Undergraduate Laboratory Experience for Ceramics


An appreciation for experimental work and the development of laboratory skills are essential parts of undergraduate materials education. To develop effective laboratory courses in materials, the unique characteristics and properties of ceramics must be considered. Normally, ceramics cannot be produced by the methods commonly used for metals and polymers because ceramics are more refractory and brittle than other materials. Ceramics are commonly fabricated by compacting and sintering particulate starting materials. At the University of Missouri-Rolla (UMR), ceramics education is concentrated in the Department of Ceramic Engineering. UMR has an integrated, four-semester laboratory sequence at the sophomore and junior levels designed to provide the specialized training needed for the production of ceramics. The laboratory exercises emphasize a hands-on approach for the students and topics include the use of equipment, selection of raw materials, choice of processing and characterization methods, and statistical design of experiments. The coordination of experiments with topics in other lecture courses is an important part of the undergraduate program. The sophomore and junior classes also provide the necessary foundation for the senior level laboratory courses, a two-semester capstone Senior Design course and a property measurement laboratory.

Meeting Name

ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: Engineering Education Beyond the Millenium (2000: Jun. 18-21, St. Louis, MO)


Materials Science and Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Ceramic engineering; Crystalline ceramics; Electronic materials; Education; Electronic equipment; Microstructure; Polymers; Single crystals; Sintering; Students; Ceramic materials

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


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© 2000 American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

21 Jun 2000

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