Teaching activities


MSE 335: Kinetics and Transport in Materials Engineering

Introduction to irreversible thermodynamics, Onsager’s principle, and the driving forces for diffusion; phenomenological theories for diffusive transport of mass and heat in crystalline solids; the motion of crystal-vapor, crystal-liquid, and crystal-crystal interfaces; and the kinetics of phase transformations in condensed systems, including nucleation, growth, coarsening, and spinodal decomposition. 

MSE 330: Thermodynamics of Materials

Introduction to the fundamentals of thermodynamics as applied to the study of condensed matter systems. The three laws of thermodynamics will be introduced as a basis for understanding heat, entropy, irreversible processes, equilibrium, chemical reactions, solid solutions, phase diagrams, and electrochemical systems. After completing the course, students will be familiar with both the theory and practical application of thermodynamics to problems in materials science.

MSE 550: Fundamentals of Materials Science and Engineering

This is an advanced level survey of the fundamental principles underlying the structures, properties, processing, and uses of engineering materials. It is intended for graduate students with no prior experience in materials science. Course content is organized in three thematic areas: materials structure, materials thermodynamics and kinetics, and mechanical properties. The goal of the course is to bring the students up to the level where they can take further advanced courses in these three areas. 

Outreach activities


FEMMES (Females Excelling More in Math and Science) Capstone

Visit our hands-on activity, entitled "The Magic and Mystery of Crystal Growth," at the bi-annual FEMMES science capstone, serving underrepresented female elementary and middle school students from the greater southeast Michigan community.  Activities in our workshop have a specific emphasis on conveying the importance and application of crystal growth to modern technology (see left).  As an example, the students are tasked with growing bismuth (Bi) and gallium (Ga) crystals as large as possible given limited supplies in the laboratory, and explaining their findings.

Xplore Engineering 

Xplore Engineering is an outreach event designed for alumni and the children in their life entering the 4th through 7th grade. Through a series of experiential workshops, participants gain hands-on experience in a variety of engineering disciplines. Through the materials science department, Insung and Nancy helped run the workshop on "How do Crystals Grow? From Organic to Metallic Crystals," where kids investigated the rapid growth of different seeded crystals in far-from-equilibrium conditions.  

DAPCEP (Detroit Area Pre-College Engineering Program)

Cooking is one of the oldest human activities, second only to survival. It may also be one of the oldest and most widespread examples of materials science and engineering. Through this experiential learning activity, students from Detroit area middle schools engage all of their senses to learn about various materials principles — including heat treatments and phase changes — that underlie both everyday cooking as well as haute cuisine. Led by our very own Megan Wiltse (right), our activity is organized as follows: First, we introduce the scientific concepts to be explored in the activity. Then, the students are given rough recipes for them to follow; they will be allowed to adjust proportions, ingredients, cooking times, etc., in order to best replicate the appearance and flavor of the dish. Lastly, in the style of the hit TV show Top Chef, a panel of judges will examine the students’ creations and ask them to justify their cooking methods by using their working knowledge of materials science and engineering. We look forward to having you as one of our next cheftestants! This activity is funded by the National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) under Award No. 1847855.

Graduate student  Jiwoong Kang  (right) helps students (left and center) understand the physics behind spherification. Taken spring 2019.

Graduate student Jiwoong Kang (right) helps students (left and center) understand the physics behind spherification. Taken spring 2019.