This is the "Research Assignment" page of the "Materials Science" guide.
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Materials Science   Tags: materials engineering, materials science  

This Research Guide is designed to support ME 364, Materials Science
Last Updated: Dec 21, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

Research Assignment Print Page

Special Topic Research Assignment

This LibGuide is designed for the ME 364 Special Topic Research Assignment, a term project in which students explore developments in Materials Science and the broad implications these developments have on applications, design, or performance.  

This tab (Research Assignment) contains assignment details, i.e. purpose, task, and requirements.  

See additional tabs for research resources, paper and poster specifications, and guidance for citing sources.

ME364 Concepts


ME364 is an introduction to the discipline of materials science and engineering, considering three intertwined areas of study:  (1) the structures of solids, (2) material properties and their measurement, and (3) the influence of processing on material structures and properties.

The ME364 class is the primary audience for this assignment; reports should aim for a level of depth appropriate for one's classmates in this course.  

Keep in mind the 3 intertwined areas (structure, properties, and processing) as they relate to engineering performance.   For example, how may a new material be used based on performance requirements for particular applications?  How do the properties of the new material compare with current alternatives?  What is the structure (e.g. bonding, crystallography, microstructural phases, etc.) and how does this structure account for properties?  How is the material processed?  Do current processing options limit the viability for this material for engineering applications? 


There are three objectives for this assignment:

(1) to learn the impact of materials science on global society.

First it is good practice to keep up with what is new in your discipline as well as to understand how advances in the field affect the world.

(2) to practice reliable research techniques.

Secondly, research is, among other things, an integral part of the design process; through this activity you'll become more familiar with how to access different types of sources, varying levels of professional credibility for sources, and standards for citations.

(3) to improve professional communication skills.

Finally, you'll present your findings both orally and in writing.


Option 1 - Research and report on a modern development or advancement in materials science, the impact (or potential impact) that development has (or may have) for at least one engineering application, and the broader implications the development may have on society as a whole.

Option 2 - Perform an original case study on a real design issue in which material selection plays a key role.  Discuss required performance, desirable properties, alternative design choices, trade-offs, etc.

Option 3 - Research and analyze a design failure that could have been related to material performance.


See syllabus for all due dates.

1.   Intermediate Deliverables:

a. Bibliography, Outline & "Abstract".  Bibliography + Outline + Brief paragraph (2-5 sentences) summarizing the anticipated content of your report.

b. Rough draft due electronically (send to

2.   Poster presentation.  Presentations will be given in class.

3.   Final reports due on the day of the final.


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