Adjunct Professor of Materials Science and NanoEngineering
The selection of materials for a product or for a complex engineering project requires the careful consideration of conflicting advantages and limitations, with various compromises and trade-offs; as a consequence, different satisfactory solutions are possible. How do we go about evaluating these solutions and arriving at the “best” for a specific context? The answer lies at the intersection of engineering with economics and often politics and social science. This Seminar intends to introduce students of Materials Science and NanoEngineering to fundamental concepts that are critical to making decisions in materials selection, such as: net, present and future value of capital; life cycle assessment; environmental and economic factors in materials selection; fitness for service; and performance vs. cost curves. Students will be capable of identifying the factors that engineers can and cannot control in deciding materials selection, and how to evaluate competing materials options. At the end of the Seminar, students will be presented with a short take-home quiz and materials selection problem to assess their understanding of the topic.