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
  Kim Grady Edmonds Community College Micro Learning Techniques to Sustain and Retain Materials Technology Concepts
  Amir Saeidi University of California Irvine Implementation of group work using worksheets in an introduction to materials science class
  Barbara Szpunar New York City College of Technology Experiential Learning about Safety of Nuclear Materials
  Brian Love University of Michigan Teaching materials from a systems perspective: Biomaterials
  Catherine Tiner University of Arkansas at Fayetteville Adopt-A-Material
  Hui Shen Ohio Northern University OH A Term Project for Materials Science Course
  Jennifer Irvin Texas State University Incorporation of Entrepreneurship as a Formal Component of Materials Science and Engineering Education
  John Long Deakin University Design and Project-Based Materials Education in On-campus and Online Cohorts
  John Morral The Ohio State University A New Way of Teaching Engineers How to Read Phase Diagrams
  John Nychka University of Alberta Snap to it: Co-constructing Hands-on Learning Experiences with Brittle Materials
  Kaitlin Tyler University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Investigating the effect of curriculum on gender-minority outreach camp outcomes
  Lan Li Boise State University Increasing Computational Modeling across Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) Curriculum
  Matthew Karls University of Michigan Curricular Design Processes for Enabling Meaningful Student Choices in Laboratory Courses
  Melissa Gordon Lafayette College Learning from Failure: Examining Famous Engineering Disasters in an Intro Material Science Course
  Mwarumba Mwavita Oklahoma State University Summer undegraduate research program in material science engineering: Evaluation research
  Robert Prins James Madison University Implementation of Course-Embedded Research in a Course that Introduces Materials Science
  Yawen Li Lawrence Technological University FABulous club: Training Biomedical Engineering Students with Rapid Prototyping techniques
  Kimberly Cook-Chennault Rutgers University Multi-layered Mentorship Approaches in Summer Engineering Programs
  James McGuffin-Cawley Case Western Reserve University Synthesizing Information in the Context of a Upper-Level Course on Strategic and Critical Materials
  Moises Hinojosa Rivera Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon - Campus San Nicolas de Los Garza Successful Materials Science and Engineering bachelor course taught using Blended Learning
  Ryan Hamilton Siena Heights University Individualized Learning Through Peer Instruction and Just in Time Learning
  Chris O'Riordan-Adjah Principia College Project - Based Introductory Engineering Courses


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.

Implementation of group work using worksheets in an introduction to 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.

Experiential Learning about Safety of Nuclear Materials

Barbara Szpunar, University of California, Berkeley

Experiential learning about safety of nuclear materials is used in multidisciplinary reactor safety course developed at the University of Saskatchewan. Multiscale simulations based on Density Functional Theory are used in evaluating the structure and thermo-mechanical properties of various enhanced thermal conductivity materials. The specially designed, easy to use tools, developed using IPython, for engineering student is provided. Thermal analysis of fuel element is done using calculated thermal conductivities and provided MAPLE code. The concept of materials for accident tolerant nuclear fuel is explored n laboratory simulation project and interesting results are published (e.g. see [1]). 1. Szpunar B., Malakkal L., Chung S., Nateen M., Jossou E. and Szpunar J.A., MATEC Web of Conferences 130 (2017) 03001,, Accident tolerant composite nuclear fuels.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

Summer undegraduate research program in material science engineering: Evaluation research

Mwarumba Mwavita, Oklahoma State University

Additional Authors & Affiliations: Professor, Ranji Vadyanathan and Dr. Pankaj Sarin, Oklahoma State University

In the last decade, there has been a significant increase the number of programs that offer research experiences for undergraduate students in STEM related disciplines. They range from Biological sciences to all kinds of engineering fields. While there has been an investment in variety of resources by various funding agencies to facilitate these programs, research and evaluation of impact of these programs is necessary. Specifically, evaluation of the program will provide pertinent knowledge on what aspects of the program produce an impact, to what type of students the program does a great good, and what program processes and characteristics are transferable to similar programs across the country. The purpose of this study is to examine the impact the relationships and interactions with faculty, graduate student mentors, and other undergraduate researchers in a summer program at Oklahoma State University career paths. Results indicated that students’ knowledge and skills on material science and future careers, increased from the pre to post test. On the other hand our results from the faculty, graduate students, and industry partners indicated that a holistic approach to educating students in the material science engineering hold promising results in terms of engagement, pedagogy, entrepreneurship, and graduate work in STEM fields.

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

Yawen Li, 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.

Multi-layered Mentorship Approaches in Summer Engineering Programs

Kimberly Cook-Chennault, Rutgers University

The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of multi-layered mentoring in summer engineering programs on confidence in understanding engineering concepts. The participants in the study included high school students from over 6 different high schools in New Jersey, coupled with in-service teachers from a National Science Foundation RET (Rutgers University Research Experience for Teachers in Engineering for Green Energy Technology) site and undergraduate students from a REU (Green Energy Technology Undergraduate Program) site. The perceptions, understanding and evaluation of the program before the implementation of the multi-layered mentorship program were compared to the multi-layered program. Teachers and high school students expressed higher confidence levels in the engineering design cycle and engineering discipline in the multi-layered mentorship program. Undergraduate students who were in labs where they peer-mentored teachers expressed higher levels of confidence in their skills as researchers than undergraduate students who did not peer-mentor in-service teachers.

Synthesizing Information in the Context of a Upper-Level Course on Strategic and Critical Materials

James McGuffin-Cawley, Case Western Reserve University

Issues related to materials availability are important to many decisions of engineers. A course have been developed that follows commodity, less common, and minor metals from mineral sources to application. The concept of risk is dealt with in all cases. An attempt is made to demystify supply chains while at the same time illustrating the interconnected nature of the supply chain. The potential role of redesign, recycling, reuse, and substitution are used to strengthen students understanding of structure-property relationships. A novel feature of the class is the integration of USGS data, archival journal articles, trade books, business data, current news, and reference works to complement each other.

Successful Materials Science and Engineering bachelor course taught using Blended Learning

Moises Hinojosa Rivera, Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon - Campus San Nicolas de Los Garza

In this work we discuss our experience in an introductory Materials Science and Engineering course, taught at the second semester of 10 engineering programs in the general fields of mechanical and electrical engineering. We assume that students learn when they work and practice, so we use an enriched blended learning approach that combines elements of flipped classroom, active learning techniques and gamification. There is no lecture. Instead, the students receive instructions that include reading materials and some short web videos to watch. We use the Nexus platform, which is the Virtual Leaning Environment developed by the Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon, Mexico. Before each classroom session, the students must print a worksheet and then proceed to work it out, the worksheet is supposed to be finished in the classroom, a brief written conclusion is mandatory for each exercise. Those students that arrive at the classroom with the worksheet completely solved may receive bonus points in their final score. The instructor then helps the student solve the exercises, in this way it is guaranteed that every student does at least the minimum work needed to develop the expected abilities at a basic level. The necessary explanations make use of some cheap didactic materials such as marbles, spring, tension specimens, diffractions glasses, a laser pointer, magnetic balls, silly putty, spring, paper clips, and others. before the middle term exam, there is a review session and after this evaluation the students are required to answer again the exam and write a brief essay about what they have learned. The results show a significant increase in students' motivation and participation. The statistical analysis reveals an increase in performance, measured by the average grading score, of more than 10 points compared to the previous more traditional approach used in this course.

Individualized Learning Through Peer Instruction and Just in Time Learning

Ryan Hamilton, Siena Heights University

In the Fall of 2015 Siena Heights University began offering engineering courses. The university is small, enrolling around 1000 total students on the main campus. Using the traditional strict interpretation of prerequisites would not produce classes of sufficient size. Just in Time Teaching (JiTT) and Peer Instruction have been used to create learning experiences individualized to each student. JiTT and Peer instruction have existed and been used in various forms for many years. This paper will discuss their use and impact at Siena Heights University in the first three years of offering engineering courses.

Project - Based Introductory Engineering Courses

Chris O'Riordan-Adjah, Principia College

It is essential that engineering instructors and professors recognize that every single engineering course (especially the introductory ones) has the potential of being a project-based course not only because it enhances the course but it develops students interest, enthusiasm and most importantly bridging the huge gap between theory and application. In this presentation, a few introductory required engineering courses are examined and the projects introduced in each of them are presented. The introductory required courses selected are Introduction to the Engineering Profession, Engineering Mechanics: Statics, Engineering Mechanics: Dynamics and Mechanics of Materials. The incorporated application (projects) of these courses exposed to the first or second year undecided undergraduates also paints a better picture to either assist them in deciding, improve their decisions or affirm their decision on the paths they decide to take within the disciplines – Civil, Mechanical, Electrical, Chemical Engineering etc. Since it is also expected of these group of engineering students (Freshmen & Sophomores), to hopefully declared a discipline realistically by the end of their second year to better plan and prepare their long-term curriculum (four or five years), it is helpful to start bridging or at a very minimum expose them to the practical application of concepts they are expected to know as prerequisites at an early stage (during the time they are enrolled in these introductory courses).