Morgan State University, Baltimore, Maryland
April 7, 2017
April 7, 2017
April 8, 2017
It is generally a challenging task for undergraduate students to deliver meaningful results out of any independent research course within one or two semester time frame. This is due to lack of knowledge, time management, and new learning experience, which is different from traditional lecture style courses. A new research project was proposed at Manhattan College to analyze and study behavior of steel structures subjected to close-range detonations. The study was motivated by the reality that many steel structures are exposed to public spaces and the protection of these structures against close-range blast effects is a major concern to engineers and facility owners, while no building code requirements or procedures are present at the moment. The blast analysis involves both highly non-linear finite element analysis based on solid mechanics and computational fluid dynamics. The theoretical backgrounds of the analysis are mathematically intense and require knowledges from several graduate level courses.
To engage undergraduate students in a highly technical and theoretical research project, a new pedagogy is needed; a guided learning component shall be more utilized than an independent learning component in the undergraduate research. In this work, discussions are provided about how a one-semester undergraduate-level independent study course at Manhattan College was used to successfully perform the research; and how undergraduate students were able to learn the fundamentals of highly technical theories to run finite element software and to perform various parametric studies of numerical simulations within a relatively short time period. Careful planning and multiple steps taken for this research course before, during, and after the semester are discussed. Some technical findings by students in collaboration with the instructors are included. This research course provided a new learning experience to undergraduate students, and opportunities for instructors to expand the research with the aid of the students.
Kim, Y., & Florio, S., & Wang, Q. (2017, April), Undergraduate Student Research in Blast Simulation of Wide Flange Steel Columns Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Mid Atlantic Section Spring Conference, Morgan State University, Baltimore, Maryland. https://peer.asee.org/29268
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