Introduction to Smart Materials and Structures

A graduate level course entitled, "Introduction to Smart Materials and Structures" was developed and taught by Dr.Song in The University of Akron in the Fall 2001 semester. This was a research-oriented, lab-based, and enrollment-limited course. There were 16 students in this class for the Fall 2001 semester. The instruction of this course was conducted in the Smart Materials and Structures Teaching Laboratory developed by Dr.Song in the summer of 2001. Most of the lectures were taught by using powerpoint files.

Outline

  1. Course Description
  2. Introduction
  3. State-of-the-Art in Smart Materials & Structures (SM&S) Development
  4. Dynamics and Controls Related Knowledge
  5. Shape Memory Alloy Materials
  6. Shape Memory Alloy Actuators
  7. Control Design for Shape Memory Alloy Systems
  8. Designing with MR Fluids
  9. MR Fluid Valve Design and Magnetic Circuit Design
  10. Applications of MR Fluids
  11. Smart Rubber - Taught by Dr. Cheng Shaw, Goodyear Tire and Rubber
  12. Fiber Optic Sensors - Followed the textbook entitled, "Fiber Optic Smart Structures", by Udd.
  13. Invention and patent Application - Taught by Mr. Ken Preston, Patent Attorney, The University of Akron.
  14. Introduction to Finite Element Method - Used blackboard. No powerpoint file.
  15. Piezoceramics and Finite Element Modeling of Piezoceramic Smart Structure
  16. Vibration Suppression of Smart Structures using A Lead Compensator - Used blackboard. No powerpoint file.
  17. Introduction to MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems) - Followed the textbook entitled, "An Introduction to Microelectromechanical Systems Engineering", by Maluf. No powerpoint file.
  18. Health Monitoring using Smart Materials - Taught by Dr. Mark Schulz, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, University Cincinnati.

Several Novel Teaching Method

  1. A lab-based approach has been used. This course was taught in the Smart Materials and Structures Teaching Laboratory. In-class experimental demonstrations have been constantly used throughout this course.
  2. An invention and research oriented approach has been used. One of the main requirements for this course was an open project, where students were encouraged to explore the field of smart materials and use their own imaginations to design a smart device. Students are required to present their designs through a poster presentation. A panel of reviewers of different technical backgrounds was invited to evaluate the presentation.
  3. Several guest lectures have been used to enrich students' learning. Here is a list of the guest lectures:
    • Smart Rubber taught by Dr. Cheng Shaw, Goodyear Tire and Rubber
    • Invention and Patent Application taught by Mr. Ken Preston, Patent Attorney, The University of Akron.
    • Health Monitoring using Smart Materials taught by Dr. Mark Schulz, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, University of Cincinnati

Poster Presentation of the Introduction to SMS Class of Fall '01

A poster presentation was held for students to present their open-topic smart materials design projects. Internal and External reviewers were invited to evaluate students' projects. The following is a list of evaluators:

  • Dr. Celal Batur (controls), Professor, Mechanical Engineering, UA.
  • Dr. Paul Lam (vibrations), Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering, UA.
  • Dr. Tirumalai Srivatsan (materials), Professor, Mechanical Engineering, UA.
  • Mr. Kenneth G. Preston (patent), Associate Vice President for Research and Director of Technology Transfer, UA.
  • Dr. H. Lee (Smart Materials), Aerospace Engineer, NASA Glenn.
  • Dr. S. Arnold (Smart Materials), Aerospace Engineer, NASA Glenn.
  • Dr. T. Reid (aircraft engines), AP Solutions

These reviewers represent a wide spectrum of expertise. One of the reviewers is Mr. Kenneth G. Preston, a patent attorney, also an Associate Vice President for Research and Director of Technology Transfer. Students' grades were rated based on the reviewers' feedback. Some of the ideas presented are truly innovative. For example, an Adaptive Computer Monitor Shield Using Shape Memory Alloy Actuators is in the process of filing a US provisional patent through The University of Akron's Director of Technology Transfer. Contributions within Discipline Two more inventions are still under review by The University of Akron for possible filings.

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