Materials Education Symposia - Home


2018 Posters
9th North American Materials Education Symposium

Poster Session

Once accepted:

  1. The posters should be a maximum size of A0 (841mm x 1189mm or 33.1in x 46.8in).
  2. Portrait mode is preferred (as opposed to landscape mode).
  3. We will have the backing boards and the poster pins, so all that people will need to supply is the poster itself.

Confirmed poster presenters

Speaker Affiliation Topic
1 Kim Grady Edmonds Community College Micro Learning Techniques to Sustain and Retain Materials Technology Concepts
2 Amir Saeidi University of California Irvine Can adding discussion-only active learning increase student learning in materials science class?
3 Catherine Tiner University of Arkansas at Fayetteville Adopt-A-Material
4 Hui Shen Ohio Northern University OH A Term Project for Materials Science Course
5 Hannah Melia Education Team, Granta Design Playing with Phase Diagrams
6 John Long Deakin University Design and Project-Based Materials Education in On-campus and Online Cohorts
7 John Morral The Ohio State University A New Way of Teaching Engineers How to Read Phase Diagrams
8 John Nychka University of Alberta Snap to it: Co-constructing Hands-on Learning Experiences with Brittle Materials
9 Kaitlin Tyler University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Investigating the effect of curriculum on gender-minority outreach camp outcomes
10 Lan Li Boise State University Increasing Computational Modeling across Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) Curriculum
11 Matthew Karls University of Michigan Curricular Design Processes for Enabling Meaningful Student Choices in Laboratory Courses
12 Luca Masi Education Team, Granta Design Advanced Industrial Case Studies for CES EduPacks
13 Melissa Gordon Lafayette College Learning from Failure: Examining Famous Engineering Disasters in an Intro Material Science Course
14 Robert Prins James Madison University Implementation of Course-Embedded Research in a Course that Introduces Materials Science
15 Ahron Wayne Lawrence Technological University FABulous club: Training Biomedical Engineering Students with Rapid Prototyping techniques
16 Jennifer Irvin Texas State University Incorporation of Entrepreneurship as a Formal Component of Materials Science and Engineering Education
17 Brian Love University of Michigan Teaching materials from a systems perspective: Biomaterials
18 Bridget Ogwezi Education Team, Granta Design The Products Materials and Processes Database: a product-centered platform for engineering and design students

Poster Abstracts

Micro Learning Techniques to Sustain and Retain Materials Technology Concepts

Kim Grady, Edmonds Community College

Additional Authors & Affiliations: Mel Cossette, Principal Investigator and Executive Director, MatEdU NSF ATE Center Materials Tech

Microlearning is relatively new to education, but the concept has been used in many contexts, including advertising, for years. Its benefits in education are being realized as our classrooms and audiences are filled with millenials. Why is this important… millennials are bombarded by information, they need a way to capture the important, relevant, and lasting information for learning; microlearning fills that need. Microlearning is basically an approach of key content delivery and capture in small, dynamic, focused units. Learning “nuggets” (often 3-5 minutes long or shorter) are designed to meet a specific learning outcome and are typically in media rich formats. Microlearning also meets requirements for delivery over multiple devices. The session outlines the key components of microlearning-based content design and delivery. Real life examples are used to demonstrate the concepts of content delivery. Design secrets and how to take advantage of microlearning techniques for Materials in STEM content delivery are demonstrated. The presenter is an Instructional Technologist with 25 years experience designing and developing learning for Advanced Technological Education programs and advanced technology industry training across the U.S.

Can adding discussion-only active learning increase student learning in materials science class?

Amir Saeidi, University of California Irvine

Using worksheets, we implemented active learning in the discussion sessions of an "introduction to materials science" classroom with 172 students. To see the effect of active learning, we had a control group in which an instructor solved the problems on the board for the students. We also used the Jones et. al (2010) survey to evaluate and compare two groups' interest in engineering. Our results show that students in active learning classes didn't perform better than traditional class students, however, based on the interest survey results they show higher attainment value and identify more with engineering.


Catherine Tiner, University of Arkansas at Fayetteville

Students have a natural curiosity about the materials around them. Materials offer context to engage disinterested students as showing the link between Materials and Science provide relevancy to their everyday lives. This allows students to stir their interest in the subject and creates in incentive to learn. However, due to our rigorous education system, students tend to end up with a rush to the finish line mentality. Students aren’t allowed time to process what is in front of them before having to switch mindsets. To alleviate this mindset, we have allowed students to Adopt-A-Material. We have found large success in our Adopt-A-Material project as the idea opens student’s eyes to new possibilities while simultaneity allowing them to get creative. We advise students to pick a material that is relevant to them, since studying a material a student is passionate about leads to greater results. Students left our class with a greater appreciation of Materials Science while we left a positive impact on their lives.

A Term Project for Materials Science Course

Hui Shen, Ohio Northern University OH

To help students engage in the Material Science class, a comprehensive term-long project was developed. Students selected materials with certain dimensions for five major components of the airframe used for SAE Aero Design Competition. The project includes three steps: 1) Material selection was based on mechanics calculation of the material properties from online database to satisfy design constraints. Then design criteria were used to decide the best option using decision matrix. 2) Testing of the mechanical properties of selected materials. The material selections were verified and modified based on the test results. 3) Bending test of the selected component and presentation of the project. From this project-based learning experience, students not only learned the theory, but also gained hands-on experiences. While the project was group work, all students contributed to the work based on their own strength. Within each group, leadership roles were rotated among group members for different task. A few assessments were implemented including memos on labs and material selection calculations, formal final project report, presentation, teamwork evaluations, and a survey.

Playing with Phase Diagrams

Hannah Melia, Education Team, Granta Design

As part of the Materials Science and Engineering Package, that supports Introductory level materials teaching, the interactive Phase Diagram tool supports student learning on:

  • The vocabulary of phase diagrams
  • The Phases present in key systems
  • What happens as different compositions cool
  • How the Lever Rule works
This is supplemented by a teach-yourself Phase Diagrams booklet and 11 other static Phase Diagrams, which are linked to related elements and materials. The MS&E Package is now available for everyone with CES EduPack 2018 to use.

Design and Project-Based Materials Education in On-campus and Online Cohorts

John Long, Deakin University

Education in materials science and engineering is an important component in any baccalaureate engineering program. For over 25 years, Deakin University in Australia, has delivered an accredited Bachelor of Engineering program both on-campus and online, with up to a third of the student body being off-campus. In this program, there are four materials courses, one in each year level. Materials and manufacturing-process selection are a key component in each of them. In recent years, the program curriculum has shifted its focus from the more traditional education methods of lecture, tutorial, and lab to active learning that revolves around design projects. We present our methods for teaching materials simultaneously to on-campus and online cohorts. The off-campus pedagogy has shifted over the years from textbooks and study guides to video presentations, online tutorials, and course websites. For both cohorts, learning outcomes are the same, with very similar average grade distributions.

A New Way of Teaching Engineers How to Read Phase Diagrams

John Morral, The Ohio State University

Engineers wanting to improve the properties of parts by heat treatment have new tools to optimize process variables. These tools are especially valuable when dealing with complex alloys like stainless steels, superalloys and high entropy alloys. The tools are computer programs that can, among other things, predict muliticomponent phase diagrams. However most Engineers, even those with degrees in Materials Engineering, have little or no experience reading diagrams for three or more components. In Phase Diagrams in Metallurgy (1956), the objective of F.N. Rhines was to teach Engineers how to read phase diagrams. That is the objective here, although the approach is somewhat different. Whereas Rhines began with 3-D models, this presentation begins with 2-D computer predicted diagram sections. It will show how to quickly identify three key features on such diagrams. Then practical examples will be given of applications to annealing, solutionizing, age-hardening, and carburizing heat treatments.

Snap to it: Co-constructing Hands-on Learning Experiences with Brittle Materials

John Nychka, University of Alberta

Additional Authors & Affiliations: Kallie Heniuk (Undergraduate Student), and Caitlin M. Guzzo (MSc Student); University of Alberta

When students come to you and inform you that they want to learn about “ceramics” you might think to suggest they take a course, read your favourite textbook on the subject, recommend some papers or standards, tell an anecdote, or burst into a didactic diatribe about all the “fundamentals” and “exceptions” about ceramic materials–you may revert to teacher mode. However, we argue that you should do something different–get your rhetoric-infused impulses in check and start asking questions about what the students really want to learn, and then co-construct an experiential learning experience to allow for deeper and self-directed learning. The shift from the didactic approach to the coaching/facilitating approach has a profound influence on a student’s ability to self-direct their own learning, and learn about their learning from a meta-cognitive perspective. The learning objective of this project was to co-construct an experiential learning opportunity to span the entire materials paradigm: from processing to structure to property to performance. Through discussion, co-construction, and iterations, various learning outcomes were identified. Ceramic materials fundamentals were core to the students’ desired learning (e.g., inherent defect populations for different manufacturing and surface finishing techniques, probabilistic/statistical fracture, and the effects of stress state on modulus of rupture). A procedure for the preparation of low cost ceramic bars (i.e., calcium sulfate-based ceramic bars; plaster of Paris) was developed through iteration. The bars were surface ground, with different grit sizes, on their tensile faces prior to mechanical bend testing using a modified tabletop universal testing machine. The project informed practices, protocols, and data analysis techniques required to develop a hands-on laboratory experience to demonstrate major concepts of stress-state and flaw-dependent statistical strength of ceramics in a self-directed context. Learning gains were identified through learner reflection and discussions.

Investigating the effect of curriculum on gender-minority outreach camp outcomes

Kaitlin Tyler, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Outreach summer camps, particularly those focused on increasing the number of women in engineering, are commonplace. Material science focused camps are popular due to the widespread applications associated with the field. Unfortunately, because of this large scope, camps are often forced to pick and choose what topics are covered. This lack of cohesion within the camp content can lead to participant confusion, which could be misinterpreted as a fundamental lack of engineering understanding. Because of this, we have implemented a weeklong summer camp curriculum composed of a design project and 14 materials science topics together using the materials science tetrahedron paradigm as a framework. While this restructuring on the surface looks promising, very little has been determined regarding the effect curriculum has on participants’ opinion of engineering after camp. To understand the connection between outreach curriculum and engineering self-confidence among high school women, we studied outreach camps that varied in how design was incorporated into their structure. We chose to study a design-focused camp, a design-absent camp, and a design-incorporated camp (run by the authors). Initial results from pre-post surveys with the participants indicate that design-incorporated camp increased the participants’ desire to be an engineer while design-absent camp decreased their participants’ desire to be an engineer. Similar opposing trends were observed for the participants’ perception that engineering is interesting and their desire to apply to engineering programs in college. All three changes were statistically significant. Additionally, the design-incorporated and design-focused camps both increased the participants’ confidence in conducting engineering design. With these results, we hope to continue this study to gather more insight and improve the overall understanding of outreach curriculum and its effect on engineering perceptions.

Increasing Computational Modeling across Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) Curriculum

Lan Li, Boise State University

For the past three years, we have developed and implemented 19 computational modeling modules in 8 undergraduate and graduate MSE courses. Each course is scheduled 2-4 modeling classes. Prior to each course, students watch short computational modeling lecture videos, read textbook chapters, and complete reading homework. In the class, the instructor demonstrates how to solve various MSE problems related to the course topics using computational modeling tools and guide the students to use the tools. Homework and mini projects are also designed for the students to practice with the tools out of the class. Different sets of survey questions have been applied to different courses where the modules are used. According to the survey results, generally the modules could increase student awareness and interest of computation. A majority of students found that the computational modeling tools were useful. However, fewer students showed their interest in further studying computational modeling. The poster will share our three-year experience of developing and teaching the computational modeling modules for MSE courses.

Curricular Design Processes for Enabling Meaningful Student Choices in Laboratory Courses

Matthew Karls, University of Michigan

In traditional cookbook labs students follow prescribed procedures that lead them to “correct” answers, reducing their motivation and hindering their development of experimental design skills. We have developed a generalizable process for creating advanced lab curriculum that enables students to make meaningful decisions and explore topics of personal interest within the structure of the class. This process relies on synergy between the perspective of advanced undergraduate students and the pedagogical content knowledge of the instructors. Preliminary results suggest that curriculum developed in this manner elevates students’ engagement, promotes design skills, and improves diversity and individualization of student experiences.

Advanced Industrial Case Studies for CES EduPack

Luca Masi, Education Team, Granta Design

Many engineering courses and higher education programmes relate to knowledge and understanding about materials and their properties. It is easy to see that current and interesting topics can be used to engage students using realistic cases. The more realistic the case study, the better it is. By revisiting the materials options available to the designers of interesting products, we seek to understand the pros and cons of these options and their consequences.

CES EduPack provides, not only, a rational and systematic approach to materials selection, but also has useful eco/sustainability data and tools for green engineering and eco design. These will be essential for the purposes of teaching and training the work force of the future. The available databases enable informed materials-related decisions in many specialized areas.

In this poster, we showcase some advanced industrial case studies available to educators with CES EduPack licenses. For example:

  • Aerospace: Space shuttle fuel tanks and Mars lander
  • Consumer electronics: Tablet devices
  • Biomaterials: Polymer implants and bioglass scaffolds
  • Transportation: Truck trailer and automotive lightweighting
  • Sport & Leisure: Skateboard design
Some of these case studies have already been translated into other languages, or, been simplified for earlier years of study (Level 2).

Learning from Failure: Examining Famous Engineering Disasters in an Intro Material Science Course

Melissa Gordon, Lafayette College

In a one-semester introductory course in material science, first-year undergraduates study the role of structure and processing on the performance of materials, and discuss causes of material failure. Through an end-of-semester project, students are asked to explore a famous engineering failure in detail. Students are tasked with identifying the technical, ethical and economic implications of their chosen disaster. This project enables students to fully realize the significance of their coursework by applying course material to real-world situations. In addition to a group written report, students also present their findings as a press conference. Students describe their selected failure from the viewpoint of company officials who must face the public after the disaster has happened. They work in teams to devise a way to creatively relay the details of the failure to the ‘press’ (their peers) such that their company can maintain its image, while fully explaining the technical aspect of the failure. Overall, from a student perspective, the project was one of the highlights of the course, as indicated on course evaluations and informal feedback forms. Moreover, student feedback indicated that the project facilitated their understanding of how course material relates to real-world situations while gaining proficiency in conveying technical information in written and oral form. This presentation will discuss learning objectives and outcomes as well as project implementation and assessment.

Implementation of Course-Embedded Research in a Course that Introduces Materials Science

Robert Prins, James Madison University

A course-embedded research project was implemented in a junior-level Engineering course that includes an introduction to Materials Science. The research project is intended to highlight the overarching theme that the processing, structure, and properties of a material are related. The research project provides students with an opportunity to apply skills learned in laboratory sessions in order to extend and reinforce knowledge learned in the course. Four person student teams were tasked with development of proposals that build off of material learned in class and result in a planned investigation of a selected steel from the standpoint of process, structure, and properties. Teams were instructed to implement their plan and share their results via a poster including such elements as figures to help describe processes applied, micrographs to show structure, and a description of resulting mechanical properties. Two consultation sessions were provided to guide the students through the research process. The first consultation session focused on review of the proposal, the second focused on what archival data from handbooks or technical articles could be used to contextualize their processes and/or predict their results. The final deliverable was a poster presentation; teams were instructed to present four elements: an overview of the research, processes applied, resulting structure, and resulting mechanical properties. Each team member was responsible for presentation of one element, assignment of elements to team members was determined at the time of presentation. After the presentations were concluded, students were surveyed to provide their feedback on the research project. This poster will provide additional details related to aspects of the course that prepare students for the research project, linkage between course content and student-determined research direction, and discussion of student feedback.

FABulous club: Training Biomedical Engineering Students with Rapid Prototyping techniques

Ahron Wayne, Lawrence Technological University

In recent years, commercial rapid prototyping techniques such as laser cutting, 3D printing, and CNC routing have become affordable and available for individuals and organizations on a budget. In an effort to encourage use of these technologies in the Biomedical Engineering (BME) Department at Lawrence Technological University, a FABulous club has been established that aims to provide students hands-on training with various rapid prototyping tools in the BME Department so they can use them in their coursework, research and design projects. In addition to playing an integral role in graduate and senior projects, artistic applications of these types of equipment have been made available to, and benefited, the community at large. We are also expanding the training to include some other material processing equipment and facilities, including an environmental scanning electron microscope, bioprinter, and cleanroom photolithography tools.

The Products Materials and Processes Database, a product-centered platform for engineering and design students

Bridget Ogwezi, Education Team, Granta Design

The Products Materials and Processes (PMP) database is product-centered, but unlike most other such databases, it also contains high-quality data for materials and processes, and profiles of designers and manufacturers. To build it we contacted over 200 designers for help in populating the database with products that use materials in innovative ways. Well-designed products provide both function and satisfaction. Materials and processes play a key role in achieving both. This project describes a computer-based platform to engage students of both Engineering and Design in learning about materials. Knowledge of materials and manufacturing processes are essential for any such student; whether they are designing the must-have consumer product or the latest high-tech mechanical component. This is a visually inspiring, interactive database that provides information on how and from what products are made.

Teaching materials from a systems perspective: Biomaterials

Brian Love, University of Michigan

In the last year, I published a textbook aimed at senior/graduate students at the junction between materials science and biomedical engineering. The rationale for new pedagogical content is threefold: First is that many treatments are presented as a historical evolution without much thought about current gaps, Second is there are few offerings that look more like reference books as opposed to something one could teach from, and third, its ideal when there are only a few authors who can help to maintain a uniformity to the content. The book (Biomaterials, a Systems Approach to Engineering Concepts, ISBN 978-0-12-809478-5 through Elsevier) contains content in biologically expressed structures as materials and tissue, synthetics, and a third section addressing specific clinical disciplines. It contains problems, examples, and presentations of technological gaps large enough to be worked on in the future.

Incorporation of Entrepreneurship as a Formal Component of Materials Science and Engineering Education

Jennifer Irvin, Texas State University

Texas State University has created a cutting-edge materials science and engineering infrastructure that contributes to research, development, and validation of materials to be used in the next generation of electronics, medicines, plastics, sensors, and renewable energy. In addition, these academic and research capabilities are being supported by an institutional ‘top-to bottom’ commercialization platform. Coupled with traditional materials science and engineering coursework, the entrepreneurship curriculum infuses an understanding of intellectual property law, business-planning skills, knowledge to transform innovations from the lab to commercial production, and the ability to organize and lead interdisciplinary research teams. Therefore, our goal is to educate doctoral-trained scientists and engineers to perform interdisciplinary research and to serve as effective entrepreneurial leaders in the advancement of global innovation. Five years into the program, we have strong evidence of success of the entrepreneurial component, with multiple awards at international collegiate business plan competitions, several patent applications filed, and several student-founded businesses at various stages of commercial viability.