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June 22, 2020
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This paper presents an accelerated applied learning approach for fabrication of a MEMS (MicroElectroMechanical Systems) 5x5 pressure sensor array by an undergraduate student. A potential application of this device would be in microfluidic lab-on-a-chip devices where pressure sensing is required at various locations of the microfluidic channels. The microfabrication processes required for producing such devices usually require essential knowledge in different areas of mechanical, electrical and chemical engineering, and these skills may not be possible to be achieved with traditional learning cycles. In addition, these emerging processes are usually taught to graduate students who have already mastered the fundamentals of engineering. In this research, the instructor of the course designed an accelerated approach to get the undergraduate student up to speed in this field in a short amount of time. The idea behind this research was to find the most efficient way of microfabrication learning within an academic semester rather than developing a device. The mechanical engineering undergraduate student received help from two resources. First, the instructor of the course, who helped the student in the device ideation, design, fabrication process flow, and other areas where needed. Second, the lab assistant, a senior student with hands-on microfabrication course experience who provided the undergraduate student with help in fabricating the device in the clean room. The undergraduate student compiled his experiences as a portion of discussion for the applied learning results. The effectiveness of the proposed teaching method was assessed by various resources, including undergraduate student assessment, lab assistant assessment considered as a peer review, and instructor self-evaluation. In addition, the results of the microfabrication was separately assessed and considered as the major assessment of teaching effectiveness. The device was evaluated for its reliability using an optical microscope and showed that the major design configurations were successfully fabricated. This hands-on approach was found to be an efficient accelerated learning cycle when an undergraduate student is required to gain knowledge in certain nontraditional areas.
Bailey, A. B., & Michelson, T. S., & Rashidi, R. (2020, June), An Undergraduate Hands-on Approach to Microfabrication Applied Learning Towards Developing a Silicon-based Microfluidic Pressure Sensor Array Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34143
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