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Integrative Multidisciplinary Materials and Mechanics Team Project

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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 Technical Session 2

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

26.1004.1 - 26.1004.17



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Paper Authors


Kyle G. Gipson James Madison University

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Dr. Kyle Gipson is an Assistant Professor at James Madison University (United States) in the Department of Engineering (Madison Engineering) and the Center for Materials Science. He has taught courses pertaining to topics for first-year engineering, materials science and engineering, engineering design, systems thinking and engineering leadership. He has a PhD in Polymer, Fiber Science from Clemson University. His research background is in the synthesis of polymer nanocomposites and engineering education. He was trained as a Manufacturing Process Specialist within the textile industry, which was part of an eleven-year career that spanned textile manufacturing to product development.

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Robert J. Prins James Madison University

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Robert Prins received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Virginia Tech in 2005; he is currently an associate professor in the Department of Engineering at James Madison University
(JMU). Prior to joining JMU, Dr. Prins was a faculty member at Virginia State University. Dr. Prins' industrial experience includes one year as a suspension engineer at Visteon, Inc. and five years as an engineer at Perceptron, Inc., a machine vision company.

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SIGNATURE MULTIDISCIPLINARY MATERIALS & MECHANICS TEAMPROJECTThe X Engineering curriculum is structured with engineering science courses that aremultidisciplinary to provide the students with opportunities to be aware of and tounderstand the interconnectedness of energy, materials, and information. Materials &Mechanics was created to provide students with a working foundation for exploring thegoverning principles of materials science and the mechanics of materials. To facilitate theexploration, the students learn strategies to select appropriate materials within the contextof sustainable engineering design via a project/problem-based learning pedagogyintegrated with in-class instruction and the use of on-line/software supplementalresources. Students also advance their knowledge about loads on physical elements whileperforming hands-on laboratory testing and analysis to determine material properties.Students investigate the following mechanics topics: bending stress (includes coverageof shear and moment diagrams and sectional properties), columns, deflection of beams,and torsion in shafts as well as perform laboratory exercises related to use of computeraided design (CAD) to determine sectional properties, and use of a strain gage in thecalculation of bending stress.    This paper will describe the use of project/problem-based pedagogy in tandem withexperiential learning strategies to engage students in creating their processes andprocedures for discovering viable solutions. The paper will examine the semester long,team-based, experiential, open-ended, and non-directed signature course project thatrequires students to extend the theories and methods learned in the course in order todesign a product. The students investigate selected materials and justify decisions withevidence collected by testing and mechanical analysis. The project acts as thecomprehensive integrator between the mechanics and materials portions of the class.

Gipson, K. G., & Prins, R. J. (2015, June), Integrative Multidisciplinary Materials and Mechanics Team Project Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24341

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