Professional Components of Relevance

MST Home

Bicycle Materials

Parts & Design

Material Selection

Case Study


There are three major professional components that contribute, and are relevant to the senior project requirement in the Material Science and Engineering (MSE) department curriculum: integration of knowledge, social aspects, and economic aspects. The chosen senior project is educational case study on bicycle materials selection to be presented on a website to encourage material science interest in pre-college students. This report has briefly introduced the senior project and defined it in an executive summary. Our integration of knowledge is described as used in this project from the MSE curriculum classes. The social and economic aspects are also presented to give a broadened view of the projectís application in a general sense; and followed by our conclusion.


Integration of Knowledge

Our integration of knowledge that is used in our senior project from the MSE curriculum, lays in three major class categories. The three categories are the core classes, MSE classes, and electives. All these classes directly relate to our integration of knowledge. All of the classes that are mentioned I the student have taken, completed, and incorporated into my knowledge base.


Core Classes

We will just summarize the important incorporation of knowledge of the core classes.The core classes are classes needed for every engineering discipline; the foundation of all engineering practice. We can define these core classes into three groups: basic, engineering, and technical writing.


The basic classes would be the Calculus series (Math 124, 125, & 126), the Chemistry series (Chem 142 & 152), and the Physics series (Phys 121, 122, & 123) all of these relate physical science to processed formulaic understanding.


This understanding is then related to the core engineering classes of AA 210 Statics, EE 215 Electrical Circuits, CEE 220 Mechanics of Materials, ME 230 Dynamics, and ChemE 260 Thermodynamics. In these classes the physical science understanding from the basics is used and applied to solve engineering problems. The resulting fundamental engineering solution techniques can be applied in solving material design and selection for this case study.


In the technical writing classes (TC 231 & TC 333), I developed very important editing and writing skills to be applied in the senior project. In TC 231, I even wrote a paper on how to design, build, and publish a commercial website.


MSE Classes

We will just list the relevant MSE classes and briefly explain the applied knowledge to the senior project case study.

MSE 170 Fundamentals of Materials Science
Fundamental principles of structure and properties of materials utilized in practice of engineering was learned to be applied to all material science and engineering. I would have to say that this is the most important class to take for a material scientist.

The MSE Laboratory classes MSE 317, MSE 318, and MSE 319, as well as MSE 399; helped with my understanding of experimental techniques, materials processing and mechanical properties of materials, which apply to material and part design in this case study.

MSE 300 Introduction to Materials Science and Engineering
This class introduced me to materials and research which helped me to begin analysis of my case study.

MSE 305 Phase Equilibria
Understanding of phase diagrams helped me to determine the relationships of the solid solution alloys used in the bicycle components and frame.

MSE 314 X-ray Diffraction
Theory and practice of x-ray diffraction when applied to materials helped me to understand the interaction of the components of alloys used in bicycle design.

MSE 315 Kinetics Processing in Materials
Kinetic principles learned for the study of transport processes helped for understanding of process design for materials selected.

MSE 316 Mechanical Behavior of Materials
Understanding the influence of structure on the mechanical properties materials helped in describing the strengthening techniques of alloy parts on the bicycle. Plus added composite materials understanding as related to the possible composite material designed parts for a bicycle.

MSE 330 Processing of Inorganic Materials
Ferrous metal and alloy processing understanding was applied in the bicycle steel alloy parts selection.

MSE 431 Physical Materials Principles
In this class we submitted a written report of this senior project, with direct consideration of physical material principles. This encouraged me to write and research my senior project.

MSE 442 Materials Processing II
Developed basic understanding of both engineering and science aspects of ceramic processing. This allowed us to understand more about metal-ceramic composite bicycle frames and how the can be made.

MSE 322 Thermal Material Systems
Computational thermodynamics helped me in understanding the thermo activation needed in processing the bicycle materials.

MSE 466 Physical Properties of Materials
Materials characterization understanding from this class was applied in elemental component design of the bicycle part materials.

CerE 470 Refractories
This class gave me a very good understanding of the effect of porosity and density has on materials. This was applied in the selection of helmet (the foam helmet design).

Elective Classes

Some of the physics elective classes that I took which contributed to project applied understanding are Phys 224, Phys 225, and Phys 341. Phys 224 and Phys 225 gave me understanding of some element and atomic theory that can tell us about material properties/limitations of materials considered in this case study. Phys 341 is a class on energy and the environment, showing that the world energy consumption must be reduced (e.g. The reason why I encourage bicycle use and environmental material design as in the case study).


Social Aspects

When considering the social aspects upon the conclusion of this senior project, we can state impacts that relate to the overall website design and the contributed case study of bicycle material selection. The most important related aspects are communication, ethical issues, professional issues, and the informational impact on the website readers.


Communication is very important when we consider the project group and the website readers. We succeed as a group in communication by using email and close interaction through group meetings and peer counseling. Upon project completion the most important aspect of the website is to inform and motivate the readers. This is only done by presenting information through good editing skills with focus on attracting the target audienceís attention.


The ethical issue that is of the most concern to our project is copyright laws and erroneous facts presented to our audience. We can overcome the copyright issue by keeping careful account of references cited and consulted. Also research should be carefully reviewed by peers as well as the by group advisor before final presentation in website.


The website will also have professional issues when dealing with website design and material science profession itself. Website design and content must follow standard Internet coding to allow for different software use while maintaining website integrity. This website also must have a positive impact on the material science world with a strong influence towards engineering design.


The purpose of this educational website is to influence Junior High to High School students to take an interest in material science engineering. The website is already in place (online). Each case study will be added to it as a reference to make it informational driven web design including the definitions that go with each case study. Each case study when presented on the website should peak some interest, give understanding and encourage growth in the material science knowledge of its readers.


Economic Aspects

When looking at the economic aspects we should consider overall website building cost and the cost of the maintenance.


For building cost is the key contributors are research and web development. Research in our case can be thought of as free; but for student(s) time, advisorís time, and technical/media support given by MSE department and the University faculties. Web development will mainly rely on each group memberís case study/information layout, with some cost related to professional web developer labor for the professional editing and publishing. In general, all these costs will be covered by curriculum/tuition money and paid University faculty labor.