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The Redesign of a Graduate Phase Transformations Course to Include Strengthening Mechanisms and Alloy Design

Dr Danielle Cote | Materials Science and Engineering, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, USA

The Redesign of a Graduate Phase Transformations Course to Include Strengthening Mechanisms and Alloy Design

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Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) prides itself in its practical, project based learning in the undergraduate curriculum. This has been the teaching method since its foundation in 1868. In fact, the WPI seal still depicts its moto: Leher und Kunst (theory and practice). This pedagogical approach, however, is not often carried into the graduate level courses. The Materials Science and Engineering phase transformation graduate course at WPI traditionally covers the classic phase transformations, as presented in the text Phase Transformations in Metals and Alloys by Porter and Easterling. Our redesign of this course presents each of the traditional phase transformations while applying them to the common theme - strengthening mechanisms in alloy design. Throughout the course, students work in teams tasked with designing an alloy of a specific base material (e.g. Al, Fe, Mg, etc.) utilizing the various strengthening mechanisms as they are discussed in class. Computational thermodynamic software as well as CES EduPack is utilized to aid in quantitative alloy design. In this presentation the results of the student learning will be presented and discussed.