The creative methodology of the F&F concentration is engineering design, which takes many forms. Typically it involves planning, designing, building or creating, testing, and redesigning, all subject to the constraints of resources. Students also learn problem solving and teamwork, both important aspects of engineering.
You begin your studies by engaging in the design process with specific focus on constructing a prototype from plans. Using computer-aided design (CAD), you and your classmates create plans of appropriate scale and proportion, demonstrating knowledge of pictorial and multi-view drawings. With CAD in your toolbox, you confront challenges of structural design through which you develop an understanding of forces, materials, and construction techniques. Next you learn the differences between tension, compression, shear, and torsion, and how they relate to the selection of materials in structures. Mechanical design adds motion, requiring you to understand the transmission of energy through a variety of systems. Whether hydraulic systems, thermal systems, or electrical systems are used, the goal is to transform energy sources into useful work.
Throughout your studies you focus on the engineering properties of materials used in your designs. In addition, the use of computers is central, for designing, modeling, simulating, and controlling products. You learn how materials can be manipulated at the microscopic level to produce desired macroscopic properties. Materials science has contributed to some of today’s most remarkable technologies, from fiber optics that are are the backbone of the information revolution to the specialized metals used in knee replacements. Your studies culminate with a glimpse into the future, the cutting edge of nanotechnology where micro/macro distinction vanishes.
In this concentration you develop the knowledge and skills to be consultants, creating products or structures that meet societal needs. Using the process of engineering design connects ideas to reality, in the field of engineering but in many other fields as well. The skills learned in this concentration are the foundation for success in many areas of study and work. What dreams of tomorrow’s engineers will be part of our everyday lives twenty years from now?
Form and Functions Course Offerings
Applied Engineering Physics I
Engineers use their fundamental knowledge in science and mathematics to design solutions to problems that impact society. Applied Engineering Physics I is the first of three courses designed help students understand the direct correlation between physics and engineering by applying fundamental principles to the design and fabrication of mechanisms that solve specific challenges. Using the material science knowledge and fabrication techniques learned in Introduction to Engineering in conjunction with elementary lectures on topics not limited to kinematics, dynamics, linear momentum, oscillations, and energy, student groups perform design calculations and create original projects such as a catapult and a musical instrument. The use of pre-made kits and “click together” parts is prohibited as all projects are original and created with common building materials.
Applied Engineering Physics II
Level: Final Manager
Using the same approach taken in its pre-requisite, Applied Engineering Physics II continues with the “Physics meets shop” philosophy to engineering and science education. Students are expected to again utilize their design and fabrication skills to create original open-ended projects that solve a problem or fulfill a need. Lectures in heat and temperature, thermodynamics, fluids, fluid dynamics, and optics compliment projects including but not limited to hydraulic arms and heat-engine powered boats. Group presentations are given by the students at the conclusion of each project to highlight its functions and unique features. Topics in modern physics including blackbody radiation, fission, and fusion are also introduced and studied.
DE is a semester-long course that covers the fundamentals of digital electronics. Topics covered include the operation of logic gates, Boolean algebra, circuit design, and microprocessors. Students will learn theory of digital electronics, simulate their activities on circuit design software, and then create working models of their circuits with the use of breadboard trainers. Students will also learn to program a robot to run autonomously. This is the third class in the Form & Function Concentration.
Engineering for All
Engineering for All is a quarter length elective course aligned with the Form and Function concentration. It is intended for students that wish to learn basic skills engineers use in the field including design, analysis, and fabrication. In addition to lessons in technical drawing, students will employ the engineering design process to build a mouse trap powered car that will be used in a competition between classmates.
Introduction to Engineering Design
IED is a quarter-long introductory course that develops students’ problem-solving and critical-thinking skills and emphasizes the concepts of developing three-dimensional models and solid renderings of an object. In addition to general information about engineering including the history, various disciplines, and ethics, students focus on the application of visualization processes and tools provided by current, state-of-the-art computer hardware and software programs. IED emphasizes the design-development process of a product and how a product model is produced, analyzed, and evaluated, using a Computer-Aided Design (CAD) System. Various design applications and possible career opportunities are explored and discussed in detail. This is the first class taken in the Form & Function Concentration.*