Learning Assessment and Course Modules

Skilled engineers will be required to preserve the workforce, replace retiring workers, and advance knowledge in the field. The engineering workforce however in general has problems that “interest in engineering is declining” and “women and minorities are significantly underrepresented in engineering” (NSF Engineering Task Force, 2013).
The project addressed these needs in three core ways. First, the new course is authentic to contemporary needs within the engineering industry. The course integrates design, manufacturing, and validation within a coherent and meaningful set of activities. Second, the course takes an active, project-based approach that research shows is effective in fostering the development of deep, conceptual learning and, in turn, greater problem solving flexibility in engineering (Pandy et al., 2004; Rayne, et al., 2006). Third, the course teaches engineering content in the context of a highly attractive context for young people: flight is a universally known, if sometime mysterious, feat of engineering achievement, there is growing awareness of and excitement about manufacturing techniques such as 3D printing and milling, and students are increasingly concerned with issues of environmental sustainability.
There was no course material on aerospace engineering publicly available that integrated design, manufacturing and validation, which was solved by this project.


A course module was developed and taught as EME 198 Directed Group Study with 4 units in SQ17. The course title is “Design and Manufacturing Nozzles and Airfoil Shapes for Compressible Flow Visualizations”. The course is aimed at Sophomore and Junior students. [1]

In addition to the course, undergraduate students were engaged through two Senior Design Capstone projects (EME 185A/B Mechanical Engineering Systems Design Project).

Results of this project were also presented to students in the California State Summer School for Mathematics and Science (COSMOS), Cluster 3 in the years of 2016, 2017, and 2018 and demonstrated to

Graduate students were also involved with the project and learned about it in a seminar in the MAE297 seminar series.

EME 198 Course on Design and Manufacturing Nozzles and Airfoil Shapes for Compressible Flow Visualizations

Title:         Design and Manufacturing Nozzles and Airfoil Shapes for Compressible Flow Visualizations
Duration:  1 quarter
Credits:     4 units
Course prerequisites: E-6 (MATLAB), MATH 21/22 series (Calculus, Linear Algebra & ODE), Physics 9 A&B, EME 50 (Manufacturing Processes), EME 106 (Thermo-Fluid Dynamics)


Week Lectures Prof. Linke Lectures Prof. Hafez
1 Review of manufacturing processes and process planning Review of fluid mechanics and thermodynamics
2 Airfoil and nozzle design and manufacturing Review of compressible flows including nozzles at design and off design conditions
3 Manufacturing performance indicators Prandtl Meyer Expansion fans
4 CAD/CAM Oblique shock waves
5 Costing Euler Equations and Conservation Laws
 Joint review
6 Sustainability Shallow Water Theory and its limitations
7 Product quality (dimensions) Hydraulic Analogy and its limitations
8 Product quality (roughness) Computer simulations
9 Industrial change management Water Table Experiments
10 LCA of efficient airplane wings Comparison between experimental and computational results
 Joint review

Learning goals for the course included:
• Develop conceptual design and analysis skills to a complete an aerospace or mechanical engineering project similar to industrial, real world tasks.
• Understand principles governing the design and manufacturing of nozzles and airfoils with special regard to costs, quality, and sustainability.
• Employ principles of gas dynamics to design nozzles and airfoils
• Balance mathematical analysis and empirical strategies for meaningful engineering problems.
• Develop teamwork skills through projects that illustrate an integrated design process.


Student learning was assessed with regard to their views of engineering, learning experience, and transfer of learning. The students completed a three-part survey on their self-efficacy, confidence and intrinsic value in engineering at the beginning and at the end of the course. Survey data showed significant improvements in engineering design self-efficacy and in self-confidence on a variety of engineering skills, particularly in working on interdisciplinary teams and forming and solving engineering problems. [2]

At the end of the course, the students also completed course evaluations for each instructor and performed a scenario-based assessment. From the scenario-based assessment, we found evidence that students were successfully integrating their understandings across aeronautical and manufacturing engineering and to bridge the theory-application gap. [2]



[1] Barbara Linke, Ian Garretson, Fahad Jan, Mohamed Hafez, Lee Martin, Design and Manufacturing of Nozzles and Airfoil Shapes for Compressible Flow Visualizations in a New Engineering Course., American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Annual Conference on June 27, 2017 in Columbus, OH

[2] paper under review