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Integration Of A Research/Teaching/Entrepreneurship Model At Elizabethtown College

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Teaching Methods for the 21st Century: Part 1

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Page Count


Page Numbers

12.934.1 - 12.934.10



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Paper Authors


Ilan Grave Elizabethtown College

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Ilan Gravé is an Associate Professor of Physics and Engineering at Elizabethtown College. He has been with Elizabethtown College since 2002; previously he taught at the University of Pittsburgh. His varied physics and engineering background includes research and industrial experience in Italy, Israel, and the USA.

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Nat Hager III Elizabethtown College

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Dr. Nathaniel E. Hager III is a research scientist at Elizabethtown College and president of Material Sensing & Instrumentation, a small process-monitoring and sensors business. Dr. Hager has much experience in industrial research and development, has received several Small Business Innovation Research awards on applications of TDR in process monitoring, and has taught undergraduate physics for many years.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Integration of a Research/Teaching/Entrepreneurship Model At Elizabethtown College


In this paper we review an integrated research-teaching-entrepreneurship project at Elizabethtown College, where majors in engineering and business are offered in addition to liberal arts curricula.

The research component involves a continuous monitoring of the free- and bound-water rotation spectrum in hydrating portland cement over the frequency range 10 kHz to 8 GHz from initial mixing to several weeks cure, using broadband Time-Domain-Reflectometry (TDR) Dielectric Spectroscopy and an embedded capacitance sensor. The result is an improved understanding of the hydration process from a molecular dynamics standpoint, and a foundation for using TDR spectroscopy as a powerful tool for investigating the hydration process in cementitious materials.

In addition, the ability to interrogate the sensor in the time domain and extract information from the direct reflected transient can provide a novel and robust cure-monitoring method usable in the field.

The teaching component consists of integrating undergraduate students in this research through individual and team engineering projects that are offered in design and project courses from first to senior year. Some of the projects are offered to vertically integrated engineering teams (i.e., a team composed of first year students, sophomores and juniors); other projects involve interdisciplinary teams with students from engineering, applied physics, chemistry or biology.

This effort sprang from collaboration between the College and a small industrial partner, whose laboratories are located at the College and whose main technical expert offers support for teaching engineering and physics courses as a research scientist. These efforts have additional advantages such as generating collaborations and synergies among technical personnel and faculty.

Future developments may involve the integration of TDR tools with other electrical and optical methods, the TDR measurement of tissue and life science samples in collaboration with the Biology Department, and the integration of a business entrepreneurship component where business students try to market and sell the services and instrumentation generated by these efforts.


In this paper we describe an integrated research-teaching-entrepreneurship project at Elizabethtown College. In our institution, usually deemed a “comprehensive” college, undergraduate curricula in engineering and business are offered in addition to the traditional liberal arts setting.

Grave, I., & Hager III, N. (2007, June), Integration Of A Research/Teaching/Entrepreneurship Model At Elizabethtown College Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2464

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