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Smart Materials: Teaching Approaches For Understanding And Evaluating Mechanical Properties And Microstructures

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

TIME 8: Materials, MEMS, and Nano

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.1101.1 - 9.1101.9

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Paper Authors

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sudhakar vadiraja

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Hector Cervantes

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

Session # 3566


K.V. Sudhakar, Hector Cervantes

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Universidad de las Americas-Puebla, Santa Catarina Martir, Puebla 72820, Mexico


This paper discusses some of the specific teaching methods and supplemental experimental methodologies for learning smart materials. This course is introduced as an elective for mechanical engineering undergraduate students who want to pursue careers in the professional research areas of materials engineering/smart materials/biomedical engineering. Teaching tools discussed in this paper include; competency based curriculum, discussion based model approach, and lecture quiz approach. This course is basically a combination of developed and redesigned course on smart materials for which the course objectives, course methodologies and learning objectives are also discussed. The specific experimental procedures for carrying out the mechanical tests and microstructure analysis are introduced. The basic objective of these supplemental experiments is to give students the hands-on experience. More importantly, considerable emphasis is given for improving students’ learning skills and creative thinking by having small group discussions and frequent quizzes on laboratory exercises. The direct benefits of experimental exercises to materials science/mechanical engineering education have been discussed. Detailed course assessment for evaluating students’ performance as well as for determining the effectiveness of the course is also discussed. These assessments help in regularly monitoring the course and then modify/improve the course as and when required.

Keywords: Teaching tools; Smart material; Laboratory experimental methods; Mechanical testing and microstructure; Engineering education; Methods of course assessment.

1. Introduction

The typical undergraduate mechanical engineering curriculum has a basic course in materials science that deals with topics like atomic bonding/structure, heat treatment, mechanical testing, and microstructure analysis in various materials viz., metals and alloys, polymers, ceramics, composites and others. However, there is an important need for mechanical engineering

“Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering"

vadiraja, S., & Cervantes, H. (2004, June), Smart Materials: Teaching Approaches For Understanding And Evaluating Mechanical Properties And Microstructures Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah.

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