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Creating a Minor in Materials for Engineering Technology Students

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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

Advances in Materials Education

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Barry Dupen Purdue University Fort Wayne

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Dr. Dupen is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering Technology at Purdue University Fort Wayne (PFW). He has nine years’ experience as a metallurgist, materials engineer, and materials laboratory manager in the automotive industry. His primary interests lie in materials engineering, mechanics, and engineering technology education. He is also an experienced contra dance caller.

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_______ University is located near a concentration of manufacturing industries, including automotive parts manufacturers, orthopedic implant manufacturers, medical tool manufacturers, copper wire mills, and steel minimills. Knowledge of engineering materials is critical for engineers working in these industries, so in 2015 the university's chancellor became interested in starting a materials program. Academic departments were asked to provide information and recommendations. As a metallurgist, I prepared a short report outlining five possible programs which could be created to satisfy industry's needs: ● A certificate program for materials laboratory technicians. ● A certificate program for practicing engineers. ● A B.S. materials degree. ● An M.S. materials degree. ● An undergraduate minor or double-major in materials.

I attached budget and staffing information, and recommended the least costly option, the minor in materials. Two academic programs developed minors to satisfy the need. The first was physics, which developed a minor in materials science and a concentration in materials science. The minor requires extra classes and is open to any student on campus, while the concentration is part of the B.S. physics degree and requires no additional classes. The second academic program to develop a minor was mechanical engineering technology. The coursework provides the type of materials knowledge necessary for process engineers, manufacturing engineers, and design engineers. In 2017 I submitted paperwork to create a minor in engineering materials, having a different focus from the materials science minor offered in physics. Around this time, the university underwent a major structural change, splitting into two universities. All curriculum changes were put on hold for about a year and a half, during which time the title of the minor was changed to satisfy concerns from another department. The retitled materials engineering technology minor went into effect in fall 2019. This paper discusses the need for a materials minor for engineering technology students, course development, selection of reference books and textbooks, my personal experiences teaching the new courses, student feedback from the new courses, collaboration with the physics and engineering departments, and development of a campus-wide course designator for materials courses in different departments and schools.

Dupen, B. (2021, July), Creating a Minor in Materials for Engineering Technology Students Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36867

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