June 18, 2006
June 18, 2006
June 21, 2006
Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies
11.40.1 - 11.40.11
A Development Framework for Hands-On Laboratory Modules in Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS)
Many of the most popular and advanced consumer products in recent years reveal a strong trend toward engineering more functionality in smaller dimensional scale. Examples of technology areas include wireless communication, portable audio, and digital video. Accelerometers in laptop computers, pressure sensors inside automobile tires, and micromirrors for wide-area video displays are some specific transducers that show how microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) are growing more ubiquitous in engineered systems. Other common examples include disk read/write heads, inkjet printing nozzles, and bio-analysis chips.1,2 Such devices add relatively little cost to engineered products, yet contribute dramatic benefits in safety, speed, reliability, and functional performance. MEMS enable new products using much less spatial volume and lower material consumption that the sensors and actuators from decades ago, and furthermore serve as an enabling bridge for the growing commitment to nanotechnology3. Multidisciplinary engineering education in MEMS is therefore essential for keeping pace with the needs and trends of modern technology.
There is a need for more enriching opportunities in MEMS education, but significant barriers and constraints limit the ways in which hands-on education is accessible to a broad learning audience. Although most engineering schools and colleges are now and may continue to be organized primarily under traditional “compartmentalized” disciplines, innovations in pedagogy and collaboration help spread MEMS and other contemporary technologies to widening audiences. However, in addition to the multidisciplinary nature of hands-on MEMS there is a very practical and fundamental problem that few universities nationwide are able to offer hands-on experience in microfabrication at the undergraduate level. So in addition to pedagogical and teamwork challenges are the often prohibitive obstacles of facilities and cost.
The most perceptible goal of the authors’ present work in MEMS education is to develop an undergraduate hands-on course in MEMS, with a variety of modules to reflect a representative set of the many different applications and technologies involved. This course development project will be manifested as an interdepartmentally cross-listed course, developed in detail by the authors throughout the 2005-2006 academic year. Processing steps and some design variants will be practiced in with the help of student assistants, and the course will be offered in Fall 2006. Beyond the obvious goal of the course is a firm commitment to very active interdepartmental collaboration. In addition, we also place dedicated emphasis on empowering students with open- ended MEMS experiments that can be conducted even with limited resources.
This paper presents work-in-progress in terms of a framework that we have structured to support effective joint development among faculty from different engineering backgrounds, spanning mechanical engineering (ME), electrical engineering (EE), and materials engineering (MatE). The framework is organized in short instructional modules designed to span not only major
Lee, J., & Gleixner, S., & Hsu, T., & Parent, D. (2006, June), A Development Framework For Hands On Laboratory Modules In Microelectromechanical Systems (Mems) Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--1377
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