Paul Schafbuch, Thomas Chiou, and Norbert Meyendorf, all associate professors in aerospace engineering, are improving mechanics and structures courses at Iowa State thanks to an American Society for Nondestructive Testing’s (ASNT) Faculty Grant award.
The award provides incentive to faculty members to revise their existing courses or develop new courses in the field.
ISU submitted the proposal “Introductory NDT for Core Mechanics and Aerospace Structures Courses,” to ASNT with the goal of providing awareness and promoting nondestructive evaluation (NDE) courses earlier in an engineering student’s study program. Overall, this approach will help students later in their design courses as well as provide insight into what they may see in their future careers. These professors and their teaching colleagues will be incorporating the ideas from this proposal in three courses: Mechanics of Materials (EM 324), Flight Structures Analysis (AER E 321), and Aerospace Structures Lab (AER E 322).
Schafbuch currently teaches EM 324 (the first course being improved) and a Caterpillar-sponsored course in practical product development methodology (AER E 490I). He also researches quantitative NDE, a field that centers on testing material properties and detecting defects and unwanted characteristics without harming the material. Schafbuch looks at simulating the interaction of sound waves with defects while he’s working at ISU’s Center for Nondestructive Evaluation (CDNE), one of the United States’ leading research centers for NDE.
“Much of these courses is lots of challenging theory, so the NDE content can give the students a break from theory and offer exposure to equipment and practical concepts utilized in industry.” explains Schafbuch.
Schafbuch hopes incorporating NDE into engineering programs earlier becomes a trend that catches so students do not miss an opportunity to learn this important aspect of engineering.