EPICS 251 Options
This course meets three times per week for a total of five hours: two hours on Project Day, two hours on Graphics Day, and one hour on Workshop Day. Each class may consist of either one or two sections of 25 students each, with one course mentor per section. In addition, an instructor delivers information about selected computer software packages, and encourages teams to use computer-aided techniques to develop models for the processing and analysis of engineering data, through a series of assignments using these packages. Workshop Day consists of guest speakers or practice in specific skills needed for project requirements.
Students typically work in teams of four to five members to continue to learn and practice the fundamental skills of engineering. Mentors deliver explicit instruction or information in selected topics, such as decision making, team dynamics, communications, along with specifications for course assignments. Mentors also guide teams through the design process by providing information where needed, mediating issues with team members, encouraging creative thought and logical development of design solutions that are grounded in established scientific principles and intended to meet the needs of an external client.
EPICS 251 is a three-credit course, where teams work on a design project from a pool of projects made available to them by their course mentors. Most projects have an external project client. Frequent interaction with the project client is encouraged, and teams are also responsible for scheduling periodic meetings with their clients.
Although most EPICS 251 sections contain a variety of projects from many areas of engineering, certain sections focus on projects in planetary engineering, geographic information systems (GIS), materials (spring semester only) or projects that can be designed using AutoCAD. These sections are indicated by specific titles in Trailhead and are described as follows:
EPICS 251 – Planetary: projects involve design problems in planetary science and exploration, for missions on the moon, Mars or other planets, as well as studies involving asteroids and comets. Examples of recent projects include water extraction on the moon or Mars, astronaut rescue training facility, demonstration satellites for data collection, and lunar base design. Students interested in the Space Area of Special Interest should register for this section.
EPICS 251 – Materials: projects involve the properties or processing of both metallic and non-metallic materials. Recent projects include the design and casting of sports medals, lithium-air and zinc-air batteries, and carbon dioxide sequestration. Students interested in Metallurgical and Materials Engineering should register for this section.
EPICS 262 – EPICS II AutoCAD
: incorporates semester-long instruction and practice in AutoCAD computer-aided drawing, with projects involving the use of AutoCAD in design solutions. Recent projects include remodeling plans for the Ford Building, a solar tree house education center, an environmentally sustainable house, and new structural designs for use in Haiti following the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Students in the Civil Engineering speciality in Engineering, the Environmental Engineering specialty in Engineering, or in Mining Engineering, should consider registering for this section.
There are also several degree programs which specify a departmental version of EPICS II for their students.Students should consult their academic advisor for guidance on which version of EPIC251 to take.
The Computer Skills taught and practiced in non-subject area-specific sections of EPICS 251 include advanced techniques in Microsoft Word, Excel, Project and Access, along with introductory lectures and practice in ArcView (GIS) and MathCAD. Students complete weekly homework assignments using these applications, and incorporate the techniques learned in the development and modeling of their design solutions.