Materials Education Symposia - Home

2018 Program
10th International Materials Education Symposium

Poster Teaser Session

Symposium Day One: Thursday, April 12

time session
8.00 am Registration, Coffee, and Poster setup
8.45 am Prof. Mike Ashby, Engineering Department, University of Cambridge, UK
Marc Fry, Education Division, Granta Design, UK
Welcome Address
9.00am Session Chairs
Session introductions
9.05 am Prof. Peter Goodhew, University of Liverpool, UK
New model in technology and engineering (NMiTE)
9.25 am Prof. Paloma Fernández Sánchez, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain
Educational use of games versus gamification
9.45 am Marc Fry, Education Division, Granta Design, UK
Poster Teasers
25 x Poster Presenters invited to give a one-minute presentation
10.10 am One-hour Poster Session
11.10 am Jose Ygnacio Pastor, Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, Spain
Materials selection course: a new perspective
11.30 am Mr. Marc Fry, Education Division, Granta Design, UK
Title - TBC
11.50 am Jonas Bansemer, TU Berlin, Germany
Via materialia - a blended learning approach
12.10 pm Dr. Gabriel Cavalli, Queen Mary University of London, UK
Transnational approaches in materials education: far away journeys of self-discovery
12.30 pm Session discussion led by the session chair
12.45 pm Lunch
1:40pm Session Chairs
Session introductions
1.45 pm Prof. Roger Hadgraft, Engineering & Information Technology, University of Technology Sydney, Australia
Title - TBC
2.05 pm Prof. Mike Ashby, Engineering Department, University of Cambridge, UK
Using micro-projects to help personalise teaching
2.25 pm Dr. Yunfeng Shi, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, USA
Interactive materials science learning modules for the gamer generation
2.45 pm Delphine Depuydt, KU Leuven, Belgium
Toolbox for polymer composite materials in high schools: 1-2-3 launch!
3.05 pm Afternoon Tea
3.40 pm Dr. Nuria Salan, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Catalunya
(In)visible talent: women in materials science and engineering
4.00 pm Dr. Noel Rutter, Materials Science & Metallurgy, University of Cambridge, UK
Active game-based learning for skills development
4.20 pm Prof. Lorna Gibson, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
Tree MobsTM: materials science talks for a broader audience
4.40 pm Session discussion led by the session chair
5.05 pm Symposium Award Ceremony
5.15 pm Introduction to the next Symposia, Marc Fry, Education Division, Granta Design, UK
5.30 pm Close and symposium photograph
6.45 pm Symposium Dinner, all attendees welcome (pre-registration required)


Symposium Day Two: Friday, April 13

time session
8.30 am Registration and Coffee
9.00 am Session Chairs
Session Introductions
9.05 am Prof. Ric Parker, Former Director of Research, Rolls-Royce, UK
Advanced materials – flying high
9.25 am Prof. Yves Brechet, University Grenoble Alpes, France
Teaching science to apprentice politicians
9.45 am Prof. Kwangsun Kim, KoreaTech, South Korea
Title - TBC
10.05 am Assoc. Prof. Wolfgang Pantleon, Technical University of Denmark, Denmark
Introduction to cyber materials
10.25 am Coffee
11.00 am Prof. Steffen Ritter, Reutlingen University, Germany
POLYMAN - the materialization of the design rules for injection moulded plastic parts
11.20 am Dr. Peter Hammersberg, Chalmers University, Sweden
Are we losing the fundamental understanding of how to teach variation in material engineering?
11:40 am Prof. Andy Horsewell, Technical University of Denmark, Denmark
Industrial products: materials - processing - microstructure
12:00 pm Dr. Javier Orozco-Messana, Univeristat Politècnica de València, Spain
Learning metallurgy from the Romans
12.20 pm Session discussion led by the session chair
12.45 pm Lunch
  Session Chairs
Session Introductions
1.45 pm Dr. Frederic Veer, TU Delft, The Netherlands
A new type of materials science book for architecture students
2.05 pm Dr. Adrian Lowe, Australian National University, Australia
Teaching materials science to arts students
2.25 pm Michael Budig, Singapore University of Technology and Design, Singapore
Re-imagining wood
2.45 pm Dr. Valentina Rognoli, Politecnico di Milano, Italy
DIY-Materials. An alternative didactic experience for designing materials experiences
3.05 pm Afternoon Tea
3.30 pm Prof. Ming Hu, University of Maryland, USA
Using BIM as an active teaching and learning tool in building material education
3.50 pm Dr. Ben Bridgens, Newcastle University, UK
ENDURE: enabling designers to understand material change
4.10 pm Session discussion led by the session chair
4.30pm Close and survivors photograph

Presentation Abstracts

New model in technology and engineering (NMiTE)

Prof. Peter Goodhew, University of Liverpool, UK

Educational use of games versus gamification

Prof. Paloma Fernández Sánchez, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain

The use of games and game strategies in non-ludic environments is rapidly expanding. In particular is every day more frequent in educational ambients. More and more often, the term gamification appears in the context of educational situations. However, gamify and play are different things, and have different dynamics and moments. Nevertheless both terms are usually mixed, both strategies are mingled and also are confused with those of Project-Based Learning. In this context we will try to clarify the main differences. We will talk about the advantages of playing in the classroom, or how to incorporate games (sometimes called serious games) into the learning process. We will give an overview of different kinds of games and how to include them in different phases of a course: icebreaking, group formation, learning and of course, evaluation.

Keywords: Gamification, project-based learning

Materials Selection Course: a new perspective

Prof. Jose Ygnacio Pastor, Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, Spain

During our years of teaching Materials Selection Courses, we have realized that most of the times the traditional teaching methodology with lectures and “practical classes” using computers and the CES-EduPack program aren´t very stimulating for our students. What is more, most of them do the minimum effort to pass the course without really learning about the matter. Last year, we decided to change completely our methodology in order to improve the learning (and grades) of our Materials Science Master students. The new procedure is based on a project-based learning process, with collaborative work and flipped classroom techniques. This practise tries to involve students deeply, since the beginning of the course, in the development of a competitive Coursework (complete development of a real case). So that, in this course the students have to work in randomly-selected three people teams to conduct a complex Materials Selection project, starting from scratch. The course starts with a general introduction to the methodology and objectives of the course and some basic ideas about Materials Selection. With the provided support material. students have to start to work by themselves to study and learn the main topics on Materials Selection. Later, they have an intensive crash-course on CES-EduPack. At that point, the students have the sound knowledge to start to work with real practical cases. In alternate classes, they have to work on their Coursework and on Practical Problems, which have to be solved step by step without CES-EduPack. These classes are complementary, since the resolution of the Problems base on real practical cases help students with the Coursework, and vice versa. As a result, we realized that our students had a higher level of involvement of than in previous years and developed more challenging and higher quality projects.

Keywords: Materials Selection Course, collaborative work, flipped classroom, project based learning

Title - tbc

Mr. Marc Fry, Education Division, Granta Design, UK


Via Materialia - a blended learning approach

Jonas Bansemer, TU Berlin, Germany

We offer an introductory course on the fundamentals of material sciences for the majority of engineering students at TU Berlin. Faced with a large heterogeneous group of about 600 students per year we struggle to both teach required contents and keep motivation high throughout the course. Furthermore, considering an environment of abundant information, traditional lecturing seemed outdated. The 'Via Materialia' (Virtual Application: Materials Engineering) is our blended learning approach to tackle the shortcomings of a traditional lecture, expected to start in 2018. Here we will promote self-directed learning, facilitate personal feedback and individual progress by turning around the input and “digestion” phases of the learning process. The four key features are the following: first, a computer-game environment where new topics are presented, including Web-Apps that allow the interactive examination of selected contents. Second, a digital organisational structure that allows the students to manage their personal progress and to compile a personalised library. Third, a weekly group session, where students revise and enhance their previously gained knowledge in a mixture of presentations, exercises, and discussions with the professor. Fourth, a lab course complementing the curriculum to directly experience material science in experiments. The knowledge needed to complete the missions of the game is provided not directly, but rather through references to a textbook and guides on how to research relevant literature. This way the autonomous acquisition of knowledge is promoted, allowing for individual paces and paths of learning. In this curriculum students acquire knowledge by guided self-instruction and enhance their knowledge in guided group sessions. The lab courses allow hands-on experience in dedicated experiments. Figuratively speaking, the students “eat” the information at home, and “digest” it in the guided group sessions – contrary to the traditional way of “being fed” knowledge in a lecture and “digesting” it at home alone.

Keywords: blended learning, flipped classroom

Transnational approaches in Materials Education: Far away journeys of self-discovery

Dr. Gabriel Cavalli, Dr. Andy Bushby, Queen Mary University of London, UK

The recent opening of Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) Engineering School (QMES) at Northwestern Polytechnical University (NPU) at Xi’an with 250 students in two programmes in Materials and Polymer Science and Engineering (MPSE) has provided a stimulating setting for transnational education (TNE). QMES offers newly-designed programmes taught by both QMUL and NPU staff combining approaches from both institutions with a serious commitment to student-centred learning (SCL). These programmes, taught entirely in English, incorporate English language and Personal Development Plan (PDP) modules including content designed to support the technical subjects and promote critical thinking. These skills come together in our SCL modules, central to MPSE QMUL programmes. We have mapped the entire curriculum, including the non-technical modules, for continuity and consistency, bridging an extra cultural domain (trans-disciplinary) through curricular design jointly by MPSE academics (QMUL and NPU) and English and PDP teachers. This rich environment has demonstrated to be exciting, productive and challenging in equal measure. Not the least because of the unusual opportunity for the de novo design of a program in MPSE. Interestingly, managing the successful coming together of the diverse national, discipline and institutional cultures of QMUL and NPU has required applying acute awareness of each partner’s own patterns of educational approaches and practices, which, in turn, is informing practice in our own local programmes. This process has made us face and challenge our own preconceptions in the realm of teaching and learning, and navigate unexpected and unusual logistical issues. However, as a consequence, we have become more open-minded educators and better-rounded programme administrators than we were at the outset. We will present a reflective analysis on developing excellence in TNE practice, as well as discuss how to best equip yourself for a TNE journey, based on our experience at QMES.

Keywords: transnational education; curricular design; interdisciplinary design; student-centred learning

Title - TBC

Prof. Roger Hadgraft, Engineering & Information Technology, University of Technology Sydney, Australia

Using micro-projects to help personalise teaching

Prof. Mike Ashby, Engineering Department, University of Cambridge, UK

Interactive Materials Science Learning Modules for the Gamer Generation

Dr. Yunfeng Shi,Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, USA

Introductory materials science course has generally serves as a core-engineering course, mandatory by many non-materials science major curricula. The materials science course generally stands out as more challenging than other introductory core-engineering courses, due to its emphasis on scientific understanding, three-dimensional thinking, a large number of new concepts spanning wide spatial and temporal scales, demands on both comprehension and memorization. The current undergraduate students are growing up playing electronics, a considerable portion of time in interactive electronic games. If materials science problem can be posed as an interactive game, the students will not only participate more enthusiastically, they can master the concept better. We have developed a series of Mathematica-based interactive learning modules that provide material synthesis/characterization/testing environment. Each module features various goals for the students to solve as well as explore freely. These modules have been used by about 500-600 undergraduate students at Rensselaer a year, when they take the introductory materials science course. For example, for the concept of how pair-bond affects material properties (such as the bond strength affects melting point, curvature affects modulus, etc), the students are allowed to adjust the bond length, bond strength, and the curvature of the bond, and see real-time how the density/modulus/thermal expansion coefficient/melting point vary. The objective of the game is to achieve a specific combination of the above material properties, by adjusting the bond. In this way, the memorization of the knowledge point of “deeper energy well leads to high melting point” becomes an experience the students gained by playing the module. We plan to share the developed learning modules freely via Wolfram Demonstration Projects.

Keywords: learning module, interactive, Mathematica, game

Toolbox for polymer composite materials in high schools: 1-2-3 launch!

Delphine Depuydt, K. Hendrickx, E. Thys, M. Verhelst, A. Van Vuure, D. Seveno, KU Leuven, Belgium

Students in high schools have limited knowledge on materials. Few material categories are discussed in the class, resulting in little knowledge about deepening topics like the difference between thermoset and thermoplastic. With the increasing attention to STEM (science-technology-engineering-mathematics), KU Leuven accepted the challenge to increase the scientific awareness of pre-college students. The initiative called InnovationLab, provides toolboxes enabling high schools to efficiently run different STEM projects in the school. Beyond the toolboxes itself, InnovationLab also trains the teachers to transfer the knowledge to their pupils in their classroom. These training days take place at the university, and are taught by researchers in the field. The Composite Materials Group from the Department of Materials Engineering of KU Leuven created one of InnovationLab's projects, which learns students the basics of polymer composites in one afternoon. The main questions are: “which material do you need to produce a catapult lever in order to launch a ping-pong ball as far as possible?” Do you choose a stiff or flexible material? What about the stored energy? Can you predict how far the ball will fly? The students discover different fibres and polymers, while performing tensile and bending tests on simplified setups. After that they produce a composite themselves which is compared to several other composite materials in order to learn about their unique properties. They need to apply their knowledge on chemistry, physics and mathematics in order to solve the questions throughout the workshop. They learn why nothing sticks to Teflon, how they can predict the traveled distance of their ball, and more about precision and accuracy. The project was launched in 2015 and has reached 100 teachers so far, bringing knowledge and fun to thousands of students.

Keywords: Composites, pre-college, toolbox, STEM, catapult

(In)visible talent: women in materials science & engineering

Dr. Nuria Salan, Dr. Didac Ferrer Balas, UPC, Spain

Women have traditionally been a minority in engineering. There are many reasons why more women in engineering would improve the field by adding diversity and talent. This poor visibility of woman is at the same time a constant difficulty to attract young girls in the field, so creating a negative loop. Experts coincide on the fact that the lack of role models is one of the main challenges to overcome. Recently, various people and institutions related to the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya designed an exhibition to create awareness on the topic, called the “L’enginy (In)visible”. Currently, the different panels produced are reservable at the UPC library: any member of the community can borrow it and exhibit it wherever they think that can be of interest. Since it was presented it has had an important success. The field of materials science&engineering (MSE) can be a niche to attract women towards engineering. Generally, there are more women compared to general engineering. Our aim is to deepen in that field of women in materials in a collaborative and international effort, setting up transformative initiatives addressed to educators and stakeholders in the field of material science and engineering. In this workshop, the aim is to co-create an international version of the exhibition “(in)visible talent”, adding information about women in materials engineering that will be collected in the period Oct-Des 2017. Any participant at the workshop will contribute with data collected previously, but also defining the contents to make them the most adapted to user needs. The data will be collected with a questionnaire, with questions like: -When was the first woman graduated in MSE at your university? And in engineering? -Name & contributions from any relevant woman in the field of MSE from your country. The outcome of the workshop will be a real-size prototype of the exhibition, processed later on by the authors adding graphic design to produce an editable digital format. The file will be downloadable by all the participants, so they can add local information from their universities or communities and print a “local” version available at their universities.

Keywords: gender social commitment talent

Active game-based learning for skills development

Dr. Noel Rutter, Materials Science & Metallurgy, University of Cambridge, UK

Materials undergraduates will require a wide range of skills after graduation, well beyond those which are usually taught and assessed in Universities. This presentation explores how broad skills might be developed by embedding them firmly within, rather than alongside the curriculum, and how teaching and assessment methods may need to develop in order that learners acquire the skills and abilities which will be of greatest value to them throughout their lives. One specific example discussed will the extent to which games can significantly impart knowledge and understanding of important materials concepts, while at the same time developing other skills which are not emphasised in the classic lecture/tutorial/examination model.

Tree MobsTM: Materials Science Talks for a Broader Audience

Prof. Lorna Gibson, MIT, USA

Tree MobsTM are short talks on plants, given outdoors in the collection of the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, aimed at the general public. I have used Tree MobsTM as a way to introduce some basic ideas about materials science to a broader audience. In my first talk, on woods used in colonial-era ships, I showed micrographs of woods and explain how their stiffness and strength are related to their density. We meet among the white oaks (used in the hulls) and then walk over to the eastern white pines (used for straight tall masts). In a talk on bulrush leaves, I show micrographs of the sandwich structure of the leaves and describe how a sandwich structure works to produce a stiff, light beam. Finally, in a talk on bamboo parenchyma, I show micrographs of bamboo, with its stiff fibers separated by foam-like parenchyma cells and then describe how we make 3D printed models of just the parenchyma tissue for mechanical testing. Each talk emphasizes structure-property relations in plant materials.

Keywords: broader audience, plants, structure-property relationships

Advanced materials – flying high

Prof. Ric Parker, Former Director of Research, Rolls-Royce, UK

When Frank Whittle built and flew his first jet engine, the available steels for the turbine blade limited the temperature, post-combustion to just over 800°C. In today’s gas-turbine compressor (before the combustor), the temperature is already over 700°C and post combustion the turbine blade must withstand a temperature of over 1700°C. This is enabled by the latest nickel super-alloys, formed as single crystals, coated with advanced ceramics and cooled internally. Throughout the history of the jet engine advances in material engineering have been the key to improved efficiency, increased safety, reduced weight and reduced environmental impact. The advances have not only been in metallics. Composite materials play a significant part in reducing the weight of aircraft and also engines. Composite materials are appearing not just as carbon/polymer composites, but increasingly in the hot-end through the use of Ceramic Matrix Composites, and enabling further weight reduction through Metal Matrix Composites. The speaker will review the advances in material science, materials processing, computational modelling and manufacturing technology which have facilitated these great achievements. Ric Parker will also review the Rolls-Royce collaborative model which takes new technology from the university laboratory to the production centre. This has been ably supported over the years by Cambridge University.

Teaching science to apprentice politicians

Prof. Yves Brechet, University of Grenoble Alpes, France

Title - TBC

Prof. Kwangsun Kim, KoreaTech, South Korea

Introduction to Cyber Materials

Assoc. Prof. Wolfgang Pantleon, Technical University of Denmark, Denmark

In autumn 2016, the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) launched a new education for Bachelors of Science in General Engineering. Annually, 150 students will be enrolled with parity between Danish and International students. In their third term, the students choose between four study lines on Future Energy, Living Systems, Cyber Systems and Cyber Materials. In order to facilitate their decision, an introductory course on Cyber Materials is offered in their second term. This newly established 5 ECTS course is a collaborative effort between the Departments of Mechanical Engineering, Physics and Compute at DTU. In designing the course, diverse demands had to be satisfied: The course is not only mandatory for students selecting Cyber Materials as their study line, it must also provide the required fundamental background for pursuing a Master of Science education in Materials and Manufacturing Engineering at DTU after their B.Sc. Finally, the course is intended to inspire students to engage in the emerging opportunities for materials characterization at the developing Large Scale Facilities in the Øresund region, the MAX IV synchrotron and the European Spallation Source. The course Introduction to Cyber Materials encompasses the traditional curriculum for beginners in Materials Science and Engineering- Restricting the scope to thermodynamic equilibrium allowed incorporation of additional topics as Materials Imaging or Data Analysis and Imaging relevant for Large Scale Facilities into the scope of the course. At the same time, several innovative approaches were implemented for treating Cyber Materials. In view of the later aspect, CES EduPack and, in particular, its Synthesizer Tool is employed for creating virtual materials. An overview will be given about the study line Cyber Materials, the new elements in the course Introduction to Cyber Materials, as well as the experience gained during the first two runs of the course.

Keywords: Cyber Materials, Materials Characterization, Virtual Materials

POLYMAN – the materialization of the design rules for injection moulded plastic parts

Prof. Steffen Ritter, Reutlingen University, Germany

Creating state of the art parts and products nowadays require material know how, process know how and engineering know how. All these aspects need to be taken into account to achieve economically and ecologically best results for the given development. Materials and their use in products are very much connected how they are processed and how the product is finally manufactured. So each and every production process needs its own design rules (“design for …”). Design for injection moulding requires profound know how about the polymer as the material itself and about the injection moulding process as a primary shaping process including mould know how. A unique archetype part called POLYMAN was created, to show the aspects of how to design injection moulding plastic parts. With the most common geometrical features of plastic parts it covers the basics of proper plastic design. The part is split into two halves. One side colored in red shows aspects which need to be avoided and on the opposite blue side you can see the recommended way to design that feature. Since POLYMAN is a real part, warpage, shrinkage and other unwanted aspects can be experienced on the “red” side. The corresponding “blue” side is OK. A little accompanying flyer explains the features of the POLYMAN in an eye catching visual way. The part itself including the flyer is kind of the maximum reduction how to explain the complex matter of injection moulding part design. In its materialized touchable way it is a unique resource to learn about the dos and don`ts. Overall POLYMAN as an archetype should be an inspiration which can be applied to many other materials and processes. Almost any material which is processed requires specific product design.

Keywords: archetype part, design for: design for injection moulding, plastic parts, learning part

Are we losing the fundamental understanding of how to teach variation in Material Engineering?

Dr. Peter Hammersberg, Chalmers University, Sweden

Tolerances are the cradle of the industrial revolution. Without them mass production would not be possible and prices and cost levels would not be defined. It would not be possible to define what quality level is good enough and variations that should drive continuous improvements and robustness efforts. The outgoing variation in any monitored material characteristic, or key performance indicator KPI, from any manufacturing process, is build up by many different types of sources of variation along the whole up stream value chain, which include variation from: raw materials, process equipment stability, varying quality of information, methods and competences etc. One of the major challenges today is that measurement systems that once had the necessary precision today are outdated when process stabilities are improved and we (the engineering teaching community) have lost the ability to teach the young engineers the general know-how of how to separate a signal from noise when there is lack of precision in process monitoring. The problem is perfectly captured by a Six Sigma Master Black Belt at an advanced manufacturing company: “The young engineers of today only can do nominal calculations – they don’t understand variation and cannot handle it. We need to put them in production for a while before they can contribute to the the modern Robust Engineering of our products”. This general engineering know-how seems to fall between chairs at Engineering Schools. What can the Material Teaching community do to facilitate product industrialization and to mitigate varying material performance and outdated precision in for example, hardness and fatigue testing?

Keywords: measurement precision, process capability, robust engineering, Lean Six Sigma

Industrial Products: Materials – processing – microstructure

Prof. Andy Horsewell, DTU, Denmark

University materials and manufacturing engineering courses can easily be inspired by technological advances in materials as seen in modern industrial products. Engineering students will relate to a demonstration of advances in materials and process selection used in, for example, Corning’s© Gorilla Glass™ for smart phones or Gillette’s© DLC coated and laser-welded blades for their razors. Compressive stresses in Gorilla Glass, which suppress crack growth, are introduced by ion exchange of potassium ions into sodium silicate glass; the science can be simply seen by an analysis of relative ion diameter from the Periodic Table, and then displayed using EduPack™. In addition, surface defects are avoided in Gorilla Glass using trough casting in which the original cast surfaces are turned-in on themselves to the mid-plane of the glass panel; this is easily related to fracture mechanics considerations of the elimination of surface flaws in brittle materials. Gillette’s razor blades are DLC coated. The coated, thin stainless steel blade strip must be attached to an underlying support beam to achieve the required stiffness of the blade assembly. The joining process chosen is laser spot welding to minimize the size of the HAZ and avoid destruction of the DLC layer at the razor edge. All of this can be usefully analysed and evaluated in comparison to other materials and manufacturing process using EduPack. These modern industrial products, with hundreds of millions sold, have also shown considerable and continuous technology innovation from year to year. This keeps the educators and their students up-to-date and inspires an approach to materials and manufacturing engineering that is founded in a strong understanding of materials but also demands ambitious and on-going improvements to choice and development of materials and manufacturing processes… standard textbook material can easily become obsolete.

Learning metallurgy from the Romans

Dr. Javier Orozco-Messana, Ana-Maria Gonzalvez-Pons, UPV, Spain

A multidisciplinary team of college and engineering students are confronted with the practical problem of creating and shaping iron and copper alloys for coins and weapons, following the guidance of ancient Rome texts. Students are presented with iron, copper, tin and zinc samples and instructed to follow ancient Roman literature and make sense of the results through optical microscopy and scientific data. The work performed by teams of 4 students is developed as a lab project carried out by a group of College students who help to translate texts with the engineering perspective of first year University students. The result is enthusing since interpreting old literature presents metallurgy from a completely different perspective. The results are impressive since the challenge proves a key motivational thrust, which drives students through a natural learning process where they interpret metallurgy in an attractive, need to know basis.

Keywords: metallurgy, rome, PBL

A new type of materials science book for architecture students

Dr. Frederic Veer, TU Delft, The Netherlands

In the decade that the international materials education symposia have been running many innovations in teaching have been presented. This include such things as introducing YouTube media into lectures, using software aids, and increasing the self-study component. The last two symposia considerable time has been spent on what should be in the material science book and what should be taught to students in different disciplines. In 2018 the faculty of architecture of Delft University of Technology has decided to change the language of its technical curriculum in the Bachelor program from Dutch to English with a complete change to English planned for 2021. The master programs switched to English already 6 years ago. Although this creates a lot of work, it also creates opportunities to integrate the results of the last decade of materials education symposia into new course material. The course material is designed:

  • to integrate with the structural mechanics and structural design courses
  • use publicly available quality material (Wikipedia) to provide depth where necessary
  • for self-study with a minimum of lectures
  • integrate videos and other media into the course by using QR codes so the smartphone is an extension of the book
  • integrate with the CES EduPack software
  • uses web based software to allow students to check their understanding
Although this is a work in progress, the results so far will be described and the design choices made discussed.

Teaching Materials Science to Arts Students

Dr. Adrian Lowe, Australian National University, Australia

At the ANU, there is a growing appreciation for the need to offer competitive and relevant educational experiences in order to maintain our position as one of the Southern hemispheres' leading universities. Part of this is to look holistically at how course delivery may need to change (e.g lecture-free mechanisms) and part of this is to offer uniquely blended cross-disciplinary degree programs that enhance the employability of our graduates. Within Engineering, one avenue has involved combining with the School of Art to produce a study program on Engineering in Design. This presentation will focus on the processes adopted during the creation of this study program and in particular will focus on the differing requirements and expectations between engineering and arts students. Focus will then be placed on how Materials Science and Engineering, through the media of Callister and CES EDUPack, can be effectively delivered to a combined audience of Engineering and Arts students. Early work has revealed the crucial role played by supplementing (and often replacing) the numerical and analytical aspects of the course with appropriate visual representations through CES EDUPack - as without this, the two cohorts cannot progress equally.

Re-imagining Wood

Michael Budig, Singapore University of Technology and Design, Singapore

Many of the fastest growing cities in Southeast Asia have expanded with massive consumption of concrete, steel and other non-renewable materials. Recently, wood has resurfaced as an attractive alternative with the invention of new manufacturing and construction methods. Wood is a renewable material and can have a significantly lower impact on the environment than most of the materials currently in use. As series of seminars at X University investigated alternative construction methods, inspired by the idea of re-imagining wood construction and revitalising a dormant industry sector that has disappeared from urban construction. The seminars started off by recording traditional crafts to get a sense of its long history, re-conceptualising it and projecting the findings into new concepts. The conceived vertical structures go beyond using wood as conventional straight and planar elements and explore bending, peeling of layers, fractal formations, and form-active behaviour. Teaching Methodology The seminars utilised parametric design and digital fabrication tools and provided a framework for intensive physical testing and prototyping. This was accompanied by field trips to manufacturing companies and the guidance of experts in the timber industries. The terms were broken into 3 different phases over the period of 12 weeks: Phase 1 focused on physical experimentation of vertical structures with very little constraints. Phase 2 explored the parametric variation and articulation of architectural components. Concepts were categorised to evaluate the capacities of the physical components and to build a catalogue of architectural elements. Phase 3: Case study / Micro-towers. The studio developed small towers in an urban context, offering a unique situation with narrow plots adjacent to the backsides of a traditional shophouses and the possibility of building up to 10 storeys high. The paper will discuss a critical reflection and will give an outlook on potential future design research.

DIY-Materials. An alternative didactic experience for designing Materials Experiences

Dr. Valentina Rognoli, Camilo Ayala Garcia, Stefano Parisi, Politecnico di Milano, Italy

Materials are key players in the design process. Not only they can give the right shape to artifacts and assure its function, but they can also influence and enhance the relationship between objects, users and life cycles. Materials determine the experience and suggest behaviors. If a designer learns all the possibilities that materials and processes allow, it will be capable not only to design with them but to exploit all the materials experiences that are possible to embody in products during their lifetime and beyond. In this talk, we introduce Designing Materials Experiences, a course for Master students, focused on DIY-Materials, at the School of Design of Politecnico di Milano. We present and discuss the structure of the course, its methodology and supporting tools, and the results. In this course, the material, its process, and its physicality become the subject of the design activity. By working with DIY-Materials, students can directly explore matter and create their materials, rather the selecting existing ones to embody into a design idea. Students acquire experience by working directly with the matter and its qualities, through the “hands-on” practice of Material Tinkering. Through this, the design of materials become an explorative process of learning, characterized by unexpected and surprising discoveries. The course also proposes to transfer a critical vision about materials as relevant actors in contemporary life and try to launch challenges for a constant rethinking of the material culture. The working methodology consists of a mix of theoretical inputs, interventions from international experts, and development of the materials through methods and tools. In particular, we present the course's results, which are the creation of material samples and the definition of their formulation, qualities, material identity, and experiential patterns. Those patterns are the starting point to suggest future scenarios of application.

Keywords: Materials and Design; DIY-Materials; Material Tinkering; Materials Experience; Design education

Using BIM as an active teaching and learning tool in Building Material education

Prof. Ming Hu, University of Maryland, USA

Building information modeling (BIM) has been integrated into many architectural and engineering curriculums over the past several years. It is now being introduced into material and sustainability education because of its building energy analysis and simulation applications. Preliminary evaluation of the building materials is becoming easier, faster, and more accessible to the academic community. This new accessibility to powerful modeling software is an innovative teaching and learning tool for both instructors and students in building design and construction. The BIM modeling platform allows users to quickly identify and evaluate the impact of design and construction changes. A review of the literature revealed a very limited number of publications that addressed how this critical development can be effectively utilized in higher education. The objectives of this paper are: 1) to introduce an integrated, BIM-based material and method course; and 2) to demonstrate some of the teaching and learning methods, case studies, and projects used to teach building material in this context. The key research goal of this paper is to identify and document some methods of using BIM as an effective tool to teach building material and construction. A building material and method class integrating BIM was developed and its two offerings were used as a case study for this paper. Different building materials, concrete and wood were used as objectives to allow students demonstrate the knowledge they had learned in class. Project results and student feedback were collected for an analysis of learning effectiveness. By incorporating case studies into the course, the authors were able to develop procedures and content appropriate for BIM-based instruction of building materials in a new and creative way. The preliminary results demonstrated that BIM can be used as an effective tool for teaching materials in a design curriculum.

Keywords: BIM, Material Education, Active Learning

ENDURE: Enabling Designers to Understand material change

1Dr. Ben Bridgens, 2Dr. Debra Lilley, 1Newcastle University, 2Loughborough University, UK

From the moment of purchase, pristine objects are subjected to an array of stimuli including wear, impact, heat, light, water and air which alter their tactile and aesthetic properties. Material change is often regarded as ‘damage’ or ‘degradation’, but has potential to be used as a tool to engender emotional engagement with an object. Currently, materials resources for designers and design education do not provide information about how materials will change with use and environmental exposure. Senso-aesthetic responses to material change (over time, with use) are fundamental to enabling designers to select materials which meet users’ expectations whilst delivering optimal lifetimes for products, interior and architectural applications. The ENDURE project is an EPSRC funded collaboration between Loughborough Design School, Newcastle University School of Engineering, Granta Design and SCIN, which aims to develop prototype plug-in resources for Granta Design’s CES EduPack materials specification software, and SCIN’s physical and online materials library, to increase designers’ knowledge and literacy of material change (wear, ageing, damage etc.). These resources will overcome limitations of existing material selection resources (libraries, catalogues, databases) which typically neglect sensorial aspects of material change in favour of functional durabliity, and will enable these aspects of material selection to be incorporated in design education. An overview of materials specification resources provides the basis for the development of a range of prototype tools and resources. Results of user testing and proposals for future development are presented.

Keywords: material change, wear, degradation, materials specification resources, product longevity