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A Critical Thinking Paradigm for Materials and Manufacturing Education

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Technological and Engineering Literacy-Philosophy of Engineering (TELPhe) Division Technical Session 3 / Perspectives on Advances in Promoting Technological Literacy

Tagged Division

Technological and Engineering Literacy/Philosophy of Engineering

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Paper Authors


Sayyad Zahid Qamar Sultan Qaboos University

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Dr Zahid Qamar, Sayyad is currently working as a Professor at the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, Sultan Qaboos University (SQU), Muscat, Oman. Recipient of several research and teaching awards, he has over 25 years of academic and research experience in different international universities. He has also worked as a professional mechanical engineer in the field for over 6 years in the heavy engineering and fabrication industry (Manager Research and Development; Deputy Manager Design; Production Engineer; Quality Control Engineer). On top of his experience as a researcher/academician, he has been actively involved in research and accreditation work related to engineering education. His technical research areas are Applied materials and manufacturing; Applied mechanics and design; Reliability engineering; and Engineering education. As part of the Applied Mechanics and Advanced Materials Research group (AM2R) at SQU, he has been involved in different applied research funded projects in excess of 4 million dollars. He has over 200 research/technical publications to his credit (research monographs/books, edited book volumes, a 5-volume encyclopedia, book chapters, refereed journal and conference publications, and technical reports). He is currently working on a research monograph Swelling Elastomers in Petroleum Drilling and Development — Applications, Performance Analysis, and Material Modeling. He has served as Associate editor, Guest editor, and Member editorial board for different research journals (including Materials and Manufacturing Processes, Journal of Elastomers and Plastics, the Journal of Engineering Research, American Journal of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering).

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Ramanathan Arunachalam Sultan Qaboos University Orcid 16x16

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I earned my PhD from the National University of Singapore in 2005 and since then teaching and doing research at various capacities. I teach courses related to Manufacturing and Materials Engineering and interested in using active learning techniques in my courses. My research interest is in materials and manufacturing Engineering

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Sayyad Basim Qamar Texas A&M University

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Sayyad Basim Qamar is a PhD student at the Materials Science & Engineering department at Texas A&M University. He holds a Master's degree in Mechanical Engineering from Masdar Institute of Science & Technology and a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from Sultan Qaboos University. He has published conference and journal papers in the fields of renewable energy, materials and manufacturing.

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Engineering can be broadly defined as the application of scientific principles to the design and manufacture of useful products. Product complexity is increasing due to rapid advancements in engineering and technology, and continued induction of innovative techniques and products. Key skills required for successful engineering today include the ability to solve complex and open-ended problems, and independent and critical thinking. Critical thinking (CT) can be described as objective analysis and evaluation of an issue in order to form a judgement. Unfortunately, engineering educators generally find it difficult to foster critical thinking among their students. This work-in-progress paper describes a strategy to inculcate critical thinking ability in engineering graduates. Examples are taken from two core courses in the Materials and Manufacturing stream.

Several critical thinking models were explored, such as Gibbs’ reflective cycle model, Facione’s model, Kronholm model, and King and Kitchener’s model. Paul and Elder’s (P-E) model for critical thinking was found to be more suited for engineering. P-E model provides a good basis for the way in which engineers think, and is especially suited for CT as it targets issues such as creativity, design development, and professional and ethical issues. Learning objectives for the Materials Science and Manufacturing Processes courses were revised to incorporate CT elements. Instructional strategy (especially discussion and interactive sessions) was modified to include CT aspects. Assessment plans were amended to address the revised course learning objectives. Relevant assessment rubrics were revised to include CT features, wherever needed. This paradigm, targeting learning experiences related to critical thinking, can also be applied to other engineering, science, and non-science courses.

Qamar, S. Z., & Arunachalam, R., & Qamar, S. B. (2021, July), A Critical Thinking Paradigm for Materials and Manufacturing Education Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36572

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