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MATE 491 (WI), 492, 493 (WI): Senior Design for Materials Engineers

Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Drexel University
Fall, Winter and Spring Quarters, 2008-09

Lecture: Wednesdays, 11:00 - 11:50 am, Randell 121 (with ECE Dept.) Group Meeting: Wednesdays, 12:00 - 12:50 pm, Randell 328B

MSE Department Coordinating Instructor: Dr. Richard Knight Office: LeBow 335; Phone: 215-895-1844 E-mail: Office Hours: By appointment

WIT Tutors: Ben Riblett - Fall Term 2008-09 TBA - Spring Term 2008-09

Overview: In order to graduate, all students, beginning with the entering class of 2002/01 (Fall, 2002) must pass three writing-intensive (WI) courses after their freshman year. Two writing-intensive courses must be in a student’s major. The third can be in any discipline. Students are advised to take one writing-intensive class each year, beginning with the sophomore year, and to avoid “clustering” these courses near the end of their matriculation. The ability to write well is more than a skill. It is an ongoing process of development essential for personal and professional success. This process encourages complex thinking and often represents the best tool for encouraging sophisticated, imaginative thought. Several studies have demonstrated that students enrolled in writing intensive sections of courses emerge with a better grasp of course content than those who do not. The Senior Design course sequence (MATE 491, 492 and 493) is the most important challenge of the Senior Year. This three-term sequence (designated as writing intensive in the Fall and Spring terms) is intended to simulate a professional research and learning environment, providing experience in solving problems independently and/or working in a group on an open-ended research/design problem, and to refine students’ skills in information gathering, analysis, critical thinking and communication. Substantial interaction between students, faculty and industry/government institutions is an integral part of the experience. During the Fall term, students will work individually, or form teams within the Department of Materials Science & Engineering (MSE) or with students from other departments, then select an area of interest, and develop and present design/project proposals and their initial results to the MSE faculty and the rest of the senior class. During the Winter term, students will work on their research/design problems, giving oral and written progress reports to the MSE Dept. faculty towards the end of the term. At the end of the Spring term, individual students or teams will prepare and present a final oral report and submit a written report to the MSE faculty. Following the final presentations to the MSE faculty, the faculty will select one individual or team project to represent the Dept. in the College of Engineering’s Senior Project Design Conference, also held in the Spring term, which represents the culmination of the Senior Design sequence.

This sequence benefits students in two ways: it provides a forum for them to communicate their ideas and results to the faculty and their peers, and it gives students an opportunity to demonstrate, in an integrated fashion, the skills and knowledge they have acquired during their undergraduate education.
Textbook: Practical Engineering Design, M. Bystrom and B. Eisenstein, Eds, CRC Press (Boca Raton) 2005 ISBN 0-8247-2321-X.

1. Course Objectives and Assessment

The objectives of the MSE Department Senior Design course sequence are to ensure that graduating students are proficient in the following areas:

▪ Ability to identify/select a project. ▪ Ability to form a team & select an Advisor. ▪ Ability to identify the key tasks required to undertake a project. ▪ Ability to develop a project schedule. ▪ Ability to write a formal project proposal. ▪ Ability to make an oral project