Materials Education Symposia - Home

3rd Asian Materials Education Symposium: Posters


Speaker Affiliation Topic
  Dr. Gu Wenyi National University of Singapore Engineering Principles and Practice (EPP) – Workshop-based Modules
  Dr. Jian Huei Choo Singapore Institute of Technology The Scooter as a Vehicle to Teach Materials - Destination Review
  Dr. Kyozo Arimoto Arimotech An Enhanced Crystal Structure Model for Simulating Stress and Strain
  Mr. Wu Ping Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) Steal ideas for marine engineering research from multidisciplinary teaching
  Mr. Yicong Ye National University of Defense Technology The attempt to use CES EduPack in the Engineering Materials undergraduate course
  Mrs. Xinxin Li University of Science and Technology Beijing Application of CES EduPack in Teaching Public Selective Course at USTB
  Dr. Grace Dixon Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) Materials Driven Innovations: Two case study perspectives
  Mr. Ying Yi Tan Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) Graded Textile Shaping – Design of Graded Textile Preforms for Curved Cladding Panels
  Prof. Jorge Luis Escola Superior Aveiro Norte The myth of freeform fabrication – Challenges in additive manufacturing
  Dr. Hui Xing Shanghai Jiao Tong University Developing “An Introduction to Engineering” course for freshmen with a general engineering background
  Prof. Kazuaki Inaba Tokyo Institute of Technology Tokyo Tech engineering design projects and material selection education
  Dr. Azam Ali University of Otago On or after research to teaching: A blended approach to teaching on about materials science
  Prof. Xiaoyu Yang Wuhan University of Technology TBC
  Dr. Zhili Dong NTU, School of Materials Science and Engineering Group discussions and exams for new online course on electron microscopy of materials

Poster Abstracts

Engineering Principles and Practice (EPP) – Workshop-based Modules

Dr. Gu Wenyi, National University of Singapore

This poster summarizes how student-centered learning approach, through modules Engineering Principles and Practice (EPP) I and II, assists Year 1 students in learning different concepts under NUS Department of Materials Science and Engineering. EPP modules are workshop and laboratory-based modules newly introduced by NUS Faculty of Engineering. The student-centered approach puts students’ interest first, and is more effective in enabling lifelong learning and fostering independent problem solving skills. Students watch recording of briefings online, carry out the hands-on laboratory activities, participate in problem solving discussions, and write and present technical reports. Formative assessment through qualitative feedback timely during the learning process assists students in subsequent learning. Both student feedback and direct assessment from quiz result of phase diagram have shown significant improvement in students’ mastery of the topic, compared to the traditional teacher-centered approach. Students were introduced to additive manufacturing (AM) method to produce three-dimensional models of crystal structures. While creating their blueprints with Autodesk software, students explicitly understand the properties of these crystal structures, including atomic position, lattice spacing, and symmetry. Students also gain insights of the advantages and limitations of AM. In the last part of EPP II, students are required to integrate what they have learnt into solving an engineering problem. Students first need to define the problem based on market need, specify design-limiting parameters, then utilize the CES Edupack to evaluate and choose the suitable materials and manufacturing processes. Cost, environmental considerations, conflict resolutions were also covered. Both CES Edupack and AM benefit the students greatly for design project and final year project in their senior years. Despite the high demand on time and resources, the EPP modules prove to be effective in enhancing students’ learning.

The Scooter as a Vehicle to Teach Materials - Destination Review

Dr Jian Huei Choo, Singapore Institute of Technology

In our previous report, we explored how a humble scooter may be used as a common, yet engaging and relatable, engineering instrument to teach subjects such as Material Selection, Mechanics, Finite Element Stress Analysis, Design Process & Prototyping, and, Machine Elements & Reliability Engineering in an early undergraduate course. This applied learning approach has since been implemented to some effect. In this latest report, outcomes of this applied learning approach taken will be shared and discussed.

An Enhanced Crystal Structure Model for Simulating Stress and Strain

Dr. Kyozo Arimoto, Arimotech

Understanding intuitively stress and strain in a solid may not be easy, since materials are regarded as continuum in introductory classes for the mechanics of materials. When the solid is crystalline, models composed of hard balls and bars have been used to explain its structure. However, Gordon devised a model in which rods were replaced by springs, and illustrated stress and elastic strain by applied loads to the model and induced deformation in springs, respectively. On the other hand, Yoshida applied resilient balls for DIY accessories made of synthetic fibers to molecular models of water and carbon dioxide, because they are reasonable and easy to be assembled with adhesive. Also, they can express various kinds of atoms since they have several diameters in the range of 8 to 50 mm and several colors: red, white, black, blue, violet, yellow etc.

Steal ideas for marine engineering research from multidisciplinary teaching

Mr Wu Ping , Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD)

Teach what we research is a healthy practice that links classroom activities with laboratory investigations, which is especially true for materials educations at both undergraduate and graduate levels. Nowadays, teaching does not only play a passive role in receiving and presenting knowledge, instead, it grows into an active part of the process for research idea generation, due to the multidisciplinary nature of materials research. The speaker taught 4 materials relevant subjects in the Singapore University of Technology and Design: (1) Physical chemistry (undergraduate), (2) Structure and materials (undergraduate), (3) Applied thermodynamics (graduate), and (4) Functional materials (graduate). As an example, the speaker will demonstrate how his teaching of these courses inspired him to form new marine engineering research fields, and how he paid back to these four classrooms with obtained innovative real-world solutions. Before the reality of advanced artificial intelligence which may find new research themes and paradigms by machine learning, human intelligence is still the driver for multidisciplinary research, therefore, materials education can play an active role in knowledge discovery and technology advancement.

References: 1. Shu, G.G., et al., Study of Wetting on Chemically Softening Interfaces by Using Combined Solution Thermodynamics and DFT Calculations: Forecasting Effective Softening Elements. Acs Applied Materials & Interfaces, 2015. 7(14): p. 7576-7583. 2. Wu, P., et al., Temperature-dependent modulus of resilience in metallic solids – Calculated from strain-electron-phonon interactions. Journal of Alloys and Compounds, 2017. 705: p. 269-272. 3. Wu, P., An entropic equation to calculate contact angles of bulk water droplets on weakly-reactive solid surfaces. Journal of Alloys and Compounds, 2017. 722: p. 190-195. 4. Jeong, J.I., et al., Super anticorrosion of aluminized steel by a controlled Mg supply. Scientific Reports, 2018. 8(1): p. 3760.

The attempt to use EduPack in the Engineering Materials undergraduate course

Mr. Yicong Ye, National University of Defense Technology

Engineering Materials is a very important professional course in the course system of Materials Science and Engineering. Traditionally, main contents of this course include metals, ceramics, polymers and composites, while materials selection was either not taught or taught perfunctorily in the past decades, which is unacceptable nowadays.
EduPack was introduced into this course as an important and useful tool for materials selection. And it turns out to be very popular by our students. We learned the Mars lander case and introduced it to our course, which attracted students’ attention perfectly. Aerospace materials are our special interests, however, the database is not complete enough for materials selection in the aerospace materials area, which we hope can be improved in the future.

Application of CES EduPack in Teaching Public Selective Course at USTB

Mrs. Xinxin Li, University of Science and Technology Beijing

CES EduPack has been applied in public selective courses at USTB since 2016. In the course entitled “Materials Selection” which is at introductory level for undergraduate students, the students are from both engineering and non-engineering background, mostly in the 1st and the 2nd year. The course is of 16 sessions which equal 1 credit. The number of student enrollment of the class ranges from 29 to 54 in each term. The purpose of the course is to inspire students from all majors the interest in materials, to illustrate principles and methodologies as well as to make students think by themselves about the materials and environment. CES EduPack has been used as a live textbook to engage undergraduate students in learning primary knowledge about material property, process, LCA and eco-audit in this course. The teacher blends the teaching and practice of CES EduPack during the class based on basic projects. Granta Education Hub is also helping the teacher and students in getting additional relative resources. After taking the course, students gain primary principles and methodologies in materials selection with the use of CES EduPack, get interested in thinking by themselves about materials and most importantly acquire the idea of LCA and eco-audit. The eco-responsibility of the engineer is becoming an essential part in the course emphasized by the teacher in every project.

Materials Driven Innovations: Two case study perspectives

Dr. Grace Dixon, Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD)

The perspectives of product developers and technology innovators differ in goals and processes and as such, are often taught separately. Since a major goal of materials development is to drive technological performance breakthroughs or advance product development, it is critical to incorporate within the materials education curriculum the ability to perceive the differences and innovate from both perspectives. We suggest deploying case studies in the classroom to explore existing approaches that have been used to apply fundamental materials knowledge and translate it towards developing ideas for new technologies or products to solve complex engineering problems and/or unmet societal needs. Although the utility of materials advances can be difficult to predict (e.g., development of the Post-It Note© by 3M and Gorilla® Glass by Corning), a systematic case approach to innovation through differing perspectives will be introduced to the students. The concepts introduced and covered by these case studies will be put into practice and evaluated as part of the measurable outcome of the two projects for a class: (1) Software-based methodology for selecting materials for a new product to meet specific application needs, and (2) Prototypes using shape memory materials, where the inclusion of such materials can markedly advance product or application design. Students will be encouraged throughout the projects to think though their solutions from the two perspectives exemplified in the case studies. Their outcomes will be then be benchmarked against past projects that have been driven by singular perspectives to see if student learning has been improved.

Graded Textile Shaping – Design of Graded Textile Preforms for Curved Cladding Panels

Mr. Ying Yi Tan, Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD)

This research introduces Graded Textile Shaping, an alternative fabrication strategy to create curved building cladding panels out of textile reinforced polymer composites. It uses a customised knitted textile preform composed out of glass fiber yarns to function as both a flexible mould and a reinforcement layer. The workflow first involves the design and manufacture of the knitted textile preform using CNC-knitting technology. Next, we insert bending-active members into tubular sleeves along the textile’s edges to shape the planar surface into its desired curved geometry. Once done, we spray thermosetting isophthalic polyester resin onto the surface to solidify it into a solid panel. From this, the approach aims to alleviate the material and manpower consumption in mould-making and wet lay-up processes used for glass-fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP) composite panel production. Our work investigates the use of CNC-knitting technology to design differentiated stitch patterns within a textile preform for this architectural application. It explores the hypothetical notion where knitted textiles can bridge between shape-ability and final component strength. For this, we examine variations of the Rib – a commonly used pattern for knitted textile composites. We believe that localised modifications such as tucking of the loops and/or racking the needle bed can restrict or loosen the knit. Thus, this produces regions of directionally aligned stiffness/elasticity within the textile preform. This poster presents several variations of the Rib stitch that are assessed through its mechanical performance and geometric shaping. We first infuse glass-fiber knitted textiles with polymer resin. These composites undergo testing for its tensile and flexural strength/modulus as benchmarked to the GFRP cladding panels based on ASTM standards. Next, we design the textile to conform to a series of small-scale singly and doubly curved geometries edge-shaped by bending-active strips. We further spray resin onto the surface to solidify them into composite panels.

The myth of freeform fabrication – Challenges in additive manufacturing

Prof. Jorge Luis, Escola Superior Aveiro Norte

Additive manufacturing (AM) technologies are becoming more attractive for industrial purposes to produce small sets of complex shaped pieces. Contrary to subtractive technologies, AM takes full advantage of state-of-the-art technologies by converting virtual models in real three-dimensional objects in a layer-by-layer fashion. Although this bottom up approach allows numerous creative possibilities, some challenges are issued due to its novelty in some industrial environment. Some educational centres are starting to use AM technologies for educational purposes. Formation of skilled technicians versed in the AM process seems to make sense, because AM competencies are multidisciplinary, involving product design, digital modelling, material properties and processing. Although part of the AM process is similar among AM technologies, processing ceramics by robocasting is different from processing polymer melts by fused deposition modelling, liquid resins by stereolithography and binder jet or powder by 3D printing or selective laser sintering. Also, AM technologies specificities can be useful to help learn material science and technology. However, there is a lack in understanding the differences between products obtained by traditional processes and those obtained through AM, and how can those differences be taken in advantage in product development. AM technologies freeform infinite possibilities may somewhat be limited to the technology specificities and material to be processed. An object like a mug may present different building constraints depending on the AM technology, software, design and material used, but clever design strategies may be employed to ease the fabrication process. Teaching AM oriented design may prove to be useful to surpass these challenges, the students can be guided from different building materials, with their intrinsic properties, to experience the different AM technologies. From that standpoint, explaining the properties that allows the materials to be processed by certain AM technologies, is valuable as a teaching resource to teach material science and technology.

Developing “An Introduction to Engineering” course for freshmen with a general engineering background

Dr. Hui Xing, Shanghai Jiao Tong University

“An Introduction to Engineering” is an overview course for freshmen undergraduates in engineering disciplines. Similar to the course “Engineering 100” at University of Michigan, this course is to simulate a real world engineering environment where teamwork, communication and creativity are the key components to be a practicing engineer. Half of the one-semester course is designed to be a course project, which allows students to work as a team to carry out a small innovative project. The rest of the course is composed of 30% of classroom lectures + 10% of classroom practice + 10% of project tour. Our experiences suggest that the practice is worthwhile and successful. In my classroom teaching, examples of the great engineering technologies that change the world and benefit mankind are given, together with examples of several super engineering projects created in China in the recent decades. The CES EduPack software is applied to teach selection of specific materials according to an engineering objective. The database and the interface help students understand the types and choices of materials in engineering and mechanical design. The course project is a major part of the course and the students are guided to follow a procedure of project proposals, decision making, implementation and technical reports. The theme of course project in my class is "Music and Engineering". Students are encouraged to design an instrument according to personal interest and available materials and use 3D printing, sheet metal folding and laser cutting etc. to create an music box or musical instrument. From the students’ feedback, the course is very innovative and practical, fun and challenging. Besides the engineering skills and the relationship between engineering and science, ideas of the responsibilities and ethics of engineers are also gained. This course cultivates students’ innovation, teamwork, and engineering thinking.

Tokyo Tech engineering design projects and material selection education

Prof. Kazuaki Inaba, Tokyo Institute of Technology

From 2015, Tokyo Institute of Technology has started a project-based-learning (PBL) class called "Engineering Design Project (EDP)". Based on the theme proposed from a cooperative company, we conduct the cycle of design thinking "Empathize", "Define", "Ideate", "Prototype", and "Test". 8 to 10 teams of 5 to 6 people are challenging tasks. Students from the University of Arts and adult students from the software companies join the team. Ultimately, the team will struggle for half a year with the aim of realizing the user scenario corresponding to "user experience" and the prototype corresponding to "product". I am teaching the material selection course before the projects. Here, I would like to discuss what is the effective material education for the students belonging to engineering design course to produce innovative products and services.

On or after research to teaching: A blended approach to teaching on about materials science

Dr. Azam Ali, University of Otago

Learning is a self-motivated progression, but it is a complex issue. Hence, when student need to learn a new topic they are often experienced some sort of dilemma by the subject content. This is essentially exhibits in teaching materials science topics. I believe this is largely of the exclusion of materials science courses are not taught in schools. For teaching materials science, it is important to provide inter/multi-disciplinary examples, as theory and truthful information in the text books or literatures does not often useful for learning. Thus, exemplifying research outcomes and exhibiting images with open questions and discussion could be advantageous to enrich learning process in understanding fundamental concepts to applied applications of materials science. In this presentation, I will share and highlight my 20 years plus research experiences which is currently contributing in my teaching practices in a 200-level course: materials processing and properties for biomedical applications.

In my research I have developed a number of novel medical devices, which are commercialised and currently available in worldwide. It was found that material structure-function understanding allow to process further to alter its properties, suitable for high value applications (e.g. medical devices). Presenting this case study, largely materials processing schemes via alteration of proteins structure-functions through denaturing, hydrolysing and bioconjugation that changes material properties including biological functionalities revealed a number of interesting questions and open an active discussion. Through this case study, it has been established that a large number of the students are enthused and upskilled their learning on:

  1. Fundamental understanding of polymers or biopolymers and their structures or organisational segment (‘amorphous’ and ‘crystallinity’) and ionic arrangement;
  2. Polymers or biopolymers chemistry are not different than basic chemistry subject;
  3. Molecules (large or small) and its structural geometry govern function and properties, which typically succeed through materials processing.
Keywords: Materials Science; Research and Teaching; Learning; Structure; Properties


Prof. Xiaoyu Yang, Wuhan University of Technology


Group discussions and exams for new online course on electron microscopy of materials

Dr. Zhili Dong, NTU, School of Materials Science and Engineering

Some scientists from industry R&D departments need to use analytical microscopes to examine materials microstructures. To learn new microscopy techniques, a new MEng online course on electron microscopy has been launched by the School of Materials Science and Engineering, Nanyang Technological University. The challenges we faced include the online group discussions and online exams. Assessment requires all of the students to log in the course site and start the test within the same 2-hour window. As the students are spread out throughout Singapore and abroad, it is challenging to resolve the internet connection problems for students in case there are connection errors. In this education symposium, we will exchange ideas with other lecturers on how to properly conduct the online group discussions and online exams. Moreover, we will explore how to provide TEM training to the students.