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Writing A Book On The Role Of Materials Science In Manufacturing For Instruction And Research: Lessons Learned

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Materials Education Perspectives

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Page Count


Page Numbers

13.1412.1 - 13.1412.12



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Paper Authors

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Rajiv Asthana University of Wisconsin-Stout

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

Writing a Book on the Role of Materials Science in Manufacturing for Instruction and Research: Lessons Learned


In 2006, the author and two colleagues published a materials science book that tried to integrate basic elements of processing science and manufacturing technology from a materials scientist’s viewpoint. The book project essentially evolved as a scholarly experiment designed to 1) address opportunities and challenges faced over a decade of instructing students from diverse disciplines, and 2) create a cross-over instructional resource that emphasized the solid role of materials science in manufacturing for use chiefly by students of engineering studying manufacturing processes and materials science. The goal was to prepare an educational resource to supplement formal instruction that offered deeper, stand-alone coverage of selected processing topics than elementary textbooks that incorporate broader but shallower surveys arranged in an evolutionary pattern to establish the foundation of a class. The paper describes the author’s own experiences in writing the book and addresses broader lessons learned.


The World Wide Web and public libraries are replete with wonderful resources on how to write a book. The abundance of accumulated wisdom of well-published authors enshrined in such resources undeniably is a valuable guide for beginners planning to tread an uncharted territory. This paper has a more modest goal: it describes the author’s own first experience in writing a book on materials[1]. The paper does not provide metric or learning outcomes to assess the book’s usefulness as a student resource; neither does it purport to promote and market the book in a community of scholars. The author’s intent is simply to share the academic experiences and broader lessons learned in writing a book to aid the efforts of colleagues who envision undertaking similar scholarly endeavors for the first time.

Background and Motivation

In his first formal teaching experience beginning in 1995 as a faculty member at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, the author encountered a recurring challenge in teaching materials courses concurrently to two distinct groups: one with students then in barely a year old B.S. degree program in manufacturing engineering, and the other with students from non-technical majors that, for the most part, also took many of the same classes. The widely different background knowledge and skills of studentsi, and their diverse career aspirations demanded an approach to teaching materials and processes courses that was relevant to both groups. Both groups needed to be exposed to content balanced between the applied and the theoretical (albeit with a greater

Asthana, R. (2008, June), Writing A Book On The Role Of Materials Science In Manufacturing For Instruction And Research: Lessons Learned Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3871

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: © 2008 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