Information for Students

Different sections of Engineering 100 are offered in the fall and winter terms. Please click on the tabs below to determine sections of interest to you.

Academic Year 2021-2022

Note: Updates are being made to the section offerings for both semesters at this time. Please check back regularly to see changes for the 2021-2022 academic year. 

Fall Sections

Mechanics and Materials in Design for Orthopedic Implants and Medical Devices

Project: Investigate and analyze an orthopedic implant or medical device and design it to be better

Instructors: George Wynarsky and Erik Hildinger

If you’ve been hearing about replacement knees, mechanical hearts, bionic eyes, and prosthetic arms that move by the user’s thoughts, and you dream about designing the next generation of these medical devices, this section is for you. In Section 100, you’ll study the engineering aspects of implantable devices and learn how engineers apply broad engineering knowledge to this exciting and fast-growing field. You’ll use knowledge of mechanics to define the physical environment for prosthetics and knowledge of material properties to determine appropriate materials for implanted devices. Over the course of the semester, you’ll do an in-depth, team-based study of a particular medical device (chosen by your team), and as the culmination of your research, you’ll propose your own recommendations for an improved design. Even though you won’t be creating physical medical devices, you’re encouraged to use modeling tools to construct your designs and to develop relationships with medical professionals who can give you access to actual devices. Students in this section have gone on to develop, patent, and market their own implant systems—maybe you’ll be the next success story!

The Greatest Materials of All Time

Instructors: Max Shtein and Ken Alfano

Some materials have triggered technological revolutions, which in turn have shaped cultures, defined epochs, and underpin the world’s economy and politics. “Stone Age”, “Bronze Age”, “Iron Age”; “Rust Belt”, “Silicon Valley” – we’ve all heard these names and instantly associate them with significant times (and places) of human civilization. What makes some materials define entire epochs? How did they make life different and why did they persist? What replaced them and why? What materials will enable the next big thing

Spear, Textile, Canoe, Clay pot, Plow, Cuneiform tablet, Aqueduct, Compass, Paper, Alphabet, Printing Press, Steam Engine, Internal Combustion Engine, Pneumatic Tire, Pencil, Telegraph, Electric Lights, Radio, Railways, Airplanes, Diode, Transistor, Fiber-optics, Bread, Alcohol, Coffee, Corn Syrup, Hypodermic needle and syringe, Rockets, iPhone – we instantly recognize these tools and devices (and foods!) as some of the most important inventions in history of humankind. Which materials and processes made them possible? What new businesses did they enable? What new problems did they create for humans?

Landfills, Microplastics, The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, Traffic jams, Lead-tainted water – we can easily identify these problems created by the great abundance of engineered and refined materials and devices made from them. How can we predict – and better engineer the life-cycle of materials? Will the current trends in resource extraction and environmental pollution continue? 

Mendeleev proposed the Periodic Table of the Elements in 1869. Just 150 years later – the blink of an eye in the face of human history – the mass of human-made materials has exceeded all biomass on Earth. What triggered this unprecedented, explosive growth in artificial and refined materials? What are we to make of this moment? How will the history (and science, and engineering, and business) of materials evolve?

This class looks at materials as function shifters – the “magical” constructs that allow humans to circumvent difficult trade-offs and, as a result, improve their chances of survival, unlock unexpected sources of prosperity, prolong life,.. – in short, obtain a kind of a “free lunch”. We will learn to identify and articulate specific dilemmas leading up to the big material breakthroughs, and map the “ecosystems” of resources and processes necessary for the growth and dominance of a material. We will learn to systematically describe the progression of how the same material can be used in different ways over its reign, and therefore predict patterns of materials’ evolution, how it enables ground-breaking inventions and the technological revolutions they catalyze.

Drinking Water Quality: Contaminants, Health Risks, and Water Purification

Project: Research and measure contaminants in drinking water sources, and choose an effective device for removal

Instructors: Kim Hayes and Katie Snyder

When you turn on the faucet at home, use a drinking fountain, or buy bottled water, you expect the water to be free of harmful chemical or microbial contaminants. But recent water quality disasters such as the Flint Water crisis indicate that even in the 21st century, drinking water sources may not always meet water quality standards if not engineered properly from source to user. Our goals in this section are to gain a fundamental understanding of drinking water quality issues including contaminants of concern, their detection and health risks, and effective engineering approaches for removing them from water. The section is divided among lectures and field and laboratory activities. First, you will pick a contaminant of interest, quantify its health risks, and learn simple field-test methods for its detection and quantification. Second, you will collect a water sample from a source of your choosing (e.g., tap water, river water, or lake water), and measure the concentration of the contaminant. Finally, you will select an appropriate point of use device for removing the contaminant and demonstrate its effectiveness.

Introduction to Creative Process

Project: Introduction to Creative Process has engineering students in the Living ArtsEngine community engage with instructors and project team peers from a wide range of
disciplines (art, architecture, music, and engineering) to produce a short video game.

Instructors: Jeremy Edwards, Sally Clegg, Allie Hirsch, Jono Sturt, and Austin Yarger

Introduction to Creative Process is a 4-credit hour project-based and writing
course for first-year engineering students who are residents of the Living ArtsEngine living-learning community housed in Bursley Hall. This course affords students the opportunity to understand how the creative process manifests across disciplines and provides students with
the opportunity to work on a collaborative, multi-disciplinary design project that leverages multiple fields of study and technical principles (specifically drawing upon Engineering, Art and Design, Architecture, and Music) toward the production of a short video game. Each project team member will be encouraged to both hone their existing forms of expertise as well as explore less familiar disciplines. Students will also gain important team collaboration skills and an understanding of the creative process through readings, reflection, and experimentation with
creative processes under the tutelage of disciplinary experts. Inquiries about this course, or joining the Living ArtsEngine community may be directed to Deb Mexicotte at dlmexico@umich.edu.

Food Science and Engineering

Project: Recreate a popular food product and work on an industry-relevant case study with a local or national food company

Instructors: Laura Hirshfield and Lisa Grimble

In this section of Engineering 100, students will learn about the basic scientific and engineering principles involved in food science and engineering. The first part of the class will focus on food preparation, exploring the chemical properties of food that allow us to taste, cook, and bake. The second part of the class will focus on food production and the engineering principles needed to properly develop, manufacture, and store food on a large scale.

Laboratory work will involve hands-on exploratory projects, such as investigating the roasting and brewing processes to make coffee or how to properly temper chocolate. Coursework will include two team design projects. The first will involve recreating a popular food product, within different scientific constraints: teams may have to make a product vegan or gluten free or adjust ingredients to make the product development more economical. The second team project will involve working with local or national food companies, including Zingerman’s and General Mills, on an industry-relevant case study.

Recycling and Re-purposing of Plastics

Project: Design a low-cost solution for re-purposing plastic waste

Instructors: Johannes Schwank and Walburga Zahn

Plastics are everywhere, and it is nearly impossible not to use them. The chemical industry produces several hundred million tons of plastic every year. We use plastics to make electronics, toys, water bottles, and countless other consumer products. But where does all this plastic end up? Some of it in garbage piles, some of it in landfills, but a lot of it in our oceans. In fact, there is a giant garbage patch in the Pacific Ocean that covers more than a thousand miles in size.

Our goal in this section is to gain a basic understanding of what plastics are, and how they are made. Then, we take a closer look at the global plastic problem and what strategies can be used to mitigate the plastic waste problem. We explore several options, such as using plastic waste as fuel for electric power plants, recycling, or using it for different purposes. This section has hands-on laboratory activities where student teams investigate to what extent different types of plastics are biodegradable.

In additional team-based project experiences, students learn how to apply the design process for re-purposing waste plastic. The idea is to create low-cost products that could be used, for example, to fill potholes in unpaved dirt roads, or to provide traction for vehicles that get stuck in muddy roads. Coming up with creative solutions could help not only managing plastic waste, but also contribute to fixing pothole-riddled unpaved roads in the rain forest areas around the globe.

Throughout the semester, students will learn technical communication, creative problem solving, and teamwork. The students will write a report on the results of the plastic biodegradability experiments. They will also make a presentation documenting their progress toward designing, building, and testing a prototype solution for re-purposing plastic waste.

Self-Driving Cars, Drones, and Beyond: An Intro to Autonomous Electronic Systems

Project: Learn, develop, and implement key functionalities in autonomous electronic systems to manage sensing, data acquisition and processing, and motion control

Instructors: Pei-Cheng Ku and Walburga Zahn

Autonomous systems such as quad copters and self-driving cars are being used today in a wide range of applications; ranging from helping first responders, to smart farming, to driving you to work, to delivering goods to your home.

Much of their functionality depends on their embedded electronics, which sense, analyze, and react to changing goals and environments. These systems act and make decisions in cooperation with or without explicit guidance from a human operator. The following cycle of actions is central to these systems.

  1. Sensors measure motion, distances to obstacles, and other data.
  2. Circuits convert the different signals into a uniform format and make all the data accessible to an embedded computer.
  3. Signal processing algorithms extract useful, actionable information from the raw data.
  4. Control algorithms make decisions based on these data to adjust outputs such as propeller speeds, maintain motion stability, and ensure safety.

In this section, you’ll develop, change, and implement electronic systems to manage each of these actions. The end result: an autonomous vehicle that responds to changes in its environment while carrying out a complex task such as following along by your side.

Biomedical Engineering and Human Values

Design Project: Conduct an investigative study for a real client (practicing clinicians or researchers) to design a diagnostic test or a novel biomedical device.

Instructors: Melissa Wrobel and Rob Sulewski

This section of ENGR 100 is intended to bring you together with other students in
engineering who are broadly interested in biotechnology and bioengineering, a rapidly-evolving field that impacts nearly every aspect of our daily lives from the food we eat to the medicine we take. The course includes hands-on opportunities to learn laboratory techniques used in disease detection and you will work within a design team for a real client (one of the physicians, dentists, or researchers affiliated with the University of Michigan School of Medicine) to design a feasible diagnostic test or device for a specific disease. In this class we will experience the complex dynamics that govern the development of engineering solutions to life science problems. We will also explore the economic, legal, social, and ethical implications of biomedical innovations. This course will be exciting, and fast-paced; thus, it will be demanding. Prior success in high school AP biology is strongly recommended. If you are interested in pursuing a degree in biomedical or chemical engineering, or the healthcare industry, this section is a good fit. We hope that you will join us for an invigorating semester.

BioDesign

Project: Create and present original bioinspired design projects

Instructors: Talia Moore and Kim Lewis

Bioinspired design views the process of how we learn from Nature as an innovation strategy translating principles of function, performance and aesthetics from biology to human technology. The creative design process is driven by interdisciplinary exchange among engineering, biology, medicine, art, architecture and business. If you like learning weird facts about nature and want to boost your creativity, this is the course for you!
 
Student teams will have in-person labs to collaboratively create and present original bioinspired design projects. Lectures can be attended remotely and will address the bioinspired design process from original scientific breakthroughs to functional prototypes using cases studies that include gecko-inspired adhesives, cockroach-inspired robots, artificial muscles, computer animation, and prosthetics while highlighting health, the environment, and safety. For the final project, students will use the bioinspired design approach, technical communication skills, and mechanical engineering skills learned in experiential learning labs to form a "startup company" and pitch a new BioDesign to "investors" in a Design Showcase.
 
Students will participate in four experiential learning labs:
1. Optimizing legged robot design for acrobatics
2. Designing soft actuators for safe biological interaction
3. Creating new products that leverage dry frictional adhesives
4. Building a bio-inspired prosthetic device

Introduction to Aerospace Engineering

Project: Design, build and test a simple flight vehicle (e.g. hovercraft)

Instructors: Pete Washabaugh and Christian Casper

Team “Corellian Engineering Corporation”, Fall 2014: Ground-Effect-Vehicle incorporating a custom designed shell, propulsion mechanism, lifting-skirt, avionics and control systems.

This is a Systems Engineering Experience that includes an extensive design-build-test-compete component. This course introduces students to practical Aerospace Engineering processes by the means of design, build, test and operation of simple flight vehicles (e.g. hovercraft). Students will design a surveillance hovercraft for an extraterrestrial environment (Venus, Mars or Titan) and fabricate and fly a terrestrial model. Students will be exposed to multiple disciplines in both engineering and the sciences including Aerospace, Electrical, and Materials Engineering and Atmospheric Physics. The class involves hands-on experiences covering nearly all aspects of a real mission including concept proposal, design, fabrication, test, operations, analysis, documentation, and presentation of results. There will be individual training and experiments on fundamental diagnostic instruments, sensors, and computers tools: multi-meters, power supplies, temperature and pressure sensors, thermal-vacuum systems, micro-controllers and radio-controlled components. This section emphasizes individual hands-on skills, oral and written communication, and working effectively in a team environment.  The course is supported by a dedicated facility. Please note that that this is an intensive course involving a laboratory and a minimum of seven contact hours per week.

Extra class events: To prepare for the possibility of remote operations, there will be two sets of preparatory “Early Start” events[1]. The purpose of these events will allow you to practice the use of some of our remote software tools. This will allow everyone to move to remote instruction and remain an effective team member. Details will be provided on the class Canvas site.  The Early Start events are currently scheduled as follows. Each event is offered multiple times to allow the instructors to diagnose any remote operation anomalies. You just need to participate in one offering for each event.[2]

 

Early Start 01: (Zoom, VMWare, Catia) Early Start 02: (Simulation: Solids)
Date Time Date Time
Tue, Aug 17 8:30-9:30 Th, Aug 19 8:30-9:30
Tue, Aug 17 3:30-4:30 Th, Aug 19 3:30-4:30
Tue, Aug 24 8:30-9:30 Th, Aug 26 8:30-9:30
Tue, Aug 24 3:30-4:30 Th, Aug 26 3:30-4:30
Mon, Aug 30 8:30-9:30 Mon, Aug 30 3:30-4:30

Any student registering for this class needs to participate in these activities.  Further, during the weeks preceding the two competitions, there will be optional lab time during the evening and weekends so that teams can finish their hardware and documentation.

Please note that this class has activities that require flexibility in scheduling during the term and that may conflict with other University activities.  The class events noted above frequently conflict with other activities like Band, fraternities and sororities, and Crew. We have found that students involved in UROP (Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program) or MRC (Michigan Research Community) have difficulty being sufficiently flexible to meet adequately with their teams. This course is best suited to be taken with first-year Chemistry (e.g. Chem 130).  First-year Physics (e.g. Phy 140) often involves scheduling conflicts.

[1] We employed “Early Start” events in Fall 2020 and Winter 2021: Class surveys at the end of each term were unanimously positive.  This preparation allowed students to more seamlessly move to remote operations in the event of individual or team quarantine.

[2] Note that the last offering on Monday, August 30 is the first day of formal class.

Exoskeleton Human Factors

Project: Design and evaluate exoskeletons with consideration for the integrated human-machine system

Instructors: Leia Stirling and Joseph Montgomery

Exoskeletons are wearable technology that have the potential to provide significant benefits to users, including restoring, enhancing, or extending physical abilities. There are different exoskeleton architectures depending on the goals and tasks the exoskeleton needs to support. Effective performance of the exoskeleton requires a good “fit” between the system and the user.

Human factors engineering considers how to improve system design by considering the human within the design process, rather than designing a system and then considering the effects on the human after the design is completed. Human factors engineering aims to make technology work for people by enhancing safety, human-machine performance, and user satisfaction. The design cycle includes understanding the mechanical system and the human system (including cognitive and physical characteristics). In this course you will be introduced to human factors engineering with the goal of designing and evaluating an exoskeleton. Lectures will introduce key concepts in human factors engineering and labs will involve hands-on experiments to demonstrate these concepts.

In addition to engineering content, students will learn and practice written and oral communication in engineering contexts. We will also consider the ethical and social implications of engineering work, and important ethical considerations for wearable technology.

Please contact Prof. Leia Stirling (leias@umich.edu) if you have questions about this section.

Robotics Mechanisms

Project: Hands-on design, build, and test of a teleoperated, mobile, material-handling robot

Instructors: Derrick Yeo and Robin Fowler

Robots are becoming more integrated in today’s society, from the medical industry to the service industry to daily life. But how do these robots work and how are they developed? During this course, students will learn how to build one type of robot - a mobile robot - from the nuts, bolts, bits, and booleans all the way up to system level integration and testing. Through a set of 7 labs, students will learn all of the maker-shop skills necessary to design and build their robots including CAD (Computer-Aided Design), 3D Printing, Laser Cutting, Circuit Design, Fabrication, and Soldering. Students will be exposed to basic programming which will be done on an Arduino Microcontroller using C++ and a Raspberry Pi using Python. The final team project will involve students designing and building a manipulator to add to their mobile robot for material-handling.

The class will be offered for both in-person and online formats (equally split). All students will receive a robot kit to work with regardless of their format. 

Tentative Lab Schedule

  1. “C.N.C. I’m Dynamite!”(Instrumentation orientation) 
  2. “Motors and Servos and LEDs, oh my!” (Electronics introduction)
  3. “Going 3 Dimensional” (Design, CAD, and 3D printing)
  4. “Putting it together!” (Assembly of the Robot)
  5. “Can you hear me?” (Communication)
  6. “Are we there yet?” (Tel-op & High-Level Control)

Final Team Project: Manipulator Design & Testing

DIY Geiger Muller Counter: Radiation Detection and Protection

Project: Design, build, and test a Geiger Muller Counter and compete with other teams to detect radioactive sources

Instructors: Kim Kearfott and Katie Snyder

Radiation is everywhere: some is natural (radon gas) and some is artificial (nuclear power). Radiation can be extremely useful, such as for diagnosing and curing disease. It can also be dangerous. Radiation physics, health effects, protection principles, and detection will be covered in this course. This technical focus is relevant to nuclear power, medicine, imaging, and homeland security. The communication, engineering design, and teamwork skills integrated throughout are broadly applicable to all engineering specializations.

Students begin by building their own Geiger counter from a kit. The resulting system is microcomputer-controlled by a printed circuit board using an existing cellphone application. Working as pairs with the assistance of undergraduates who designed the kit, students will learn about soldering and simple circuits, test their systems, and 3D-print a simple case. Small teams will then use their detectors to explore the three basic approaches to radiation safety (time, distance, and shielding). Very small (exempt) and naturally occurring (Fiesta ware and salt substitute) radiation sources will be used to study radionuclide type and the usage of various materials for shielding.

Finally, team members will collaborate on the design, construction, and testing of approaches to enhance the sensitivity, specificity (ability to identify different radionuclides), and positionality (ability to locate sources) of the detection system. Students may choose to implement improvements using different approaches matching the interests and skills of each team member. One solution would be to develop a simple plan for using their detectors. A more advanced solution might consist of an alternative sensor and circuit design aided by computerized algorithms for radionuclide search, mapping, and identification.

The course will conclude with a competition. Teams will use their devices to find hidden radioactive sources of different types. Evaluation of the team’s final design will be based upon correct radionuclide identification, the precision and speed of source localization, system packaging, and cost.

Rocket Science

Project: Design a mission to the moon or another planet using software tools

Instructors: Aaron Ridley and Alan Hogg

In this section of ENGR100, we will focus on Rocket Science - learning about orbital mechanics, different types of rocket engines, and the basics of interplanetary travel. We will learn how solve Newton's Laws on a computer and how large simulation software works. Labs will build on each other to provide a foundation for the team project (yes, we will launch rockets during at least one lab), which you can choose:

Project 1: Save humanity from an approaching asteroid! What would you do if your team discovered that an asteroid would collide with the Earth in 7 years time? In this project, you will have to design a mission that will track the object, and then try to mitigate a disaster by altering its course.

Project 2: Keeping our space clear of junk. Did you know that there are over 20,000 pieces of space debris larger than a softball in orbit around the Earth right now? And that if these pieces of debris collide with something else, they could potentially make thousands of more pieces? And, finally, that Space-X is launching 60 satellites a month, contributing to the traffic in space! These objects are incredibly hard to clean up too! Can you design a mission that can clean up our near-Earth space environment? Can you make a profitable business out of it?

 
Project 3: Design your own mission (with instructor approval)
 

In this project, you will use learn to use the Systems Tool Kit to design missions that can save humanity from itself and external threats!

Winter Sections

A River Runs Through It

Project: Design a habitat restoration solution for a local stream with building and testing of prototypes

Instructors: Aline Cotel and Rob Sulewski

Many rivers run through urban environments and can be negatively impacted by human activities. In this course, you will gain a solid understanding of river dynamics and related ecosystems, particularly in urban settings. You will learn about methods and tools to restore habitat for certain aquatic species, to stabilize banks, and to rehabilitate important natural functions in urban streams. The section will be divided between lectures and hands-on field-based activities in the laboratory and outdoors, where you will use a local stream as the field site. Attendance will be mandatory and taken at the five field activities and at all labs. First, you will quantify the dominant hydraulic and biological parameters defining stream health. Then, based on the needs of the local biota, you will design in-stream structures, placements, or methods for bank stabilization that may improve the health of the stream. Finally, you will test the fluid dynamics of a model of your design in the laboratory. This course is intended for students genuinely interested in civil and environmental engineering and/or fluid mechanics in general.  There is one midterm, and one final exam.

Design in the Real World

Project: Design, build, and test a first-generation prototype of a new product or process for solving a problem to improve quality of life

Instructors: Ken Alfano and Kim Lewis

In this section of Engineering 100, we learn how engineers across all disciplines view and change the world around them. You will see that engineers bring much of their experience and learning to bear on problem solving. It’s not just math and science, though those are critical tools in the process. The best of engineering embraces one’s passion to create things, to help others, and to encourage our exploration of the unknown. This course teaches all steps and aspects of the engineering design process, from a broadly interdisciplinary perspective. It also covers material relevant to entrepreneurship – whether conventional start-ups, social ventures, or “intrapreneurial” innovation. The course project provides a team-based experience in applying the design principles for understanding and solving problems – with a focus on improving people’s quality of life in meaningful ways.

Practical Data Science for Engineers

Project: Propose, build, and deploy your own data science (machine learning) code on an engineering/science data set

Instructors: Bryan Goldsmith and Walburga Zahn

The classroom instruction in this course is aimed at preparing first-year engineering students to use modern data science tools (e.g., python scikit-learn, matplotlib, and pandas). This class will provide tools that are useful for all engineering disciplines (e.g., chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, materials science); not just computer science/computer engineering. The skill set learned in this class is expected to prove useful for future engineering courses and also for engineering careers in industry, government, and academia. Course content will expand the students’ horizons of the utility of data science in real-world contexts and help them reflect on their own understanding of the course material.

The goal is to learn modern data science skills to help address the big challenges facing society (e.g., energy, environment, medicine). This course will familiarize students with the principles of modern data science techniques in the context of engineering. Topics and applications covered include data collection, curation, and supervised and unsupervised machine learning. Algorithms covered will include the perceptron, principal component analysis, feed forward neural networks, and random forests, among others. Homework and lab exercises include hands-on practice of using data science to solve science and engineering problems. Students will be responsible for a data science project on a topic of interest (the instructor will also suggest project topics for consideration).

COURSE OBJECTIVES
• Gain exposure to applied engineering fields where data science and machine learning (ML) are playing an important role
• Learn data science skills for use in your future career as an engineer
• Draw connections between theory, modeling, and applications in data science & ML
• Provide opportunities for open-ended project work
• Practice and receive feedback on writing and oral communication

Engineering Biological Systems

Project: Design, build, and test a novel process to produce a biotechnological or biopharmaceutical product

Instructors: Saadet Albayrak and Katie Snyder

Bioengineering integrates knowledge of biology with engineering principles and tools in the design of biochemical processes to produce biopharmaceuticals, biofuels, novel biopolymers, medical devices and diagnostics, and other agricultural and ecological materials. This section of Engineering 100 introduces fundamental concepts of bioengineering, biotechnology, and chemical engineering, and provides students an understanding of how biological systems can be engineered to solve real-world problems such as the need for renewable energy and affordable medicine.

Lectures will focus on the key concepts and methods used in these areas of engineering, and the laboratory portion of this course will involve hands-on experiments to demonstrate how these principles are applied to current engineering research and development. Students will work on two team projects to design, build, and test a bench-scale process for the generation and utilization of biopolymer carriers for a variety of applications based on their interest (drug delivery, water purification, medicine and food manufacturing, etc.), and production of biofuels from renewable biomass using genetically-engineered microorganisms.

In addition to the engineering content, students will study and practice written and oral communication in engineering contexts. Coursework will emphasize audience analysis, writing strategies, genres of technical discourse, visual communication, collaboration, and professional responsibility. We will also consider ethical and social implications of engineering work, and how to address these issues in your writing and speaking practices.

If you are considering ChE or BME as your major, or you’re simply interested in exploring the “bio” aspect of engineering, this section is for you!

Please contact Dr. Saadet Albayrak-Guralp (saadetal@umich.edu) if you’d like to learn more about this section.

Anecdotes from previous students

“Being able to do hands-on work on the material we are studying has been extremely useful. As we learned about alginate beads or about biofuels, we were working on the exact same techniques that we were studying. This was vital to my understanding and I appreciated it greatly!”

“I loved this class, and I felt like I really learned a lot about technical communication and the engineering process.”

“I really enjoyed this class and it made me more certain that I would like to pursue my major because of how much I enjoyed this class, especially the lab portion.”

“While I am not very interested in this field, I am happy I took the class and definitely learned a lot.”

“Increased my knowledge of the subject matter and of engineering at UM in general. Also reaffirmed that I have chosen the right major! Best course of my semester and certainly a memorable one for the rest of my time here.”

“I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and have broadened my view on Engineering as a whole.”

“I like all of the assignments that we have to do because I have learned from all of them and I can see the benefits of each, instead of like in other classes where students are just given busy work.”

“I really enjoyed the form and content of this class as a whole. I definitely feel like I’ve found my place in engineering.”

Solar Energy and Self-Powered Wireless Systems

Project: Design, build, and test a wirelessly networked product that is self-powered by solar cells

Instructors: Ted Norris and Kelsey McLendon

 

In this section of ENGR 100, students will learn about solar energy collection and storage, and more generally, about electrical circuits, micro-controllers, wireless technology, and energy/power. The first half of the class will teach concepts in each of these areas, where electrical systems provide information collection, processing, and networking for all engineering fields. Laboratory sessions incorporate hands-on experiments to work with electrical circuits, solar cells, energy storage, micro-controllers, and wireless technology. In the second part of the class, students will work in teams to design, build, and test a wirelessly networked product that is self-powered by solar cells. The specific emphasis or challenge for the design project will change according to semester of offering.

Music Signal Processing

Project: Design, build and test your own music signal processing software application, incorporating digital music synthesis and/or musical pitch recognition.

Instructors: Jeff Fessler and Philip Derbesy

In this section you will learn data processing methods by analyzing music
signals the way an engineer would analyze other data from sensors.
Motivated by music signals, you will learn the basics of Fourier signal
analysis and synthesis - a tool used in many engineering fields,
including Biomedical, Environmental, Electrical and Computer Engineering
as well as Computer Science.  You will work individually on
computer-based labs related to musical signals, and you will work in teams
on projects including music synthesizers and transcribers and a touch-tone
phone signals decoder.  Your teams will also finish the course
by applying the signal processing techniques you have learned to an
open-ended design project such as an advanced music synthesizer or a
pitch tracker or real-time music transposition, just to name a few of the
creative past projects that student teams have devised.  Like all sections
of 100, technical communications methods are taught and used throughout.

Absolutely no previous knowledge of music is necessary, though we will try
to form teams where at least one team member has some basic music knowledge.

Because this is a Winter section of the course, we will assume that all
students in this section have had a prior programming course, such as
ENGR 101, and are familiar with concepts like variable types (vectors,
matrices, strings), control flow (conditionals, loops), functions, I/O, etc.
The labs and homework and projects will most likely use the Julia language
(a newer open-source language that combines the best of Matlab and Python).
No prior experience with Julia is needed.

Please note: this is NOT a composition or performance arts technology course.

Many of the concepts in the course are relevant to the field of machine learning
because the challenge of training a computer to recognize musical pitches is
analogous to the challenge of learning how to perform other classification
problems like speech recognition.

Green Engineering – Harnessing the Wind

Project: Design a renewable wind energy system to power a north campus community demonstration project

Instructors: Roger DeRoo and Karen Springsteen

An unavoidable consequence of using fossil fuel (usually coal) for electric power production is the creation of carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas primarily responsible for climate change.

There is much public discussion of the need to migrate from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. But how? That’s where engineers come in.

This section introduces students to the engineering profession by exploring the engineering challenges to using renewable energy as a “green” alternative to fossil fuels. Students learn concepts of renewable energy, culminating in a team-based term project to produce a device that scavenges wind energy to perform a task. In producing a complex device, which requires some knowledge of atmospheric science, aerodynamics, mechanics, and electrical engineering, the students are exposed to an interdisciplinary approach to engineering projects.

Biomedical Engineering and Human Values

Design Project: Conduct an investigative study for a real client (practicing clinicians or researchers) to design a diagnostic test or a novel biomedical device.

Instructors: Melissa Wrobel and Rob Sulewski

This section of ENGR 100 is intended to bring you together with other students in
engineering who are broadly interested in biotechnology and bioengineering, a rapidly-evolving field that impacts nearly every aspect of our daily lives from the food we eat to the medicine we take. The course includes hands-on opportunities to learn laboratory techniques used in disease detection and you will work within a design team for a real client (one of the physicians, dentists, or researchers affiliated with the University of Michigan School of Medicine) to design a feasible diagnostic test or device for a specific disease. In this class we will experience the complex dynamics that govern the development of engineering solutions to life science problems. We will also explore the economic, legal, social, and ethical implications of biomedical innovations. This course will be exciting, and fast-paced; thus, it will be demanding. Prior success in high school AP biology is strongly recommended. If you are interested in pursuing a degree in biomedical or chemical engineering, or the healthcare industry, this section is a good fit. We hope that you will join us for an invigorating semester.

Wireless Microscopic Ore Rover (WMOR)

Project: Students will design, modify, and build a remotely-operated four-wheel rover.

Instructors: Xiaogan Liang and Katie Snyder

Inspired by the successful landing of NASA’s Perseverance rover and Ingenuity helicopter on the surface of Mars, more research institutes and technology companies have been involved into the development of new autonomous and remotely-controlled vehicles for exploring terrestrial planets and planet-like moons. In the future, such vehicles are anticipated to serve as important tools for human being to create sustainable living conditions in outer space and locate critical resources on different planets or satellites. In addition, such vehicles can be also used on the earth to
perform special research missions in dangerous environments.

The design of an exploratory vehicle needs to integrate multiple functional modules
required by the target missions. These functional modules usually include (but not
limited to) power distribution and management systems, vehicle movement controllers, wireless communication circuit modules, mechanical components for collecting and transferring samples, embedded computers for analyzing data, various electrical/optoelectronic sensors and onboard measurement tools (e.g., infrared-visible-UV cameras, spectrometers, and microscopes).

In this section, students will design, modify, and build a remotely-operated four-wheel
rover equipped with a mini-size optical microscope and a two-axis (or three-axis) robot arm. Under remote control, this rover system is capable of collecting microscale ore particles from an emulated planet surface and transferring particle samples to the onboard microscope for material characterization. The micrograph images (or real-time videos) captured by the microscope can be wirelessly transmitted to a distant receiver for subsequent data analysis and storage. Click this link to watch the demonstration of a prototype wireless microscopic ore rover (WMOR).

In this Engr-100 section, you will learn and use the knowledge and technical skills from
multiple disciplines in engineering, such as Mechanical and Electrical Engineering;
Material Science; Computer Science; Robotics and Optics. The project course will involve hands-on experiences including concept proposal, design, fabrication, system integration, operation test, data analysis, documentation, and presentation of project results. The course will also include the training on fundamental experimental and computer tools, such as multimeters, soldering irons, oscilloscopes, remote controlling transmitters/receivers, Arduino microcontrollers, and analog video receivers. In addition, you will attend a series of workshops on 3D printing, CAD, coding tools, and image/video editing.

In addition to developing your scientific knowledge foundation and technical skills, this Engr-100 section will also emphasize students’ practice on oral and written
presentation/communication as well as effective teamwork. You will realize this course goal through integrated lab assignments, individual and team reports, and oral presentations.

Introduction to Aerospace Engineering

Project: Design, build and test a simple flight vehicle (e.g. hovercraft)

Instructors: Pete Washabaugh and Christian Casper

Team “Corellian Engineering Corporation”, Fall 2014: Ground-Effect-Vehicle incorporating a custom designed shell, propulsion mechanism, lifting-skirt, avionics and control systems.

This is a Systems Engineering Experience that includes an extensive design-build-test-compete component. This course introduces students to practical Aerospace Engineering processes by the means of design, build, test and operation of simple flight vehicles (e.g. hovercraft). Students will design a surveillance hovercraft for an extraterrestrial environment (Venus, Mars or Titan) and fabricate and fly a terrestrial model. Students will be exposed to multiple disciplines in both engineering and the sciences including Aerospace, Electrical, and Materials Engineering and Atmospheric Physics. The class involves hands-on experiences covering nearly all aspects of a real mission including concept proposal, design, fabrication, test, operations, analysis, documentation, and presentation of results. There will be individual training and experiments on fundamental diagnostic instruments, sensors, and computers tools: multi-meters, power supplies, temperature and pressure sensors, thermal-vacuum systems, micro-controllers and radio-controlled components. This section emphasizes individual hands-on skills, oral and written communication, and working effectively in a team environment.  The course is supported by a dedicated facility. Please note that that this is an intensive course involving a laboratory and a minimum of seven contact hours per week.

Extra class events: To prepare for the possibility of remote operations, there will be two sets of preparatory “Early Start” events[1]. The purpose of these events will allow you to practice the use of some of our remote software tools. This will allow everyone to move to remote instruction and remain an effective team member. Details will be provided on the class Canvas site.  The Early Start events are currently scheduled as follows. Each event is offered multiple times to allow the instructors to diagnose any remote operation anomalies. You just need to participate in one offering for each event.[2]

 

Early Start 01: (Zoom, VMWare, Catia) Early Start 02: (Simulation: Solids)
Date Time Date Time
Tue, Aug 17 8:30-9:30 Th, Aug 19 8:30-9:30
Tue, Aug 17 3:30-4:30 Th, Aug 19 3:30-4:30
Tue, Aug 24 8:30-9:30 Th, Aug 26 8:30-9:30
Tue, Aug 24 3:30-4:30 Th, Aug 26 3:30-4:30
Mon, Aug 30 8:30-9:30 Mon, Aug 30 3:30-4:30

Any student registering for this class needs to participate in these activities.  Further, during the weeks preceding the two competitions, there will be optional lab time during the evening and weekends so that teams can finish their hardware and documentation.

Please note that this class has activities that require flexibility in scheduling during the term and that may conflict with other University activities.  The class events noted above frequently conflict with other activities like Band, fraternities and sororities, and Crew. We have found that students involved in UROP (Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program) or MRC (Michigan Research Community) have difficulty being sufficiently flexible to meet adequately with their teams. This course is best suited to be taken with first-year Chemistry (e.g. Chem 130).  First-year Physics (e.g. Phy 140) often involves scheduling conflicts.

[1] We employed “Early Start” events in Fall 2020 and Winter 2021: Class surveys at the end of each term were unanimously positive.  This preparation allowed students to more seamlessly move to remote operations in the event of individual or team quarantine.

[2] Note that the last offering on Monday, August 30 is the first day of formal class.

Process and Throughput Optimization: Applications in the Pizza Industry

Project: Analyze and learn fundamental concepts such as flow, throughput, response time, and quality in the fast/casual food sector.

Instructors: Yavuz Bozer and Lisa Grimble

Pizza has become such a staple in the United States, and indeed around the world, that it’s hard for many people to imagine life without it!  However, pizza is not just about that cheesy goodness and our taste buds; it’s also serious business. To successfully operate a pizza chain, or any fast/casual food chain for that matter, we must not only have good and tasty products that the consumers crave but a solid and reliable supply chain extending all the way from the suppliers to hundreds of individual outlets where the food is stored, prepared, and sold to the end customer.  Provided all the ingredients and supplies are delivered to the stores in a timely and reliable manner, the next critical component in the system is the operation of the store itself:

  • What is the process of making pizza?
  • How and where is the dough prepared?
  • How many people are needed and how do we allocate the work among them?
  • Where is the bottleneck and how does it impact our throughput?
  • How do we deal with variations in demand?
  • How do we define and control quality?
  • What is the impact and role of IT (such as the Domino’s Pizza Tracker®)?

The above questions form the foundation of flow, throughput, and labor concerns in Industrial and Operations Engineering (IOE).  How well we address them often defines the difference between success and failure.

In this section, we will learn how to build models to answer the above questions and learn how to analyze and optimize the store operations. We will also learn how a powerful concept known as “Lean Thinking” in IOE that can be applied to optimize the flow and deliver perfect value to the customers on a consistent basis. We will use a real Domino’s pizza store as a basis of our analysis and discussions, although we will also consider important extensions such as the Little Caesars’ Hot-N-Ready® concept.

Continuous Improvement and Operations Management

Project: Redesign an operations process using continuous improvement principles

Instructors: Debra Levantrosser and Elyse Vigiletti

There is always room for improvement especially in the daily operations of various processes. Continuous improvement in processes and operations focuses on consistently applying methods that seek to improve the quality of a product or service. This class provides an overview of engineering design and continuous improvement principles as applied in the production of goods or services in operations management.

In this section, students will learn about continuous improvement principles and processes typically used in industrial, operations, and systems engineering applications. In a team-based project, students will assume the role of engineering consultants hired by a client to improve an operations process. Your team will conduct an investigative study of the operations process and use continuous improvement principles to design, analyze, evaluate, and propose improvements that increase operational productivity. Students will address and redesign real-world operations using the engineering design process, waste analysis, time studies, total quality management, and other continuous improvement processes.

Robotics Mechanisms

Project: Hands-on design, build, and test of a teleoperated, mobile, material-handling robot

Instructors: Derrick Yeo and Robin Fowler

Robots are becoming more integrated in today’s society, from the medical industry to the service industry to daily life. But how do these robots work and how are they developed? During this course, students will learn how to build one type of robot - a mobile robot - from the nuts, bolts, bits, and booleans all the way up to system level integration and testing. Through a set of 7 labs, students will learn all of the maker-shop skills necessary to design and build their robots including CAD (Computer-Aided Design), 3D Printing, Laser Cutting, Circuit Design, Fabrication, and Soldering. Students will be exposed to basic programming which will be done on an Arduino Microcontroller using C++ and a Raspberry Pi using Python. The final team project will involve students designing and building a manipulator to add to their mobile robot for material-handling.

The class will be offered for both in-person and online formats (equally split). All students will receive a robot kit to work with regardless of their format. 

Tentative Lab Schedule

  1. “C.N.C. I’m Dynamite!”(Instrumentation orientation) 
  2. “Motors and Servos and LEDs, oh my!” (Electronics introduction)
  3. “Going 3 Dimensional” (Design, CAD, and 3D printing)
  4. “Putting it together!” (Assembly of the Robot)
  5. “Can you hear me?” (Communication)
  6. “Are we there yet?” (Tel-op & High-Level Control)

Final Team Project: Manipulator Design & Testing

Electronics for Atmospheric and Space Measurements

Project:  Design, build, test, and deploy atmospheric and remote sensing instruments on a high-altitude weather balloon

Instructors: Aaron Ridley and Alan Hogg

In this class, students will learn how to use a systems approach to build a sensor board using a micro-controller to take both in situ and remotely sensed observations of a high-altitude environment. The topics will include:

  • Sampling the sensors and storing the data on-board
  • Designing and building simple circuits for these types of applications
  • Writing programs for controlling the sensors and data on the micro-controller as well as plotting the stored data on a computer
  • Testing the system that they build for robustness
  • Deploying their system in different places
  • Learning and applying flight procedures and best practices for high-altitude balloon flights
  • Processing and interpreting the sensor measurements post-launch

The payloads that are built and tested will be deployed on a high-altitude balloon launch, in which the payloads will be carried to about 100,000 ft. altitude, and the students will analyze the data that they collect from the boat launch.

Printed circuit boards provided by Advanced Circuits