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ENGR 100.760: Engineering Design under the Microscope (ME)


Philip Derbesy (TechComm),

Eleni Gourgou (ME)


Fall Term

***Page update in progress. Video coming soon*** 

Course Description:

Engineers shape the world by contributing knowledge on how things work, how things need to be designed to fulfill their scope, and how design addresses the needs of people. In our section, we will use the microscope as a shining example of engineering design. We will explore ways to improve on modern microscopes by engaging in a socially-engaged process of prototyping, soliciting user feedback, and considering the history of how the technology evolved over time in specific social contexts. You will learn to:

    • Employ a socially-engaged process model to incorporate stakeholder feedback into design decisions
    • Prototype a new part, using methods including CAD and 3D-printing, and select prototyping medium and strategy to align with design goals
    • Cultivate your creativity

Term Project:

Redesign a microscope part to make it more accessible for a specific user group


Basic Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and 3D-printing skills, engineering design principles, socially engaged design and inclusive design approaches, integration of optical elements (lenses) and moving parts (gears), decision-making and evaluation tools, methods to nurture interdisciplinary collaboration, tools to grow creativity, and more

three students testing lab equipment
three students testing lab equipment
three students testing lab equipment