-to-day physical items (pieces of paper, magnetic spheres, plastic chains, etc.) to simulate and visualize some aspects related to structure and behavior of engineering materials, in a "what you touch is what you get" (wytwyg) learning style. By means of these examples in the classroom a conductive and interactive learning environment could be created, being so helpful to improve understanding and contents assimilation pleasantly.


Navigating the Process Universe

Dr. Hugh Shercliff, University of Cambridge, UK

Teaching manufacturing to students in engineering, design or materials science presents particular challenges. The subject is encyclopaedic, with unlimited combinations of material/process/design scenarios; and it is full of technical jargon, which students seem to find increasingly difficult to recall and use rigorously. But the educational objective is not for students to know everything, but rather to be confident about deciding what probably matters in a given, unfamiliar situation in design and manufacturing – and thus what to go and find out. This talk describes some new ideas about teaching manufacturing and design. It is proposed that this task is facilitated by providing structured thinking, and using visual learning tools – these should help students recall or infer the key factors at work in determining a successful outcome when a design, material and process are brought together. The target thought process is thus: (i) what are the dominant design issues for the material-processing principle under consideration? (ii) what is the underlying material physics controlling the key behaviour (fluid flow, heat flow, phase transformations etc)? (iii) what parameters of the material, process and design govern the relevant physics, and how does the outcome depend on their interaction? (iv) what is “best practice” in managing these interactions and hence the outcome? (v) what technical “tricks” are there in material composition, process operation or design detail? A unifying framework is emerging that potentially achieves the following: (a) it works in engineering, industrial design and materials science; (b) it works for conventional lecture courses and design projects, and for teaching using product disassembly; (c) it is consistent with the existing CES Process Universe, but points to a new approach to handling manufacturing processes within the software. The audience is invited to test these claims, and to participate in refining the approach.


Design-driven materials innovation: what the Light.Touch.Matters project can teach us

Dr. Erik Tempelman, TU Delft, The Netherlands

The EU-funded research project Light.Touch.Matters presents a test case for "design-driven materials innovation". In this 3.5 year long project, product designers and materials scientists jointly develop a new generation of smart interface materials. Being thin and flexible, these "light touch matters" can sense your touch (using piezo plastics) and respond by luminescence (using OLEDs). They can advance product design to a point where "the product becomes the interface", and examples of such products are being developed in the project in parallel to the new materials.

With the project ending summer 2016, we are now in a position to draw conclusions about this new form of materials innovation. This contribution will present not only the materials involved, but also the pros and cons of involving design professionals in the process, as well as the challenges and the solutions that can make design-driven materials innovation a success.

www.light-touch-matters-project.eu


Inspiring Students to learn about Materials through Products

Sra. Magda Figuerola, Education Division, Granta Design, UK

Knowledge of Materials and manufacturing processes are essential for any designer; whether the aim is a cool, must-have consumer product or a high-tech aerospace component.  It can sometimes however, be hard to get students to engage with the topic. This talk will focus on the stories that can be told about products that can then motivate students to dig deeper into the science and engineering of materials and processes.

Granta Design will launch in December 2015 a new database that puts products that use materials in innovative ways, front and centre.  Inspiring and visually engaging the databases uses descriptions and images of products written by the 200 designers who have contributed to the database. The database allows students to explore the materials of which the products are made of and the processes used to make them. Students can explore why materials were chosen, how materials choice for the same product has evolved over the decades and how a changed choice of materials can change the way the product is perceived.  Aesthetic attributes as well as the usual materials properties can be used by students to select suitable substitute materials in redesign projects.


Inspiration from Nature - Using Biology to Learn about Materials

Dr. John Dunlop, Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Germany

Compared to an engineer, who can easily access the entire periodic table, Nature uses only a limited palette of elements to make structural materials. Despite this, Nature achieves a wide range of materials properties by combining simple building blocks in complex architectures into composite materials. The hope that we can learn new design strategies by examining natural materials has thus driven an enormous amount of research in recent years, in the directions of bio-inspired materials design or even bionics, terms that have proven to be highly stimulating and attractive for young students. In addition to just bringing two fields together, one of the consequences of this research is that many useful and insightful examples of “textbook” concepts from materials science can also be “discovered” in Nature. Concepts from materials science can indeed be used to understand biological problems and conversely can also be used as novel illustrative examples to help students access materials science from a somewhat different perspective. This presentation will give an overview of some examples of the sort of research we and colleagues are doing, and try to highlight through these examples how we as materials engineers can not only use materials science knowledge to better understand natural tissues but also learn to think more broadly about materials science.


Materials Education in a Value Chain Approach

Dr. Margarethe Hofmann-Amtenbrink, Mat Search Consulting and 2015 President of Federation of European Materials Societies, Switzerland

Education in Materials Science and Engineering in the last decades became more complex as the industrial sectors for which materials are of importance like communication, transport, energy, construction or health are demanding more and more functionalities of materials, components or final products. In energy applications the number of elements per product has doubled in the last 100 years from about 20 to about 40 elements per product. To reach the defined functionalities more and more exotic and critical elements are needed. For this reason materials experts should not only search for solutions in how to achieve functions or properties using certain materials combinations and processes but also should answer questions raised about the source of materials and their availability (criticality of materials), their environmental impact (possible toxicity) and the end of life of a product (materials recycling). This includes also ELSI questions (ethical, legal and societal issues) about the conditions under which materials like rare earth elements or other critical elements are mined, energy is used and polluting emissions are produced and under what conditions products like e.g. cell phones are dismantled and recycled. Master and PhD thesis should include a chapter on “materials risks” to allow engineers and scientists to deal with such questions in their later career and to think about alternative solutions.


The Dos and Don’ts of Game-based Materials Teaching: A Case Study

Dr. Cecilia Berlin, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden

Recent increased global interest in game-based learning has led to the development and application of numerous serious games in many fields including materials science. This is partly due to games’ abilities to engage players, illustrate complex systems, and provide risk-free settings to learn. Serious game use in education holds great potential, but its execution, especially in the creation and use of such games, does not come without challenges. This presentation addresses the complexity and limitations of developing and applying serious games by presenting an insightful case study follow-up to the 2013 Materials Education Symposium speech “Exploring Sustainable Design and Material Criticality through a Game-based Approach." IN THE LOOP is a serious game specifically created to increase students’ awareness of material criticality, sustainable development, and business-related challenges. After a recent playing session of IN THE LOOP with master students in Production Engineering at a technical university in Sweden, students were tasked with writing reflection essays about their perceived learning experience. A qualitative document study of the received essays showed that many students found the game an appealing way to learn and gain insight, but the reflections also pointed out useful gameplay-related issues that could hamper student satisfaction and the efficacy of absorbing the game's message. While the case provided invaluable feedback for IN THE LOOP’s own development, reflection on this experience can lend valuable observations and learning applicable to any educator looking to create or implement game-based learning techniques in their classroom.


Innovative processes for high performance functional coatings

Mr. Frédéric Schuster, French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), France

The design and the fabrication of high performance functional coatings require being able to control the entire fabrication process. In order to develop up-scalable processes from lab to industry, it is necessary to possess robust processing routes coupled with the best tools for monitoring and predicting their behavior by numerical simulation. The aim of this presentation is to show the latest developments of some cross-cutting technologies in the field of surface engineering, particularly vapor phase deposition technologies. Indeed, in recent years, Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) and Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) processes have made considerable progress, particularly due to the use of more highly ionized plasma for PVD process and, through the development of pulsed direct injection technologies for metalorganic precursors in the case of CVD. Applications are found in all sectors, from low-carbon energy technologies including nuclear, to environment and health technologies. The hybridization of some technologies like the combination of PVD and CVD process or the combination of PVD and supersonic cluster beam could lead to innovative nanosafe-by-design processes paving the way for new applications and On-Demand functional coatings.


Associative Dialog Techniques for Teaching Engineers in Large Classes

Dr. Pavel Kasyanik, St. Petersburg Polytechnic University

Requirements of developing the transferable personal skills in engineering education are included in accreditation schemes such as ABET or EUR-ACE. Challenges of modified curriculums and limited resources increase educators’ interest not only in computer technologies but also in developing pedagogical techniques which will enable effective subject and soft skills learning, especially in large classes. Engineering students are expected to learn how to work in teams and obtain interpersonal, creative and critical thinking skills, problem-solving abilities, analytical decision-making skills to acquire competences of the “global engineer”. Simple translation of the experience accumulated by society is no longer sufficient to prepare a successful engineer. In the place of the model of adaptive behavior comes the model of professional development, which focuses on the formation of general cultural competences of personal and professional growth. Suggested approach connected traditional didactical methods and the concept of the “Associative Dialogue in Changing Pairs” adopted at the lectures in large classes. The goal was to make students work in changing pairs providing the opportunity for each student to communicate with each student in the class on the basis of specially designed cards and texts. Organizing of meaningful dialogic interaction between the participants within the changing pairs allowed creating the most favorable conditions for the development of students' ability to work with information, communicate it to others and receive it, to find appropriate ways to communicate with different people, to solve technical problems and find new solutions in non-technical tasks. The obtained results have shown that all students have achieved good learning outcome and indicated significant differences in the level of formation of communicative competence between control and experimental groups. Experimentally proven techniques may be effectively used by the teachers in different educational programs (disciplines) after short training.


High School Materials Science Curricula: possible goals and opportunities

Prof. Glenn Daehn, The Ohio State University, USA

Materials science is not commonly taught in US secondary schools. However, through some grass-roots inspiration a significant number of high schools are now using materials content and even teaching full materials courses in high schools. The hands-on approach that is commonly used is very appealing and the courses have become very popular with students and teachers alike, even though there is great diversity in how these courses are taught and what content is delivered. The key questions that this talk will address are: • What should a high school materials science course (or courses) contain? • What important STEM topics are naturally reinforced with a materials science core? • And what are the opportunities for such a course to inspire and richly-educate students? The discussion will be informed from experiences in delivering professional development to scores of high school teachers in both the ASM Materials Camp program and a focused Math Science Partnership program that focuses on a cohort of about 30 teachers, some of whom have been engaged in professional development for several years.


The Redesign of a Graduate Phase Transformations Course to Include Strengthening Mechanisms and Alloy Design

Dr. Danielle Cote, Materials Science and Engineering, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, USA

Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) prides itself in its practical, project based learning in the undergraduate curriculum.  This has been the teaching method since its foundation in 1868. In fact, the WPI seal still depicts its moto: Leher und Kunst (theory and practice). This pedagogical approach, however, is not often carried into the graduate level courses.

The Materials Science and Engineering phase transformation graduate course at WPI traditionally covers the classic phase transformations, as presented in the text Phase Transformations in Metals and Alloys by Porter and Easterling. Our redesign of this course presents each of the traditional phase transformations while applying them to the common theme – strengthening mechanisms in alloy design. Throughout the course, students work in teams tasked with designing an alloy of a specific base material (e.g. Al, Fe, Mg, etc.) utilizing the various strengthening mechanisms as they are discussed in class. Computational thermodynamic software as well as CES EduPack is utilized to aid in quantitative alloy design. In this presentation the results of the student learning will be presented and discussed.


Breaking the habits: the transition to reverse classroom in a French engineering school

Dr. Alexandre Mege-Revil, Ecole Centrale de Lille, France

Students of the École Centrale de Lille mainly come from “classes préparatoires”, a two-year syllabus that prepares them for the competitive exams giving access to the French engineering schools system. The major difficulty for the pedagogic team is to transform students who work for a mark into engineers who work to overcome a problem. This transformation is still widely seen as an automatic process that happens via training periods in companies. Nonetheless, as every teacher knows, a student who works to learn is far more efficient and agreeable than a student who wants to reach a minimum mark.

A usual way to counter the tendency of students to minimize their energy is to teach in reverse classroom. In this approach, the hours of presence of the teacher are spent answering questions submitted by students who have prepared the topic. Breaking the habits: the transition to reverse classroom in a French engineering school
In the Ecole Centrale de Lille, an adaptation is needed. As the students follow courses of multiple disciplines, the mandatory syllabus for materials sciences only adds up to 32 hours in a 3 year cursus. Moreover, a typical student’s week contains between 30 and 35 hours of face-to-face teaching. In this context, it is difficult to ask long, detailed work from the students.

This communication aims at presenting the results – good or bad – of the first year of our reform. In the new Materials Sciences teaching unit, students follow lectures in an amphitheater and videos online, work at home on common exercises, come to reverse seminars to discuss the difficulties they encountered and finally practice in the lab. Additionally, the assessments of the student are also modified in a way that drives them to analyze and discuss their results. Indeed, from the scientific point of view, the aimed consequence is to improve their analytical skills and ability to summarise.


Peer Instruction for Teaching Materials Science and Engineering

Prof. David Dye, Imperial College, UK

I will describe a highly successful experiment in moving to Mazur's Peer Instruction approach for teaching three short courses in materials; phase diagrams in first year, stress tensors in second year, and titanium alloys and alloying in third year. In this approach, the class time is spent considering and discussing short conceptual problems, managed using a web-delivered interaction software, after students have engaged with the material in their own time. Videos and Notes are provided, together with some diagnostic questions, to help them in their preparation. The Peer Instruction concept will also be introduced, and potential objections to this teaching style will be discussed.


Increasing levels of ability in Materials Engineering

Prof. Andy Horsewell, DTU, Denmark

Engineers must learn to analyze problems, evaluate materials / processes and create solutions. These skills are the 3 highest levels of Bloom’s taxonomy* of cognitive abilities. To remember, understand and apply knowledge are the 3 lowest levels. Unguided reading of a textbook or lecture notes will not lead to higher cognitive skills. To do so, we must set appropriate learning outcomes, and organize learning activities that provide progression to high-level operative engineering skills.

Let’s look at poster presentations experienced by a class of biomedical engineers. The task is to deconstruct biomedical devices into components. What materials might be used and what processes are appropriate? Typical devices are: an insulin injection pen; a heart pace-maker; a hearing aid. The students will remember and repeat material from the course and the textbook; they will understand and apply this knowledge to describing the components, thereby achieving the lower Bloom levels (BL1, BL2, and BL3) and reviewing the material. The students might well present data from CES, but only to compare materials using a single parameter e.g. stiffness or density. Now, increasing our level of ambition, so that the students analyze (BL4) appropriate materials and manufacturing processes, we must challenge them in the formulation of the problem. ‘Consider mechanical loads during operation of the device’. And, ‘Document how these factors should be optimized for performance’. The students are shown that CES can help by plotting materials property maps for direct comparisons. BL5 (evaluate) follows-on, almost naturally, when competing products are compared in relation to performance, safety, cost… These learning experiences provide new insight and abilities through successive processes of remembering, understanding, applying, analyzing and evaluating. Finally, creation and innovation (BL6) is not infrequent and is shared with the whole class.