Asee peer logo

Integration Of Research And Industrial Practice In An Undergraduate Materials Processing Course

Download Paper |


1996 Annual Conference


Washington, District of Columbia

Publication Date

June 23, 1996

Start Date

June 23, 1996

End Date

June 26, 1996



Page Count


Page Numbers

1.272.1 - 1.272.5

Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Raj Mutharasan

author page

Alan Lawley

Download Paper |

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

I .— - ----- .. Session 1626 ‘

—. . ..- Integration of Research and Industrial Practice in an Undergraduate Materials Processing Course Raj Mutharasan and Alan Lawley Drexel University


In light of the existing educational climate in materials, and with support from a new NSF initiative, the authors have developed a two-course sequence on ‘Advanced Materials Processing’. The thrust of the NSF initiative is to combine completed or mature research””iith curriculum development in technological areas of national importance, with the objective of stimulating heightened educational involvement of faculty researchers. The research performed by the authors has been primarily in the generic area of processing with emphasis on clean metals technology, gas injection processes, melt atomization, spray casting, and powder processing. The two-term course sequence under development utilizes the results of this research as a foundation.The overall scope of this NSF-funded Combined Research and Curriculum Development program is to transfer the results of rcccnt and on- going research into the undergraduate curriculum. Research carried out by the authors in the areas of clean metal technology. gas- injection processes, melt atomization, spray forming, and powder processing has been combined with a relevant introduction to rate processes in two upper class electives. The concurrent exposure to research results and industrial practice in the five areas cited is expected to spawn increased student interest in this important area of materials technology. Unique characteristics of our approach am the integration of engineering science , design and operation of these processes, together with process economics and engineering practice, About one-fifth of the course, consisting of engineering practice and economics, was taught by industrial practitioners and personnel from national laboratories.

Evaluation consisted of questionnaires distributed at the end of the course and informal discussions conducted by the (caching Iaculty on a regular basis. Almost all students said that they enjoyed the multiple instructors and especially the industrial lecturers. The students expressed the view that the lecturers brought to the class room the practical aspect of the technology and a beneficial non-academic point of view.


Materials synthesis and the development of processing systems for their manufacture are considered important areas which impact on the health of the US economy.(l) There is consensus that the nation’s research base in materials must be enhanced in order to insure the availability of new materials and a pool of creative people to strengthen the competitive position of US industry beyond this century. One approach is to expose undergraduate science and engineering students to recent research carried out in the domain of materials and with a particular focus on processing.

Course Development: Goals and Approach

Our primary goal is to integrate the science and practice of technology, in the present case materials, in a two- quarter course in a modular form aimed at upper class students. To enhance the learning experience, the course topics are introduced from a practical point of view followed by an in-depth consideration of the associated fundamental engineering science concepts, both qualitative and quantitative. Starting with a description of the process, questions such as how processes are designed are raised. The course includes process systems design and operation as integral components. Process operation and the constraints and realities of the industrial world are presented by industrial lecturers who ire hands-on practitioners in the

$!iii’ 1996 ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings ) ‘..,,~yy’$’ .

Mutharasan, R., & Lawley, A. (1996, June), Integration Of Research And Industrial Practice In An Undergraduate Materials Processing Course Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia.

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 1996 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015