Materials Education Symposia - Home


3rd North American Materials Education Symposium, 2012

Accepted Abstracts

Abstracts for each day are listed by poster number at the foot of the page: click on the title to jump to the abstract.

Day One

Number Authors Title
1 J. S. Atchison1, W. Stoy2, J. Kots3, P. Holt4, M. Doughty5, D. Tadros1, Y. Gogotsi1 and C. Schauer1
  1. Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA.
  2. Department of Biomedical Engineering, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC.
  3. Father Judge High School, Philadelphia, PA.
  4. Freire Charter School, Philadelphia, PA.
  5. Hammonton High School, Hammonton, NJ.
Exploring Nanotechnology with Electrospinning: Design, experiment, and discover!
2 L. Bartolo1, M. Fry2, and L. Li3
  1. Kent State University
  2. Granta Design
  3. NIST
Supporting Innovations in Materials Teaching
3 C.Bream, N.Ball, C.Cesaretto
Granta Design
Estimation and modelling tools for advanced teaching and research
4 J. Brenner, K. Winkelmann, J. Olson, Y. Lin, S. Xu, L. Cole, B. Burnett, K. Hari, K. Ali, J. Kindred, and A. Phillips
Florida Institute of Technology, Chemical Engineering
A Hands-On Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Minor
5 M. Hsieh and H. Melia
Granta Design
Granta Design's Teaching Resources Website
6 R. G. Kander
College of Design, Engineering and Commerce Philadelphia University
An Adventure in Extreme Curriculum Integration To Stimulate Innovation and Collaboration
7 M.E. Noguez A., G. Salas B., J. Ramírez V.
Departamento de Ingeniería Metalúrgica, Facultad de Química, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
Motivating Students to Learn Solid State Diffusion Through Attractive Alloys
8 T. Ogata1, K. Kimura1, M. Yamazaki1, W. Marsden2, Andrew Miller2
  1. National Institute for Materials Science, NIMS, Japan
  2. Granta Design, UK
Collaboration between NIMS MatNavi and Granta CES
9 T. Raymond
Bucknell University, Chemical Engineering Department
A Half-Semester Problem-Based Design Project for Teaching Introductory Materials Science
10 S. Senadheera
Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Texas Tech University
A Pathway for Effective Teaching of Sustainable Material Selection to Civil Engineers
11 A. Silva1,2, V. Infante1, F. Vaz1
  1. Dept. Mechanical Engineering, Instituto Superior Tecnico,Technical University of Lisbon
  2. Granta Design Ltd
New approaches for the teaching of a sophomore course on Engineering Materials at the Technical University of Lisbon
12 T. Usher1, A. Sim2, C. Farmer2, D. MacIntire2
  1. California State University, San Bernardino
  2. College of the Desert
Quality STEM Curriculum with Quantum Nanomaterials
13 S. Warde1, D. Cebon1,2, J. Goddin1
  1. Granta Design
  2. University of Cambridge
GRANTA MI - A Framework for Capturing and Re-Using Research Data

Day Two




20 R. Arens
California Polytechnic State University, Department of Architecture
Formative Material Studies in Foundation Design Studios
21 M. Ashby, A. Silva
Granta Design
Deciding on Low-Carbon Power Systems: Materials and Energy Criteria
22 L. Brown, A. Pereira
Granta Design
Resources to Support Bio-engineering and Biological Materials Education
23 D. Burkett, K. J. Smith
University of Louisiana at Lafayette, School of Architecture and Design
Architecture and Design: Materials and Methods
24 M. Fry, T. Götte
Granta Design Ltd
From Design to Science: An Educational Resource on ‘NEU’ Materials to Inspire and Motivate Students
25 E. J. Heimdal, T. Lenau
Technical University of Denmark
A Hands-On Approach for Exploring Textiles and Daylight in Architecture
26 C. Kraus
Kansas University
Lifting the Shroud: The Dirt Works Studio and Lab
27 S.A. Miller, M.D. Lepech, S.L. Billington
Stanford University
Closing the Material Loop: a teaching module for high school seniors and undergraduate students
28 B. J. Mobarak
School of Architecture & Planning, Morgan State University
Architecture and Design
29 G. Olivella, A. Silva
Granta Design
Granta Design's Teaching Resources in Spanish
30 C. J. Olsen1, E. Willett2
  1. California Polytechnic State University,
    Department of Architecture
  2. Department of Art, Syracuse University
Digital Craft: Fabricating Ceramic Surfaces, An Interdisciplinary Design Collaboration
31 J. Ponitz
California Polytechnic State University, Department of Architecture
Tools, Materials, Processes: Constraints as Design Driver
32 J. Ponitz
California Polytechnic State University, Department of Architecture
Digital Origami: a Material Education
33 G. Salas B., J. Ramírez V., M.E. Noguez A.
Departamento de Ingeniería Metalúrgica, Facultad de Química, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
The Periodic Table: an Introduction to Materials Courses
34 C. Trudell
California Polytechnic State University,
Department of Architecture
Natural Solutions to a Ubiquitous Problem: Materials, Toxins, and Indoor Air Quality

Abstracts for Day One

Poster 1: Exploring Nanotechnology with Electrospinning: Design, experiment, and discover!

J. S. Atchison1, W. Stoy2, J. Kots3, P. Holt4, M. Doughty5, D. Tadros1, Y. Gogotsi1 and C. Schauer1

1 Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA.

2 Department of Biomedical Engineering, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC.
3 Father Judge High School, Philadelphia, PA.
4 Freire Charter School, Philadelphia, PA.
5 Hammonton High School, Hammonton, NJ.

Nanotechnology is a challenging concept to teach. The length scales involved are difficult to visualize, the products are invisible to the human eye and in most cases the fabrication and characterization of nano-scale materials are prohibitively expensive. Moreover, the inaccessibility of nanotechnology in the classroom reduces the student’s experience to factual recall of a list of properties and advantages of materials at the nanometer scale or watching demonstrations.

Electrospinning is a nanofabrication technique that is not only simple, but inexpensive. The physics, chemistry, and engineering principals used in electrospinning are scalable so that lesson plans can be designed for high school students and undergraduates. In this project, the students built K’NEX electrospinning stations, and identified the process variables and material’s properties that control the resulting fiber diameters and product yield. They wrote a short proposal positing their hypothesis and a detailed experimental plan to optimize the fiber diameters and yield using their electrospinning station. The students implemented their experiment, trouble shot equipment failures, and collected their nanofibers. Their nanofibers were imaged using an SEM and the students analyzed the fiber diameter distributions with ImageJ software and a statistical package in Excel.

The electrospinning activity was completed in three high schools and an undergraduate polymers processing laboratory. The high school students were all able to complete the activity an attitude assessments indicated an overall increase in interest in majoring in engineering, with a particular bump in 11 grade females. All students demonstrated an increase in understanding the concepts of nanotechnology and were able to defend their design choices. Exciting hands on laboratory experiences that not only implement the fundamental principles of nanotechnology, but encourage actual work patterns and discourse of practicing STEM professionals will energize the students and encourage creative problem solving.

Poster 2: Supporting Innovations in Materials Teaching

L. Bartolo1, M. Fry2, and L. Li3

1. Kent State University 2. Granta Design 3. NIST

Materials science and engineering (MSE) education is central to interdisciplinary approaches to accelerate scientific discovery and innovation in the 21st century. To facilitate connections between research and education, faculty and students need ready access to innovative teaching resources that easily integrate into existing undergraduate curricula. This submission will discuss efforts to connect and leverage individual endeavors by the Materials Digital Library Pathway (MatDL) and the Education Division of Granta Design in order to enhance access, exchange, and growth of high quality educational resources for the education community and related areas. MatDL (, as part of the National STEM Distributed Learning effort, supports the integration of materials research and education with a targeted audience of undergraduates and above as well as collaboration with other cognate disciplines. The Education Division of Granta Design ( develops and co-ordinates resources to support materials related teaching across Engineering, Design and Science disciplines at over 800 universities and colleges worldwide. Individually, MatDL and Granta support open access and broad dissemination of learning resources. This submission will discuss beginning steps to work jointly, following practices and standards adopted by the engineering and teaching communities, to offer convenient public access to shareable learning resources for MSE faculty and students. Promoting educational resources through this coordinated approach has the potential to substantially broaden the audience of users and contributors, both by pooling educational resources available in the community and by helping train future MSE scientists.

Poster 3: Estimation and modelling tools for advanced teaching and research

C.Bream, N.Ball, C.Cesaretto

Granta Design

The world of materials is continually evolving with the number of new materials and models, which describe their performance, rising at an almost exponential rate. This presents a challenge, to both research and advanced teaching, of how to identify and communicate the benefits of these new materials and theories over existing solutions and, in the case of research, how to identify the most promising options before embarking on costly development projects. This issue can be addressed using the ‘Synthesizer’ tool, in CES Selector, which allows custom models to be added to the software, enabling the performance of new materials and structures to be predicted and compared against existing solutions on material property charts.

Some recent examples of this modelling capability include the development of ‘Synthesizer’ models to: predict the performance of balanced multi-layer materials, estimate part cost (combined material and processing costs) and, develop materials with controlled thermal expansion.


Poster 4: A Hands-On Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Minor

J. Brenner, K. Winkelmann, J. Olson, Y. Lin, S. Xu, L. Cole, B. Burnett, K. Hari, K. Ali, J. Kindred, and A. Phillips

Florida Institute of Technology, Chemical Engineering

Florida Tech features the first nanotech program with multiple three-credit labs, as most students learn nanotechnology in "hands-on" mode. New Nanotech Lab II and Materials Characterization Lab courses have been pilot-tested to complement existing Nanotechnology and Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering lecture courses and a freshman Nanotechnology Lab I course.

The Nanotech Lab II course adds SEM, TEM, STM, and AFM characterization of nanomaterials made using both literature and new syntheses.  Students synthesized CdS and CdSe quantum dots used in biomedical imaging, made phosphorescent europia-doped yttria and saw how its phosphorescence was related to heat treatment conditions. They also made metallic, zeolitic, and Mo carbide nanoparticle catalysts, and polymer/silica structural nanocomposites.  Nanoelectronics industry experiments included the use of photolithographic processes to make microfluidic channels used in lab-on-a-chip biodiagnostic screening devices, the synthesis of carbon nanotubes and Ni nanowires, and even synthesis and testing of polymer/carbon nanocomposite sensing elements in an electronic nose.  Students tracked the growth of ammonium hydrogen phosphate and zeolitic clay crystals, the growth and misfolding of proteins associated with Alzheimer's disease, and the destruction of bone from excessive acid concentrations associated with gouty arthritis.

Materials Characterization Laboratory addresses the need to get students from rookie to independent status quickly without significant cost or downtime.  This class was composed of lectures, hands-on demonstrations, online testing prior to using the equipment, mentoring under a graduate student, and passing a hands-on practical test.  Students found development of troubleshooting flowcharts for STM and AFM particularly helpful.  Establishing a grading system that emphasizes independence is sufficient to get the students to progress.  Crash courses are effective means to get students past the intimidation barrier.  Students effectively teach each other, when such teaching helps them get an A.  Finally, having students do as much as possible early in the semester is the best approach.

Poster 5: Granta Design's Teaching Resources Website

M. Hsieh and H. Melia

Granta Design

The new Teaching Resource Website contains over 225 resources contributed by academics in the Materials Education Community. The resources are intended primarily for materials related courses at the undergraduate level across Science, Engineering and Design disciplines. Most are password protected and only available to educators using CES EduPack, however a growing number are also now open access. The site includes:

  • Exercises with Worked Solutions (350+)
  • PowerPoint Lectures (70+)
  • Videos and Webinar Recordings
  • Databases and Project Files
  • Teach-yourself manuals
  • White Papers

Granta plans to continue adding more resources and we are very interested to hear about good resources that we should be linking to, good resource websites we should be collaborating with and any other ideas

Poster 6: An Adventure in Extreme Curriculum Integration to Stimulate Innovation and Collaboration

R. G. Kander

College of Design, Engineering and Commerce Philadelphia University

Looking back across the history of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, there have been nearly continuous calls for curriculum innovation and improvement. In the past 20 years, however, many of these calls have intensified and focused on the incorporation of interdisciplinary, problem-based, “real-world” learning in one form or another. These range from more general reports like those coming from the Boyer Commission in the mid 1990’s, to specific work that led to the restructuring of the ABET accreditation process through EC2000. More recently, publications by the National Academy of Engineering such as “The Engineer of 2020” and “Educating the Engineer of 2020” have reenergized the call for innovation in STEM curricula.

Philadelphia University is a small, private university with a long tradition of professional technical education and an emerging focus on innovation and interdisciplinary education. The newly formed College of Design, Engineering and Commerce is the home to a revolutionary, trans-disciplinary curriculum that retains the core learning of the three disciplines within the college (design, engineering, and business) while forging new collaborations between the disciplines.

As a model for professional university education in the 21st century, Philadelphia University is focused on providing graduates with the skills necessary to be leaders in their professions at every level of their careers. By bringing these three disciplines together, the new College will push students to think beyond the boundaries of existing disciplines and focus on market-driven innovation through teamwork, collaboration and connections with industry partners.

Students will gain expertise in their disciplines and a fluency in the trans-disciplinary ways of the 21st-century work world on a much larger scale than what has been seen in higher education to date. The new College is a forward-thinking and timely concept because it combines the best aspects of the three disciplines at its core to focus on innovation and entrepreneurship. This is happening exactly at a time when innovation is universally recognized as a critical element in global economic recovery, as well as in solving today's complex, world-scale human problems.

This presentation will review the most recent calls for STEM curricular change and present the exciting new response from Philadelphia University, the College of Design, Engineering and Commerce. The presentation will focus on the efforts to synergistically combine targeted curricular changes with a focus on content-specific teaching pedagogy and a new academic management structure. The presentation will conclude with a specific example of incorporating CES EduPack software into a new trans-disciplinary “Material Selection and Design” course that will be part of the college core curriculum in the new college. The course is specifically designed for sophomore level engineers, designers (ranging from industrial design to graphic design to fashion design), business majors and architects.

Poster 7: Motivating Students to Learn Solid State Diffusion through Attractive Alloys

M.E. Noguez A., G. Salas B., J. Ramírez V.

Departamento de Ingeniería Metalúrgica, Facultad de Química, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

In order to motivate students on their own learning, development and knowledge (skills, attitudes, etc.), some attractive alloys have started to be used in phase transformations lectures. If alloy is enough attractive, then this will allow the students to be curious and dreamers and make a compromise with themselves. This is a goal seek for the teaching-learning experience. The work done with one of the alloys is presented here.

Gold-Platinum alloys made by pre-Hispanic people between 400 BC and 500 AD in South America (present Colombia and Ecuador) capture the attention of the students to motivate the thinking about the possible variations in making the alloys by solid state diffusion, because Platinum melts at 1759°C, unreachable temperature on those times. These was used to let them think on temperatures, sizes of native Gold and Platinum flakes and process times, according to diffusivity data and three engineering models used by metallurgists nowadays. In the classroom, the students calculate the time to get an homogeneous 85Au-15Pt alloy at different temperatures using the three models. For interpreting the obtained results, they must analyze the models, learning about them by themselves. Besides they identify their own skills which allow them to construct the needed competencies. Further, the students get involved in History and Archaeology when they learn about the different alloys made by the pre-Hispanic people.

Experimental results obtained by some students in their term project are also presented and compared with the theoretical calculations made in the classroom. Some observations of the students are also presented.

A better understanding of diffusion models, the pre-Hispanic cultures and of the students themselves is gained.

Attractive alloys are well received by students as a motivation for learning, so their use will be increased in the classroom work.

Poster 8: Collaboration between NIMS MatNavi and Granta CES

T. Ogata1, K. Kimura1, M. Yamazaki1, W. Marsden2, Andrew Miller2

1 National Institute for Materials Science, NIMS, Japan 2 Granta Design Limited, UK

Forty-five years have passed since NIMS (National Institute for Materials Science former National Research Institute for Metals, NRIM) started to collect creep and fatigue strength data for domestic metallic materials in a neutral setting. The data are published as a structural material data sheets annually. NIMS has been published kinds of fifty-nine creep data sheet, and fatigue data sheet has been published for one hundred–nine kinds of various test conditions, including the welded joints. These data sheets have now become the world's biggest and reliable source of published data on the creep and fatigue strength of structural materials. These structural materials data sheets are publicly available on the Internet as one of the NIMS materials databases MatNavi as well as printed matter. NIMS and Granta Design have collaborated on the materials search system of on since 2005. Currently, NIMS creep and fatigue data are being built into the Granta MI and CES Systems.

Poster 9: A Half-Semester Problem-Based Design Project for Teaching Introductory Materials Science

T. Raymond

Bucknell University, Chemical Engineering Department

An overwhelming body of educational research has shown that students learn more when classes are taught with active, collaborative, or problem-based learning approaches. Students also learn more and are more motivated to learn when presented with inductive-style learning activities rather than deductive ones. For our introductory materials science course at Bucknell University, the author has incorporated these ideas into the course through the use of a half-semester long problem-based design using collaborative teams and active learning techniques. This poster will present the way this project has been introduced and implemented as well as recommendations for future improvements to the implementation based on student feedback.

Poster 10: A Pathway for Effective Teaching of Sustainable Material Selection to Civil Engineers

S. Senadheera

Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Texas Tech University

Civil engineers play a critical role in planning and designing the built environment. They wield enormous influence over the use of earth’s natural resources because the construction industry uses by far the largest fraction of the earth’s natural material resources (USGS 1998). Therefore, designers of civil engineering projects can effectively contribute towards sustainability through more effective use of new and recycled materials. Civil engineering students can benefit immensely from course curricula that provide awareness on sustainability implications of using various materials available at their disposal. These implications include material supply, recycling potential and ecological impacts. The current practice of specifying construction materials for civil engineering projects is primarily driven by the status-quo and existing pricing mechanisms. It does not come naturally to most societies to think in terms of the long-term impacts of their decisions. With the increasing emphasis placed on sustainability and the preservation of biodiversity, civil engineers must take a closer look at potential benefits to society from sustainable design and construction practices. The US Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) has included knowledge of sustainability in its general program evaluation criteria [ABET 2000]. In addition, the second edition of the ASCE Body of Knowledge (BOK) for the 21st Century recommends the incorporation of sustainability concepts in design courses and to allow students to develop specialized knowledge and skills beyond traditional civil engineering-related subject areas. It is a formidable challenge to develop effective course content on sustainable engineering design and to deliver that knowledge to students by highlighting the long-term implications of their actions. This poster presents some reflections of the author based on experience from developing and teaching a course titled “Material Systems for Sustainable Design” within a civil engineering curriculum. The overarching objectives of this course are to provide students with knowledge on sustainability principles, to create an awareness of the tools available to assess sustainable material selection decisions, and to identify improvements needed to existing tools.

Poster 11: New approaches for the teaching of a sophomore course on Engineering Materials at the Technical University of Lisbon

A. Silva1,2, V. Infante1, F. Vaz1

1 Dept. Mechanical Engineering, Instituto Superior Tecnico,Technical University of Lisbon
2 Granta Design Ltd

Introducing materials selection to sophomore students is a particularly difficult task, as oftentimes their knowledge on Structures or Mechanics of Materials is fairly limited, if existing at all. The authors have started a sophomore course restructure on Engineering Materials with a flavor of materials selection and a limited knowledge on mechanics of materials, just enough to introduce strategies for materials selection to be developed further in other downstream design-oriented courses. This approach has been used onwards from the fall semester of 2009.

The Engineering Materials course is the second core course on Materials related topics—the first being a freshman course on Materials Science—in a three year Mechanical Engineering degree at Instituto Superior Tecnico, the Technical University of Lisbon, Portugal. Whilst the Materials Science course, at the freshman level, uses a traditional bottom-up approach starting with the atoms and ending up in materials’ properties, this new course assumes a design-led approach, closing the cycle of what would be called a basic materials education for mechanical engineers. In both cases the students are lacking in background depth on basic sciences which is a serious limitation going forwards. Other courses will then follow, some of them being elective on Mechanical Behaviour of Materials and Composite Materials, as examples.

The Engineering Materials course also has a laboratory component in which different materials are tested under tension and impact, and hardness is measured on metals and plastics’ standard coupons. The authors generally found that this design-led approach, together with materials testing in the lab helped in strengthening the students’ perception of strength, stiffness and hardness to name just a few. Also, the visual nature of most of the resources used has helped in retaining the students in class for the best part of the semester, and gave them a good overall perspective of the positioning of each family of materials.

Poster 12: Quality STEM Curriculum with Quantum Nanomaterials

T. Usher1, A. Sim2, C. Farmer2, D. MacIntire2

1 California State University, San Bernardino 2 College of the Desert

As part of a recently awarded NASA-CIPAIR grant, we are integrating new undergraduate materials curriculum into core undergraduate courses, which are required for our applied physics major and a new computer engineering major. This is a cooperative effort between NASA-Dryden, College of the Desert and California State University, San Bernardino. Recent advances in both nanotechnology and first principles (ab initu) computational techniques have convolved to present exciting possibilities in materials science and engineering. The dream of designing materials with desired properties, or combinations of properties from the atom up, and then testing these theories on physical systems, is becoming a reality. Also, materials are critical to most NASA programs and missions. One new course is being created and six courses will be revised to expand materials science and engineering content in the curriculum. The fact that this is a new course in a new major at CSUSB provides a unique opportunity to rethink how this course should be taught, without the legacy issues that sometimes hinders curriculum development. Furthermore, these curriculum changes address the need to incorporate quantum physics into courses taken by engineering students.

Acknowledgements: Kurt Kloesel: NASA-Dryden Flight Research Center, Funded by NASA-CIPAIR grant number: NNX11AQ99G

Poster 13: GRANTA MI—A Framework for Capturing and Re-Using Research Data

S. Warde, D. Cebon, J. Goddin

Granta Design Ltd

Research groups in materials and related subjects amass more and more information each year—e.g., raw test data, meta-data providing context for these tests, analysis results, research notes, images and, increasingly, video. As data piles up and PhD and post-doctoral researchers come and go, it can be hard to make the most of this resource. Useful data is lost, buried in filing cabinets, hidden away on PC hard drives, or scattered around the department network. Much of this data is never re-used. Information that could be of value to collaborators or industrial sponsors is not made available to them in a format or location that makes it usable.

Industry has faced similar problems. For example, the Material Data Management Consortium (MDMC) is a collaboration of aerospace, defense, and energy enterprises that has worked with Granta Design to develop an industry-standard system for managing, controlling, sharing, and using its valuable materials data. These companies want to protect their investments in materials science. The result of this work is GRANTA MI—software that allows a research group, department, or company to capture all of its materials data in a single, central database, to manage that data, and to make it available to authorized group members and collaborators through a web browser interface that makes the data simple to search, browse, and apply.

GRANTA MI can now be applied in academic research to make best use of the investments of time, effort, and research funding that university departments and their sponsors make in materials research. This poster will show how GRANTA MI can be applied in academia, taking examples from the Transport Research Group at the Cambridge University Engineering Department, and from several European Union collaborative projects in which Granta is currently engaged with a range of academic and industrial partners. The poster will also comment on the educational benefits of such an approach—preparing research students for some key practical considerations and systems that they will encounter should they move into industry and want to maximize the impact of their work.

Abstracts for Day Two

Poster 20: Formative Material Studies in Foundation Design Studios

R. Arens

California Polytechnic State University, Department of Architecture

One of the more challenging aspects of teaching beginning design is the integration of technical subjects into foundation design studios. In upper division studios, design build projects or comprehensive design projects address this, but projects in lower divisions have traditionally focused primarily on design principles at the expense of materials and fabrication processes. How can these issues be addressed in the early years of a architecture student’s development? How can we instill a sense of materiality and craft in an environment where digital processes are so nuanced and invisible? How can we develop student awareness of formal, spatial, tactile and experiential aspects of architecture as products of material and fabrication processes?

At CalPoly State University, we’ve begun to address these questions by introducing Formative Material Studies into second-year design studios. Related to larger design projects, these studies are conducted parallel to lectures, presentations and readings designed to frame conversations about the conceptual, theoretical, aesthetic, philosophical, perfomative, and technical issues affecting architecture in the contemporary world. The studies are designed to promote a fundamental understanding of the issues identified by Toshiko Mori above, namely materiality, tactility and fabrication processes. The focus is placed on traditional materials and processes (joining and binding wood, folding paper, weaving reed, casting plaster, etc.) with the understanding that these studies will lead to greater speculation in subsequent design projects or design courses. Our belief is that it is important to make the relationship between material and fabrication, between form and process very apparent before students move to digital studies and fabrication methods where the these relationships become less visible.

The five projects presented here are excerpted from a series of second-year design studios. In addition to linking materials with processes, the exercises are intended to reinforce larger themes in second year studios such as lessons from everyday life, topography and site, single-space form and multi-space form.

Poster 21: Deciding on Low-Carbon Power Systems: Materials and Energy Criteria

M. Ashby, A. Silva

Granta Design Ltd

If you want to make and use materials the first prerequisite is energy. The global consumption of primary energy today is approaching 500 exajoules (EJ)1, derived principally from the burning of gas, oil and coal. This reliance on fossil fuels will have to diminish in coming years to meet three emerging pressures:

  • to adjust to diminishing reserves of oil and gas
  • to reduce the flow of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere
  • to reduce dependence on foreign imports of energy and the tensions these create

The world-wide energy demand is expected to treble by 2050. The bulk of this energy will be electrical. Renewable power systems draw their energy from natural sources: the sun (through solar, wind, and wave), the moon (through tidal power), and the Earth’s interior (through geothermal heat). But it is a mistake to think that they are in any sense “free”. They incur a capital cost, which can be large. They require land. Materials and energy are consumed to construct and maintain them, and both construction and maintenance have an associated carbon footprint. How can these alternative power systems be compared? We do so by examining their resource intensities. The latest CES EduPack system includes a database of low-carbon power systems and the materials of which they are made. It is a specially adapted version of the CES EduPack Level 3 database, expanded to have a new data-table, that for “Low-carbon energy systems”. The additional data-table, with which the software opens, contains records for the power systems incorporated in the tool:

  • Conventional fossil-fuel power: gas and coal
  • Nuclear power
  • Solar energy: thermal, thermo-electric and photo-voltaics
  • Wind power
  • Hydro power
  • Wave power
  • Tidal power
  • Geothermal power
  • Biomass

The database can be inquired for a number of parameters pertaining to each of the above power systems, like Capital intensity ($/kW), Area intensity (m2/kW), Material intensity (kg/kW), Construction energy intensity (MJ/kW), Construction Carbon intensity (kg/kW) and Capacity factor(%).

Poster 22: Resources to Support Bio-engineering and Biological Materials Education

L. Brown, A. Pereira

Granta Design

Granta Design is developing resources to support the teaching of bio-engineering and biological materials. This poster will look at current progress related to introductory and advanced topics, including the introductory and intermediate CES EduPack Bio-engineering Databases, and the advanced Human Biological Materials Database.

The Human Biological Materials Database is a unique resource of mechanical property data for specific human tissues that is compiled from published literature concerning the properties of the tissues of the human body. The database contains properties of the skeletal tissues, which have been collected and analysed for the main different types of material found in each individual bone, such as cortical and trabecular bone of the femur. Where possible, dependencies such as age are presented in graphical form, enabling the user to visually see how the properties are affected.

The data compilation is suitable for FEA applications, to compare the properties of these materials with synthetic materials, for educational purposes and as a general reference source. In particular the information presented will provide a thorough introduction to the mechanical properties of human tissues for educational courses. However, it is ideally suited for in-depth research of the biomechanical properties of tissues, due to the ease that the data can be extracted from the database for simulation analysis and for comparison to synthetic materials for potential prostheses.

Poster 23: Architecture and Design: Materials and Methods

D. Burkett, K. J. Smith

University of Louisiana at Lafayette, School of Architecture and Design

The undergraduate second-year Materials and Methods course in the School of Architecture and Design at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette embraces artist and educator Josef Albers pedagogical approach of learning by doing which suggests that students learn best when they teach themselves through iterative hands on work. Each year students are engaged in individual explorations of making in three separate acts: concrete, steel and timber; resulting in the production of an architectural artifact. Focused experiments are guided by critiques to ensure the development of ideas and tectonic understanding. Successive investigations demonstrate increasing material sensitivity, innovation and sophistication in the translation of students' ideas from concept to construction.

The initial act is the “marking, shaping and preparing of ground by means of an earthwork”; a concrete casting. This project is introduced as a finite act of making. However, once the stereotomy artifact is produced the second project, steel, is introduced and students learn that they must resolve the relationship, in steel, between their stereotomy artifact and a timber post. The “irreducible importance of the joint” in the assembly of these three materials in a meaningful manner becomes the emphasis of the second act of making. In the final act of making students must make yet another joint detail in timber. The final moment of revelation comes when student realize that the architectural artifact that they have constructed has paralleled the development of their post and beam studio project and that the Materials and Methods artifact could be a full scale detail of a moment in their studio project.

The value of this pedagogical approach is that it allows students to conceive each architectural element, foundation, fastener and post and beam, as a generative detail. The production of each element creates opportunities for innovation and invention for the resolution of the successive element.

Poster 24: From Design to Science: An Educational Resource on ‘NEU’ Materials to Inspire and Motivate Students

M. Fry, T. Götte

Granta Design

Background: The New, Emerging and Unusual (NEU) Materials Database is a joint project of Granta Design, University of Cambridge and Technische Universität Berlin. It is developed to provide academics with quick access to information on NEU materials for teaching.

Concept: The database is developed for CES EduPack, an educational resource used at over 800 universities and colleges worldwide in the fields of engineering, science and design to support materials and process related teaching. Most CES EduPack Editions, like many other teaching resources, focus on established materials. The integration of materials such as Aerogels, Shape Memory Alloys and Nano-materials aims to provide educators with a supporting resource to attract their students’ interest in materials.

Embodiment: Each material record contains a description, the composition and an image of the material; —if possible, a typical application is also given. General and physical properties in the datasheet give the material a profile that can be compared to other established engineering materials using the CES EduPack selection capabilities. The incorporation of two additional attributes, Material design and Microstructure, provides information on how process technology, chemical composition and the resultant microstructure affect the material’s properties (i.e., microstructure-property relations).

Value: A computer based system enables the user to quickly access information on NEU materials and compare it to information on established engineering materials. Students can browse, search and select, and can explore unique properties, with the help of material property charts, in an interactive way.

Results and Discussion: The database was first released in January 2011. So far more than 160 academics have downloaded the database for evaluation. The level of depth as well as the breadth of the database will be reviewed based on feedback during the next development cycle, currently scheduled for July - December 2012. Some universities have already agreed to contribute to the database in the field of Nano-materials. The benefit to such contributing institutions and their partners will be raised awareness of their developments amongst a wider academic audience through full acknowledgement in the database.

Poster 25: A Hands-On Approach for Exploring Textiles and Daylight in Architecture

E. J. Heimdal, T. Lenau

Technical University of Denmark

With this poster, we share results from two workshops with students at the University of Technology Sydney, showing how textiles’ lighting and spatial possibilities can be explored by making three-dimensional architectural models by hand.

The students experimented with two tools for three-dimensional sketching consisting of model making materials. This approach is supported by earlier work exploring small-scale textile membranes in similar workshops.

The first workshop introduced 14 architectural students to two specific textiles for building skins and made them create models of such skins.

The second workshop introduced 11 spatial design students to three principles defined by Boutrup and Riisberg about textiles and daylight. The modeling was then more restricted than the first workshop, including only a cardboard ‘room’, a scenario, three pieces of translucent textile and restrictions as to what to do with these materials. The restrictions were gradually loosened.

Subsequently, the students’ supervisor, a registered architect with 10 years of experience, was interviewed.

In the first workshop, three material strategies were indentified: the materials were either used to materialize, to illustrate or to develop a concept. The tool’s openness seemed to be a limitation, resulting in a somewhat shallow exploration of textiles’ effect on daylight regulation.

Contrasting the first workshop’s openness, the restrictions in the second workshop resulted in better and more solutions showing a deeper exploration of textiles’ possibilities for daylight regulation.

The interviewed architect argued that the tools would be suitable in professional practice where they could be used early in the design process, as a way of literally sketching with textiles to expand one’s material repertoire.

We argue that this type of tangible modeling makes it more likely that textiles will be used in the final design and contributes to bridging the gap between model and final building.

Poster 26: Lifting the Shroud: The Dirt Works Studio and Lab

C. Kraus

Kansas University

Sustainability, particularly in disciplines such as architecture, is our preeminent calling. In the face of staggering evidence, our responsibility to address global concerns is no longer a question. Today, sustainability in architecture has become increasingly synonymous with technology-driven building techniques - from ‘smart’ skins and responsive systems to complex new building assemblies. While these advances are commendable, we often fail to see that which lies directly before us.

Building with earth is one of the most ancient, abundant, and inherently sustainable methods of construction. Yet in industrialized nations, building with soil has become marginal, due to a lack of awareness, misconceptions, and a shroud of mystery concealing the process of transforming the soil; this is particularly true in the American Midwest. Unfortunately, restricted use comes at a time when earth architecture is needed most—to lighten our carbon footprint while simultaneously rooting us to our unique place in the world. The Dirt Works Studio aims to teach the next generation of architects the potential of rammed earth through the design and construction of public works of architecture. In preparation

for the Roth Trailhead—our inaugural design/build project—students were taught how to identify potential soils based on particle size analysis, how to test for compressive strength capacity, which types of amendments are best suited to which soils, and best practices for detailing that respect the unique character of the material.

Through testing, students discovered relationships between soil particle distribution and compressive strength as well as the effects of different amendments such as Portland cement, lime, fly ash, and bottom ash to base soils. These results will have immediate application in the design and construction of the Roth Trailhead. The greater significance of this educational model, however, is to instill in students the integral relationship between materials and detailing.

Poster 27: Architecture and Design

B. J. Mobarak

School of Architecture & Planning, Morgan State University

The Morgan State University undergraduate program in architecture has initiated a new series of courses in “technology”. As part of this sequence, I offered a course in Historic Preservation Materials and Technology. The course was offered for the first time last Spring (2011) with no budget or real resources. My objectives for the course included exposing students to the causes for the deterioration of historic building materials, recommended methods of abatement as well as preservation, and documenting observations of deteriorating conditions in a historic structure.

The course was divided into four sections, each focusing on different building construction materials. Within each section, it examined the historic development of that material and occasionally engaged students in a ‘hands-on’ field experience involving its construction, restoration, or preservation. This approach was intended to provide the student with both the necessary academic foundation of understanding as well as a pragmatic and practical understanding of the material. This learning was to be facilitated by a collaborative relationship between the school and restoration experts. The collaborations did not materialize and I had to get creative with that part of the instruction.

Regarding the sites for the laboratory, I was able to partner with the Carroll Museums, Inc. which managed two historic properties, the Carroll Mansion and the Shot Tower in Baltimore. Both buildings are experiencing extensive deterioration. The students learned to document by photography and narrative the signs of deterioration. They also made presentations to the Executive Director. I propose to present a poster of the student’s work. My primary resources for instruction were the literature and YouTube! I was able to substitute the practical demonstrations by preservation professionals with the videos that were prepared by practitioners. The students responded remarkably well to that media.

Poster 28: Closing the Material Loop: a teaching module for high school seniors and undergraduate students

S.A. Miller, M.D. Lepech, S.L. Billington

Stanford University

Engineering materials designed with an environmentally conscious perspective are of vital importance in the construction industry. The construction and operation of buildings is one of the greatest consumers of energy and natural resources worldwide and the production of the materials used in these buildings has considerable energy and resource demand. In addition to these environmental impacts, the life-cycle of traditional building materials is linear: materials are produced, transported, used, and then disposed. This linear life-cycle leads to significant accumulation of construction and demolition waste in landfills. Most engineering programs do not teach engineering principles that consider both mechanical properties and environmental impacts concurrently. The Closing the Material Loop teaching module is targeted at students who are in their senior year of high school or in their undergraduate career and is designed to act as an introduction to the importance of engineering "greener" materials. The module introduces concepts from three elements of green material engineering: (1) material life-cycles, including discussion of current material life cycles and their associated waste and energy streams; (2) materials that have the potential for closed-loop life-cycles; and (3) life-cycle assessment, including a short introduction to conducting a life cycle assessment with a focus on quantitative analysis of material case studies. How material properties play a role in material selection and life-cycle analysis are also presented. These topics are covered at a rudimentary level to encourage awareness of environmental impact in material design. This short teaching module, which has been successfully implemented in one day teaching events at Stanford University, can be taught by engineering and non-engineering educators as a way of instilling the importance of environmental awareness in material design for young students.

Poster 29: Granta Design's Teaching Resources in Spanish

G. Olivell, A. Silva

Granta Design Ltd

CES EduPack is a tool that was developed specifically to support teaching of Materials related topics in higher education. It serves both a science-led approach and a design-led approach. More than 800 universities worldwide now use it to support their teaching on Materials and also on Sustainability. There are a number of teaching resources available from our website that accompany the software: 200+ supporting materials that include PowerPoint lectures, worked examples, exercises and white papers. These resources can be used freely by the academics as they see fit to support their teaching.

Due to our growing commitment in Spanish speaking countries, Granta has helped create a community of scholars that is currently developing teaching resources specifically for Spanish speaking university curricula. The present poster presents the work done so far and future perspectives.

Poster 30: Digital Craft: Fabricating Ceramic Surfaces, An Interdisciplinary Design Collaboration

C. J. Olsen1, E. Willett2

1 California Polytechnic State University, Department of Architecture
2 Department of Art, Syracuse University

Architects working within the realm of the new--either in terms of form or material--realize concepts through research, experimentation and collaboration. Last spring, while teaching at Syracuse University in New York, I taught a course collaboration between architecture students and ceramics students that sought to encourage innovative material explorations by combining techniques borrowed from each of the disciplines: digital fabrication, which is now a mainstay of cutting edge architectural design, and hand-crafted slip-cast molds, which have been used in ceramics processes for hundreds of years. This was a challenging, but highly rewarding pedagogical experience. Students with specialized skills learned how processes could be combined to design and create formally advanced tile multiples. The architecture students used extremely precise computer numerically controlled milling technologies to make molds for plaster casts, which were made to facilitate the production of tile multiples. The collaboration was an innovative learning experience for a number of reasons. Technological innovations have only recently begun to affect the craft disciplines, so the ceramics students were aware of the potentials, but had not explored the technologies in their education. Similarly, the architecture students learned about the history of the use of ceramics in architecture and the tremendous potential of the durable, sustainable material in contemporary practice. Some of the designs could have been more progressive from a formal standpoint, and so this cross-disciplinary collaboration has incredible potential not only for learning, but to push the fields of architecture and ceramics.

Perhaps one of the most exciting aspects of the collaborative ceramics investigations is the potential to harness the filtration properties of ceramic material in architectural applications--a prospect that has not been fully explored. Traditionally in architecture, ceramic has been utilized for its durability and water-shedding properties, but has not been explored as a water and air filter on an architectural scale. I hope that in the next iteration of the ceramics-architecture course collaboration that the students’ research will focus on the performative aspects of the material.

Poster 31: Tools, Materials, Processes: Constraints as Design Driver

J. Ponitz

California Polytechnic State University, Department of Architecture

Constraints are invaluable to the design process: accepting, understanding, and exploiting constraints opens up opportunities for innovation and invention. As digital technologies become increasingly pervasive in design and manufacturing, they tempt young designers with their relative lack of constraints—anything seems possible. In an architectural technology course focusing on the integration of digital and physical practices of design and fabrication, students found that digital tools are most powerful when understood physically and materially. The course focused on three primary constraints: tools, materials, and processes of manufacturing and assembly. Working in teams, students explored the strategic overlaps between these constraints to design and fabricate Performative Spatial Assembly Systems (PSAS). Each PSAS was required to be:

  • Performative in that it affected light, air, heat, water, sound, or other phenomena in a controllably variable manner.
  • Spatial in that it enclosed space both within itself and around itself at multiple scales.
  • an Assembly that used modules, units, or sub-assemblies that aggregated into a larger whole.
  • a System, understood as a repeatable process of design, manufacturing, and assembly as much as a singular object.

Each of the six teams began by exploring the limitations and affordances of a single material—concrete, fiberglass, plywood, redwood, resin, and rubber—and understanding how it interfaced with different tools and processes of manufacturing and assembly. This occurred largely through a hands-on, iterative development process. Parametric design software (Grasshopper) and computer-numerical-controlled manufacturing equipment (laser cutters and threeaxis CNC routers) were taught as powerful means of conducting controlled experiments in the relation between tools, materials, and processes, but were often used in concert with more traditional tools and processes. The course culminated in a successful exhibition of each PSAS, where students’ sensitivity to balancing craft, economy, and performance was evident.

Poster 32: Digital Origami: a Material Education

J. Ponitz

California Polytechnic State University, Department of Architecture

The term “paper architect” is a (usually pejorative) term referring to designers who never build, instead opting to explore speculative or utopian visions through drawing. Architectural education reinforces this de-materialization of paper: architectural models typically use paper to represent almost any material except itself. By examining the materiality of paper more closely, can we develop a material sensitivity and ingenuity that can extend to other scales and materials?

An architecture course focusing on the integration of digital technology and material processes used a two-week “digital origami” exercise to introduce foundational concepts and skill sets. The objectives of this exercise were to understand the interrelations between material, geometry, form, and structure; to learn to use parametric design software (Grasshopper) and digital manufacturing equipment (the laser cutter); and to develop the ability to think parametrically (using a rules-and-relations-based process).

Students began by hand-folding common folding patterns, using recursive abstract patterns to create structural and sculptural surfaces. Next, students began to modify these patterns or invent their own, learning parametric design software as a tool for creating varied and customizable patterns. These patterns were laser-cut from paper board, which was folded into form. These first manufactured forms were largely unsuccessful: the limitations of the material did not permit many of the desires of the designer via software, and required students to re-evaluate their design through an iterative process that oscillated between digital and physical modes of working. Through this process, students developed a pattern that exploited material properties and manufacturing processes to create a folded surface that could be beautiful, structural, and efficiently manufactured. This materials-based approach to digital design processes extended to subsequent coursework involving large-scale assemblies with varied materials, with the hope that a new generation of “paper architects” will proactively engage material and construction.

Poster 33: The Periodic Table: an Introduction to Materials Courses

G. Salas B., J. Ramírez V., M.E. Noguez A.

Departamento de Ingeniería Metalúrgica, Facultad de Química, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

It is possible to find different approaches that the authors use in introductory literature of materials courses, as a base to lead students in materials field. It is important to choose a pertinent base because this allows students to engage in the area, to relate previous concepts with the new ones –promoting the construction of new knowledge-, and to get a general view of different materials. Some universities offer at least one first level chemistry course, so students have a chemical background when entering into the materials ones. This is specially the case in the metallurgical engineering BS curricula at our School of Chemistry. The authors of this work do not know any book of materials science and engineering that use periodic table as a base. The focus in market labor has evolved from productivity to knowledge. Therefore, the professional competencies now needed are non structured and flexible, which have to be promoted in school. This work describes the procedure follow by students to discover how the periodic table can be used as a tool in materials world. The objective is to order advanced or traditional materials establishing relationships between the elements of their compounds or substances, and the groups of the periodic table and not only show the information. The result is new drawings of the periodic table; some of them will be presented. The main goal is to search in students a higher level of knowledge, attitudes, abilities, skills and talents which form competencies.

Poster 34: Natural Solutions to a Ubiquitous Problem: Materials, Toxins, and Indoor Air Quality

C. Trudell

California Polytechnic State University, Department of Architecture

It is well known that many materials inside buildings contribute to poor indoor air quality. Virtually all plastics, composite building materials such as particleboard, and many coatings and finishes release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as formaldehyde and toluene. Many of these VOCs have been linked to respiratory ailments, nervous—system degradation, and even cancer. This is a MATERIAL—based problem. Architects may specify so—called green products in lieu of traditional finishes, but the reach of the architect to reduce the introduction of toxins into an environment is limited. Furnishings, office equipment, and even many office supplies such as markers and rubber bands will be present in the office environment for the foreseeable future. Therefore, it is not enough for designers to simply limit the introduction of harmful materials to a space, but they should also be providing materials that remediate toxins long-term.

In the context of a graduate seminar, the problem of indoor air quality and the responsibility of the architect was posed. Research covered a wide range of existing or developing technologies including enzymes anchored into paint with carbon nanotubes as a method of destroying harmful bacteria1, filtration and digestion of airborne toxins by plant—based microbes2, and of course the usual industrial hygiene methods of filtration using adsorption materials, gravitational separators, and air scrubbers3.

While this survey of existing technologies proved useful, an additional material solution was posited. There are many materials that are naturally antibacterial, antifungal, and decay resistant. Many of these materials have been used in historically in architectural applications such as cedar wood. The proposal is to further study these materials (cedar, black walnut, eucalyptus, activated carbon, and zeolite) for their inherent properties that lead to the anti— toxin behavior. In the case of the woods, there have been a number of identified compounds that are thought to lead to the material behavior, such as cedrines4. In the case of the adsorption materials, the behavior can be attributed to the materials fundamental structure. This poster not only gives an overview of the research, but asks the question: Can these properties by harnessed or mimicked in architecturally applicable materials to actually improve indoor air quality? The hope of this poster is that a connection to other researchers in this field can be made and that this topic can be further pursued.

  • Ravindra C Pangule, et all. Antistaphylococcal Nanocomposite Films Based on Enzyme— Nanotube Conjugates. ACS Nano, Vol. 4, No. 7, 2010
  • Wolverton, B.C. How to Grow Fresh Air: 50 Houseplants that Purify Your Home or Office, Penguin, 1996.
  • Vincent, J.H. Aerosol Science for Industrial Hygienists. Elsevier Science Incorporated, 1995.
  • Johnston, W.H. et all, Antimicrobial activity of some Pacific Northwest woods against anaerobic bacterial and yeast, Phytotherapy Research, Vol. 15/7, 2001.