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Self Paced Laboratory Modules For Engineering Materials And Manufacturing Processes Laboratory Course

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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

Introductory Materials Science for the 21st Century

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

12.1265.1 - 12.1265.8



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Paper Authors


Carolyn Skurla Baylor University

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Carolyn Skurla is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. She received a B.S. in Biomedical Science from Texas A&M University and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Colorado State University. In addition to the freshman engineering course, Dr. Skurla teaches courses in materials engineering, biomaterials, and biomedical engineering. Her research interests are in biomaterials and total joint replacements.

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

Self-Paced Laboratory Modules for Engineering Materials and Manufacturing Processes Laboratory Course


Recently, the number of mechanical engineering majors in our department has risen sharply. While growth is exciting, it has stretched the capacity of our teaching laboratory facilities. One of the greatest challenges is keeping a larger group of students engaged in learning activities during a laboratory exercise that requires students to take turns using a single, major piece of equipment. Another challenge is to the instructor’s ability to grade the greater number of laboratory reports with the same degree of rigor.

In preparation for the Spring 2006 course offering, I solicited and discussed ideas for improvements and changes to the laboratory format with faculty, staff, and students who had previously taken the class. Because of its small size, our machine shop is too small to allow extensive student training on the equipment; however, the students strongly recommended that more hands-on experience with manufacturing methods was needed. They suggested components of laboratory exercises that could be deleted from the formal exercise and converted into self-paced, independent student activities. Our department’s machinist is heavily involved in working with students in the capstone design courses in the second half of each semester; therefore, the assistance of the staff machinist was incorporated into additional self-paced manufacturing exercises during the first half of the semester.

This report describes the steps that were taken to maintain the quality of the hands-on experiences of a greater number of students in a laboratory course with limited laboratory space, a description of the modifications and innovations that were attempted, and a review of which modifications were successful and which require future modification or replacement.


In the second semester of their junior year, our mechanical engineering students take EGR3322 – Mechanical Engineering Materials and Manufacturing Processes (hereafter referred to as Materials), a 3-credit course (i.e., 2 credits lecture / 1 credit laboratory) that is their first upper- division, hands-on laboratory course. ABET outcomes that are specifically addressed in this course include: • a: an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering; • b: an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data; • c: an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs; • e: an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems; • g: an ability to communicate effectively; • j: a knowledge of contemporary issues; • k: an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.

Skurla, C. (2007, June), Self Paced Laboratory Modules For Engineering Materials And Manufacturing Processes Laboratory Course Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2474

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