MechSE electives highlighted at ASME presentation
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) at the University of Illinois held their Technical Elective Night on Tuesday, April 3rd. The event is an informational session for juniors and seniors about the 300-400 level elective classes that they need to take in order to graduate.
“The curriculum is very broad,” said Valeria Laguna, an executive board member of ASME. “And the way you specialize your curriculum is by taking these technical elective 400-level classes. So by having a night like this, we help students become more aware of what classes and what options are available, and also what the professors themselves are hoping they’ll get from the class.”
The event began with the Director of Undergraduate Programs for the Mechanical Science and Engineering Department (MechSE), Emad Jassim, outlining the typical curriculum for mechanical engineering and engineering mechanics. The students were given a packet with a list of technical electives and their descriptions, as well as descriptions of the professors.
Several instructors elected to show presentations about their courses. Professor Robert Haber presented on his course, Computational Mechanics (TAM 470) which applies computation methods to mechanical problems. Dr. Stephen Platt brought sample circuit boards as well as a motorized car that his previous students had programmed to exemplify his course, Computer Control of Mechanical Systems (ME 461). Dr. Glennys Mensing demonstrated a clean-room outfit for her course, MEMS-NEMS Theory and Fabrication (ME 487), which heavily involves the MNMS Cleanroom on campus.
“The MechSE department really pushes for this kind of stuff,” Laguna said, “to make sure their students are well-informed and that they have all the information they need. The more information you have, the more successful you’re going to be.”
“We want students to be able to make an educated decision on which courses they want to take, and to really have a good idea about what’s being offered, so they can pursue the things that they’re interested in,” Jassim said. “The more knowledge they have of what’s being offered, the better decisions they can make about both their academic paths and eventual career paths.”