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Application of Life Cycle Analysis with Systems in an Introductory Materials Course

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Materials Division Poster Session

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

26.222.1 - 26.222.12



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Paper Authors


Craig Johnson P.E. Central Washington University Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Johnson is the coordinator of the MET Program at Central Washington University. He is also the Foundry Educational Foundation Key Professor and coordinates the Cast Metals Program. This will be his second year as the Chair of the Pacific Northwest Section.

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Charles Pringle Central Washington University

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Charles Pringle is a professor in the Mechanical Engineering Technology program at Central Washington University. Pringle teaches upper-division courses, including the senior capstone course.

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Application of materials Life Cycle Analyses (LCA) to structures and systems addressesboth course outcomes, such as ABET 9a, 3i, 3j, and our program objectives. This effortis directed at improving pedagogy in an introductory materials course to meet the abovegoals.The field of LCA is quite mature and has typically been presented in introductorymaterials courses. A typical approach to LCA targets a product or part that features asinge material. LCA is then applied to this material through its lifetime.A new approach was created to apply LCA in our introductory course. It was observedthat students needed guidance to connect a system failure, with a material failure. Sostudents now apply safety and performance ratings to a structure or system while parsingout particular devices and corresponding materials for LCA. The structure/systembecomes a framework for discussion of LCA elements.Student performance was measured by metrics and surveys. An on-going conceptinventory and other metrics were used to assess the effectiveness of this effort. Resultsshowed that students did perform both LCA and rate structural system integrity. Surveyswere directed at student motivation and participation.  

Johnson, C., & Pringle, C. (2015, June), Application of Life Cycle Analysis with Systems in an Introductory Materials Course Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23561

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