Special Topics Course Descriptions

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Bioprocessing

CH 555D. DRUG AND REGULATIONS

This course provides an overview of regulations that guide the drug industry. Primary focus is on the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and its associated regulations, in particular the Good Manufacturing Practices. The course covers the FD&C Act, including definitions, prohibited acts, penalties and general authority. Focus of the course will be regulations, registration and approval of drugs manufactured by traditional pharmaceutical methods as well as novel biotechnological processes. 

CH 555R. DRUG AND SAFETY REGULATORY COMPLIANCE

This course builds on the information presented in Drug Regulations CH555-100D. Areas addressed include Pharmacovigilance, Drug Safety and Regulatory Compliance. Current topics in drug regulation, manufacturing and safety are also discussed such as Follow on Biologics, the Flu Vaccine shortage and Post Market approval issues. The course will be regularly updated to reflect the current trends and issues in regulatory affairs. The course will feature invited speakers who are practitioners in Drug safety, drug law and manufacturing.

Business

BUS 598. SPECIAL TOPICS: ENERGY MANAGEMENT

This course covers a broad spectrum of energy management topics important to future business managers and leaders including: energy management strategies for business, governmental regulations, incentives and resources, European Union energy policies and programs including carbon credits and related markets. We will study energy efficiency practices as they relate to ISO 50001 Energy Management Systems, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), and Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED), high performance buildings, data centers, renewable energy sources and smart grid. Special focus will be on energy management for financial and environmental sustainability benefits from the perspective of CEOs, CFOs, COOs and CSOs.

OIE 598F. FINANCIAL ANALYSIS OF MANUFACTURING METHODS

This course examines the impact that initial product design choices and their methods of manufacture have on the long term cost of production. The course teaches how to identify cost drivers, understand inflation and changes in material cost that affect long term production economics. It will describe the impact of late design changes on product costing, and how this can be improved. The student will analyze how design and process alternatives affect unit cost based on product life volume. Break-even calculations that include tooling and investment in capital equipment and technology will also be covered.

Computer Science

CS525S./ECE579S. COMPUTER AND NETWORK SECURITY

This course provides a comprehensive introduction to the field of computer and network security. Security architectures and protocols and their impact on computers and networks are examined. Critical computer and network security aspects are identified and examined from the standpoints of both the user and the attacker. Computer system and network vulnerabilities are examined, and mitigating approaches are identified and evaluated. Both the principles and practice of computer and network security are introduced. The basic issues to be addressed by a computer and network security capability are explored. The practice of computer and network security: practical applications that have been implemented and are in use to provide security are surveyed. (Prerequisites: Working knowledge of computers, and basic computer networks.

Construction Project Management

CE590N. NEGOTIATION AND CONFLICT RESOLUTION IN CONSTRUCTION

The major objectives of the course are to learn basic negotiation skills; develop ability, using these skills, to mediate and resolve conflict over land use, development policy and critical decisions about design and construction; and explore the design and construction process as a medium through which to reconcile conflict. This course introduces students to the practice of negotiation and mediation in the context of design and construction. Learning from general theories of negotiation and conflict resolution, students will consider the role of Construction Managers as mediators and consensus-builders who must reconcile conflicting visions about how a specific project should be designed and developed. The course examines a variety of contexts and problems that create a need for negotiation, and raise questions about what it means to negotiate well. It examines how negotiators manage their interactions and ask, "Why do we get one deal rather than another?" The course reviews how negotiators create opportunities for mutual gains, how they construct relationships in which trust is possible, and to how they build sympathy in their interactions. The course also examines the ways in which expanding issues, adding parties, negotiating at multiple levels, and acting in a community context influence negotiation practice. It concludes by understanding how a third neutral party (mediator) could help in managing and solving conflicts

CE 590. COMPUTER BASED SIMULATION FOR THE MANAGEMENT OF CONSTRUCTION FIRMS

This course provides students with theory and principles for the management of the construction firm. It uses  a computer based simulation approach to assist the students in developing their managerial skills and in evaluating  potential costs and benefits derived from  different business and organizational strategies. The computer simulates the operation and business activities of a hypothetical construction firm located in Massachusetts for a period of two years. The simulation software recognizes the vital interplay that takes place between strategic and operational decisions and the human side of business. It incorporates elements of the firm’s decision-making such as the design of the reporting structure, job descriptions and recruitment as well as personnel behavioral issues.

CE 590. CAPITAL FACILITY PLANNING AND FINANCING OF PUBLIC & PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS

This course investigates the planning and financing of capital investment facilities with emphasis on civil infrastructure systems. Several cases studies will be reviewed with an emphasis on the evaluation of project feasibility and evaluation of project performance. A review of project delivery systems is used to promote best value, innovation and private sector participation.  Fundamentals of engineering economics and principles of project finance are explored and used during the evaluation of various types of civil infrastructure projects. Case studies will include infrastructure projects related to transportation, water supply, wastewater treatment and energy production.

Cyber Security

CS 525I. ST: NETWORK INTRUSION DETECTION AND PREVENTION

An introduction to the principles, practices, and tools of detecting attacks on computing systems, with a particular focus on networks. Topics include detection of suspicious behavior, patterns of attacks, analysis of network traffic, and legal issues surrounding the use of intrusion-detection systems. Both host-based and network-based vulnerabilities will be covered. Students will learn to use computer-based tools to analyze network traffic. Assignments will include readings, exercises, and a significant incident-investigation project using realistic-scale data.   Prerequisites: Prior coursework in networks, operating systems, and techniques for securing systems and networks.

CS 525S. ST: COMPUTER NETWORK AND SECURITY (with the NERC CIP standards included)

This course provides a comprehensive introduction to the field of computer and network security. Security architectures and protocols and their impact on computers and networks are examined. Critical computer and network security aspects are identified and examined from the standpoints of both the user and the attacker. Computer system and network vulnerabilities are examined, and mitigating approaches are identified and evaluated. Both the principles and practice of computer and network security are introduced. The basic issues to be addressed by a computer and network security capability are explored. The practice of computer and network security: practical applications that have been implemented and are in use to provide security are surveyed. Prerequisites: Working knowledge of computers, and basic computer networks. 

CS 525#. ST: DIGITAL FORENSICS

An introduction to the principles, practices, and tools of digital forensics, with an emphasis on data related to computer security. Topics include collecting, preserving, analyzing, and presenting digital evidence from multiple data sources (such as databases, operating systems, networks, and application software). An overview of legal considerations affecting data forensics is also covered. Assignments will involve a combination of reading, writing, and using forensics tools on system data. Prerequisites: Undergraduate preparation in Computer Science, including networks, operating systems, and databases.

Electrical and Computer Engineering 

ECE 559#. ELECTRIC DRIVES 

Electric drive systems are used to control electric motors. They are used in power generation, household appliances, automotive and industrial applications. The rapidly expanding area of adjustable speed drives as used in robotics, wind turbines and hybrid vehicles is driven by innovations in machine design, power semi-conductors, digital signal processors and simulation software. 
This course will include the theory underlying electric drives including: phasors and three-phase circuits, concept of real and reactive power; magnetic circuits for electric machines; mechanical systems requirements for electric drives; switch mode converters and pulse width modulation in DC and AC motor drives; force generation and Electro-Motive Force (EMF) for electromechanical energy conversion. Permanent Magnet AC machines; stepper motors and switch reluctance motor drives; energy efficient speed control of induction motor drives and space vectors for AC machine operation will also be taught. The analysis and design of motor drives to meet torque, speed and position controller requirements; DC motor drive four quadrant operation and power quality issues will be included. Other topics include: induction machine equations in phase and space vectors quantities, description of vector control with design of PI controllers. Throughout this course, examples will be used to demonstrate the practical application of these theories. Prerequisites are: ECE 5512 Electromechanical Energy Conversion; and ECE 523 Power Electronics.

ECE 519E. SPECIAL TOPICS: ELECTROMAGNETIC COMPATIBILITY

The goal of this course is to provide electronic systems designers with a working knowledge of practical and mathematically sound principles that govern electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) in real electronic systems. The class begins with the noise coupling model, using applied electromagnetic theory and lumped element models to describe the four noise coupling paths. Special emphasis is included on the definition and application of self and mutual inductance and grounding concepts. Common-mode current and voltage will be discussed in the context of specific system-level regulatory electromagnetic interference (EMI) tests for radiated and conducted emissions and susceptibility (immunity). Students will also study shielding applications for signal cables and system enclosures at low and high frequencies, including shield termination techniques. Class material will also include discussions of the qualitative and quantitative aspects of specific tests proscribed by the US military EMI test standard MIL-STD-461.

ECE 529C. NOISE IN ANALOG AND MIXED SIGNAL CIRCUITS AND SYSTEMS

This course covers the application of probabilistic techniques to the analysis of noise in analog and mixed signal circuits and systems, as well as the design of systems to meet required noise performance. The course begins with a review of basic and advanced probability concepts: probability, random variables, stochastic processes, power spectral density, and autocorrelation. This is followed by a description of fundamental noise mechanisms (e.g. thermal noise, shot noise) and noise models at the device level for the MOSFET and bipolar transistors. Modeling of noise at the amplifier and system level, as well as noise simulation in SPICE, is also covered. These noise analysis techniques are then applied to the design of low noise amplifiers, for both discrete and integrated circuit applications. Also addressed are interference mechanisms that affect measured noise performance, including crosstalk, power supply induced noise, and ground loops. The course concludes with optional advanced topics, possibly including 1/f noise, phase noise and jitter in oscillators, and phase-locked loops (PLL) systems. (Prerequisite: Undergraduate courses in probability, signals and systems, analog microelectronics. ECE 502 helpful but not essential.)

Environmental Engineering

CE 590. GEOENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING: MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE (MSW) MANAGEMENT 

This course will focus on characterization of municipal solid waste (MSW), various MSW management options, geotechnical aspects in the analysis, design and construction of new waste containment facilities (landfills), emerging waste management technologies, and end use of closed landfills.  Disposal of waste generated by people and industrial processes is an important issue in our society. We will explore both technical and practical issues related to the design of landfills and other MSW management options. We will rely primarily on lectures to develop your understanding of these issues. After successfully finishing this course, you should have a solid understanding of the geotechnical issues involved in landfill design and be well on your way to becoming an expert if so desired.  The course is designed so that a substantial background in geotechnical engineering is not required; when necessary, we will review some basic principles of geotechnical engineering.  Environmental engineers, geologists, soil scientists, and others with engineering, geosciences or scientific backgrounds are welcome.

CE 590. GREEN ENGINEERING

In recent decades manufacturing has favored the design of products with little consideration of raw material sourcing or end of life disposal. This has led to social, economic and environmental issues around the sourcing of materials, material use, hazardous emissions, material toxicity, and product end of life. This course introduces students to the wide variety of environmental issues and impacts associated with manufactured products in an industrial facility. We will explore the impacts that engineering design decisions have on the environment and how smarter, more sustainable decisions have the potential to improve a business’s environmental stewardship, financial prosperity, and social well-being. This is a project-based course where students will work independently or in groups to design a simple toy or tool while assessing and reducing the environmental impacts associated with the toy or tool. 

CE590 S: Ground Source Geothermal and Ground Energy Storage (GES) Principles and Applications

This course is designed to immerse students in geothermal and ground energy storage engineering.  Students will cover fundamental principles and design processes using detailed examples.  Consistent with WPI’s focus on using engineering and technology to address real-world problems, this course will also provide students background on policies and trends which are fostering growth and interest in geothermal and other sustainability measures including: economic drivers, stretch codes, greenhouse gas reduction policy, net zero building design, and renewable energy credits.  Students of all engineering, technology backgrounds are welcome including: civil, environmental, mechanical, architecture, and construction management.  Students with interest in sustainability policy and trends are also welcome. 

Fire Protection Engineering

FP 580: SP PROB: BUSINESS PRACTICE

This course requires the student to demonstrate the capability to integrate advanced fire safety engineering analysis and design concepts into a professional business practice environment.  The practicum requires the student to develop an understanding of the financial considerations and business aspects associated with the profession of fire protection engineering.  Students will need to prepare professional quality business plans, project budgets, financial proposals, project budgets, timelines and technical reports.   Oral presentations to communicate the results of work will also be required. 

FP 580/ME 593/AE 593 SP: COMBUSTION

This class is intended to provide an engineer with the basic understanding of various combustion phenomena. It will begin by covering fundamental governing equations for reacting flow, chemical kinetics, and mechanisms of hydrocarbon oxidation. The theory of deflagrations and detonations will be studied. The course will touch briefly on themes of combustion diagnostics, environmental issues, and power generation. Emphasis will also be given on the recent research interest on micro-scale combustion applications. The primary goal of the class is to provide students with tools and understanding to solve the basic problems in combustion and to enable them to read and understand the literature in this broad field of study.  

FP 580 SP: FORENSIC TECHNIQUES

This class focuses on the concept of selecting, applying, and assessing forensic techniques for fire and explosion analysis. Application of the techniques will involve understanding the theoretical basis for the technique, its limitations and associated uncertainty. The general concept of forensic techniques to derive reliable data will be developed with specific applications. The class will generally take up one topic per week, although at least one topic covers two weeks. Some videos will be used to see forensic techniques in action in the laboratory and in the field. Sample forensic techniques for the class may include: X-rays, SEM/EDS, FTIR, optical microscopy, water flow tests, etc. Students will be evaluated primarily through online assessments using quizzes and forum posts within WPI course system, Blackboard. The fourteen week (standard semester) class will include four additional case study weeks on related topics. There are no pre-requisites for the Forensic Techniques Course.

FP 580 SP: COMPLEX DECISION MAKING

One of the biggest ways that you can influence the quality of your life is by improving the quality of your decisions. Complex Decision Making is intended for professionals in management positions and/ or those individuals, regardless of industry, who seek to enhance both their career potential and their overall quality of life.  Based on logical principles, and informed by what we know about the limitations of human judgment and decision-making in complex situations, the course trains managers how to think about and structure decisions. These decisions incorporate both their everyday decisions as well as the tough, complex decisions that involve uncertainty, risk, several possible perspectives, and multiple competing objectives, thus improving the quality of the resulting decisions. In addition to teaching formal decision theory and application, we will explore cognitive biases that prevent us from being completely rational in our thinking and deciding. Exit this course able to define the right decision problem, clearly specify your objectives, create imaginative alternatives, understand consequences, grapple with trade-offs, clarify uncertainties, and think hard about your individual values and risk tolerance. 

FP 580 SP: FIRE PROTECTION FOR NUCLEAR FACILITIES

In nuclear facilities, fire is often a dominant cause of risk to the public and to workers. A fire at a facility containing substantial quantities of radioactive materials can, if uncontrolled, cause extensive property damage and expose both workers and the public to unacceptable levels of radiation. The goal of this course is to give the student an understanding of these unique hazards and the methods by which they can be controlled.

Mechanical Engineering / Materials Science / Manufacturing Engineering

ME 593/MTE 594. SOLAR CELLS

The objective of this course is to provide students with an understanding of the working principles, design, fabrication and characterization of established and emerging solar cell technologies. Students will learn about the electronic properties of semiconductor materials, which are the building blocks of solar cells, and analyze the photo generation and extraction of charges in these materials. The course will emphasize the influence of the atomic-, nano- and micro-scale structure of the materials on the solar cell performance. In addition, the challenges of economics and scalability that must be addressed to increase the deployment of solar cells will be discussed.

  • Module 1 - Optical and electronic properties of semiconductors
  • Module 2 - Semiconductor junctions
  • Module 3 - Charge generation and transport in semiconductors
  • Module 4 - Solar cell modeling and design
  • Module 5 - Solar cell fabrication and characterization
  • Module 6 - Analysis of established and emerging solar cell technologies
  • Module 7 - Economic and scalability challenges for widespread deployment of solar cells

Recommended Background: This is an introductory graduate-level course. An undergraduate major in any of the engineering or physical science disciplines is expected.

ME 593. SPECIAL TOPICS: FIBER OPTICS

This course is designed to introduce students to the field of fiber optics, with an emphasis of fiber optic sensors for mechanical measurements. It covers basic knowledge and working principles of optical fibers and fiber optic components, as well as practical design guidelines and applications of fiber optic sensing systems. The first half of the course will introduce different components of fiber optics, including working principles of optical fibers, single-mode and multimode fibers, properties of optical fibers, passive fiber optic devices, light sources and detectors. The second half of the course will focus on the fiber optic sensing systems, including working principles of fiber optic sensors, intensity-based and interferometer-based fiber optic sensors, fiber Bragg gratings, and low-coherence fiber optic interferometers. Specifically, design of fiber optic sensors for strain and pressure measurements will be discussed. Moreover, measurement characteristics and signal processing of fiber optic sensing systems for different applications will be introduced.

ME 593/AE 593/FP 580. SPECIAL TOPICS: COMBUSTION

This class is intended to provide an engineer with the basic understanding of various combustion phenomena. It will begin by covering fundamental governing equations for reacting flow, chemical kinetics, and mechanisms of hydrocarbon oxidation. The theory of deflagrations and detonations will be studied. The course will touch briefly on themes of combustion diagnostics, environmental issues, and power generation. Emphasis will also be given on the recent research interest on micro-scale combustion applications. The primary goal of the class is to provide students with tools and understanding to solve the basic problems in combustion and to enable them to read and understand the literature in this broad field of study. 

ME 593/MTE 594. SPECIAL TOPICS: BIOMATERIALS

This course is intended to serve as a general introduction to various aspects pertaining to the application of synthetic and natural materials in medicine and healthcare. This course will provide the student with a general understanding of the properties of a wide range of materials used in clinical practice. The physical and mechanical property requirements for the long term efficacy of biomaterials in the augmentation, repair, replacement or regeneration of tissues will be described. The physico-chemical interactions between the biomaterial and the physiological environment will be highlighted. The course will provide a general understanding of the application of a combination of synthetic and biological moieties to elicit a specific physiological response. Examples of the use of biomaterials in drug delivery, orthopedic, dental, cardiovascular, ocular, wound closure and tissue engineering applications will be outlined. In general,this course will: 

  1. highlight the basic terminology used in this field and provide the background to enable the student to review the latest research in scientific journals.  
  2. provide students with a greater familiarity with the biomaterials literature
  3. demonstrate the interdisciplinary issues involved in biomaterials design, synthesis, evaluation and analysis, so that students may pursue advanced, more focused graduate courses in biomaterials, address research problems, or seek a job in the medical device industry.

ME 593C. SPECIAL TOPICS: DESIGN OF THERMAL SYSTEMS

Design of Thermal Systems applies the fundamentals learned in the Thermodynamics, Fluids, and Heat Transfer courses to real problems in various industry sectors. Specifically, students learn how to design, simulate, and optimize small and large scale thermal systems. Examples from process industries (e.g., chemical, gas, petroleum, etc.), power systems, heating ventilating air conditioning and cryogenic systems, and others will be used in this course.

MFE 5420/MTE 5420/ME 5420. ST: AXIOMATIC DESIGN OF MANUFACTURING PROCESSES

This online only, seven week, two credit course includes an in-depth study of axiomatic design, the theory and practice. Applications are considered primarily, although not exclusively, for the design of manufacturing processes and tools. Axiomatic design is based on the premise that there are common aspects to all good designs. These commons aspects, stated in the independence and information axioms, facilitate the teaching and practice of engineering design as a scientific discipline. Analysis of processes and products is considered from the perspective of supporting product and process design. Fundamental methods of engineering analysis of manufacturing processes with broad applicability are developed. Special attention is given to examples in machining (traditional, nontraditional and grinding), additive manufacturing, and to the production of surfaces. The ability to generalize is emphasized to facilitate development of analyses and design methods with broader applicability.
The content is delivered in video lectures and in readings from the technical literature. The grade is from performance on homework and quizzes given and delivered on-line and on a design project on manufacturing processes. The project will be developed in a series of assignments which will be reviewed and commented on individually. Project topics can be from work or dissertations on many kinds of systems and services, in addition to traditional manufacturing processes and tools. Credit cannot be given for this course and any of the similar, in-class versions for 3 credits, MFE 520, MTE 520 and ME 543.

MTE 594. ST: BIOPOLYMERS

Natural and synthetic polymers are used extensively in medical devices. The purpose of this research oriented course is to describe the physical and mechanical characteristics of these polymers. A general understanding of the use of these polymers in the augmentation, repair, replacement or regeneration of tissues will be provided. The physico-chemical interactions of the polymers in a physiological environment will be highlighted. Topics to be covered include resorbable polymers, hydrogels, dendrimers, IPN’s and smart polymers. Examples of the use of biopolymers in drug delivery, orthopedic, dental, cardiovascular, ocular, wound closure and tissue engineering applications will be outlined. Prerequisites:  a) basic knowledge of materials science and mechanics at the graduate level b) undergraduate/graduate class in polymers that has provided a basic familiarity with the terminologies in macromolecules c) some experience with research methodologies, as this will be a research oriented class.

MTE 594. ST: PRINCIPLES OF METALLURGY

This course provides a foundation in material engineering for the subsequent three manufacturing process courses. The course will explore the classic interplay among structure-processing-properties-performance in materials, primarily in metals and some coverage of ceramics. The structure of materials ranging from the subatomic to the macroscopic, including nano-, micro- and macromolecular structures will be discussed to highlight bonding mechanisms, crystallinity, and defect patterns. Representative thermodynamic and kinetic aspects such as diffusion, phase diagrams, nucleation and growth, and TTT diagrams will be discussed along with dislocation theory. Strengthening mechanisms including solid solution strengthening and precipitation hardening, and grain boundary engineering will be emphasized. The relationship between alloy composition, microstructure, and property of commonly utilized engineering materials including steels, aluminum, magnesium, titanium, nickel, cobalt, refractory alloys and selected ceramics will be described in detail to illustrate the basic principles.

MTE 594L. ST: MANUFACTURING PROCESSES I: HEAT TREATING, FORGING/FORMING AND POWDER PROCESSING

This course will begin by focusing on the fundamentals of the heat treating process with examples from the steel, aluminum, titanium, and nickel alloy systems. The importance of heat treating to the mechanical properties of alloys will be emphasized. Modeling methods for heat treating processes will be presented and discussed. Metal forming methods including sheet forming, forging, and extrusion will be presented and discussed and the alloy’s response to these processes will be emphasized. Finally, powder processing methods will be explored, including processes and techniques for manufacturing powder, forming shapes, sintering, and finishing.

MTE 594M. ST: MANUFACTURING PROCESSES II: CASTING, JOINING, AND DIRECT DIGITAL MANUFACTURING

This course provides the fundamentals of casting, joining and direct digital manufacturing processes applicable to UTC products, including process description sub-process steps, key process inputs, key process outputs, effect of process variables on material properties, and modeling of process. A review of casting processes sand, permanent mold, and investments will be provided. Directional solidification and single crystal growth will be explored. Modeling casting processes will be developed. The metallurgy of joining and direct digital manufacturing will be covered, including processes, such as fusion welding (GTAW, PAW, GMAW), high energy beam welding (laser, electron beam), solid state joining (friction, inertia bonding, friction stir welding, diffusion bonding), brazing, resistance welding, etc.

MFE 594N. ST: MANUFACTURING PROCESSES III: COATING AND SURFACE TREATMENTS 

This 3 credit, graduate-level course provides the fundamentals of coating and surface treatment methods applicable to UTC products, including process description, sub-process steps, key process inputs, key process outputs, effect of process variables on material properties, and modeling of process. Coating technologies, including plasma thermal spray, PVD, CVD, ion implantation, cold spray, with focus on coatings of interest to UTC will be presented. Flame and plasma spray coatings will be included. Gas phase absorption and reaction processes, including carburizing, nitriding, aluminizing, chromizing, and boronizing, with focus on microstructural development will be covered. Process Modeling will be introduced. The topic of surface treatment used to enhance material property and manage residual stresses such as peening, laser shot peening, low plasticity burnishing and case hardening of steels will also be covered. (Prerequisite MTE 594[x] Principles of Metallurgy),

MTE 594Y. ST: MECHANICAL BEHAVIOUR IN METALLIC ALLOYS

The purpose of this class is to provide a basic knowledge of the principles pertaining to the properties of materials. The basic aspects of elastic and plastic deformation in metallic alloys will be highlighted. Various yield criteria in ductile metals will be presented. The metallurgical fundamentals of dislocation theory and strengthening mechanisms will be discussed. Basic concepts of fracture mechanics including Griffiths and Irwing’s theories will be described. The effects of notches and notch sensitivity of various metallic alloys will be discussed. An overview of dynamic properties such as fatigue, impact and creep will be provided. The relationship between the structural parameters and the preceding mechanical properties will be described. Recent developments in the use of nanotechnology for improving mechanical properties of metallic alloys will be summarized. Various testing methodologies for estimating tensile, compressive, flexural, fracture toughness, impact toughness, fatigue and creep properties will be described. The importance of ductile to brittle transition in some metals will be emphasized. Property reinforcement through the use particles and fibers and basic composite theories will be discussed. 

ME 593/MFE 594/MTE 594. ST: FUNDAMENTALS OF SURFACE METROLOGY

Fundamental principles of surface metrology, the measurement, analysis and characterization of surface topographies, including roughness, are introduced. Surface metrology is important in a wide variety of situations including adhesion, friction, fracture, flow, catalysis, corrosion, cleanability, heat transfer, mass transfer, scattering, biological growth, wear, and wetting. These situations impact practically all the engineering disciplines and sciences from scales of nanometers to kilometers.  Conventional profile measurements and analyses are reviewed.  Areal measurements and advanced, multi-scale geometric characterizations are emphasized.  Measurement and filtering methods are critically reviewed. Students learn advanced scale-based methods for surface discrimination and for discovering correlations with processing and performance.  The design, tolerancing and manufacture of surface textures, are covered along with issues in quality assurance. Examples of research from a broad range of fields are presented, including: food science, transportation, tribology, manufacturing, as well as physical anthropology and archaeology.  Students do a major project of their choosing, which can involve either an in-depth literature review, or surface measurement and analysis. The facilities of WPI’s Surface Metrology Laboratory are available for making measurements for selected projects. Software for basic and advanced analysis methods is also available for use in the course. No previous knowledge of surface metrology is required. Students should have some background in engineering, math or science.  The content is similar to ME 5370, MTE 5841 and MFE 5841.  Credit cannot be given for both.  The content is delivered through knowledge apps (i.e., video books, www.retrieve.com) and readings from the scientific and technical literature.

Robotics Engineering

RBE 595. SPECIAL TOPICS: ADVANCED ROBOT NAVIGATION

In recent years, robots have become part of our everyday lives. Leaving the research labs to be part of the common tools of a household, tools such as robotic vacuum cleaners (iRobot Roomba, Kalorik), pool cleaners (Polaris, Maytronics), Lawn mowers (Landroid, LawnBott) and more abound. For navigating safely, these robots need the ability to localize themselves autonomously using their onboard sensors. 
Potential applications of such systems include the automatic 3D reconstruction, 3D reconstruction of buildings, inspection and simple maintenance tasks, metric exploitation, surveillance of public places as well as in search and rescue systems. In this course, we will dive deep into the current techniques for 3D localization, mapping and navigation that are suitable for robotic applications. Required prerequisites: RBE 500 - Foundations of Robotics, RBE 501 – Robot Dynamics, RBE 502 – Robot Control

RBE 595. MOBILE ROBOTICS

Do you want to learn how to program a Google Car?  This course covers the basics and principles of mobile robotics. This course will teach you the Artificial Intelligence (AI) for mobile robotics, including: kinematics, planning and search, localization, tracking and control. More advanced topics include state estimation using Bayes Filters, Kalman Filters, and Particle Filters. Beyond wheeled mobile robotics, the course will also cover legged locomotion and wearable exoskeleton robots. Programming examples and assignments will help students to understand the principles and apply the methods in the context of building self-driving cars.

RBE 595. ST. ADVANCED ROBOTICS: PARALLEL AND WALKING MECHANISMS

Foundations and principles of parallel and walking mechanisms. Topics include advanced spatial/3D kinematics and dynamics of parallel manipulators and legged/walking mechanisms including workspace analysis, inverse and forward kinematics and dynamics, gait analysis of walking mechanisms, motion analysis of parallel mechanisms as well as legged and walking mechanisms, stability/balance analysis of walking mechanisms, and control of parallel manipulators and walking mechanisms. The course will be useful for solving problems dealing with parallel manipulators as well as multi-legged walking mechanisms including humanoid robots, quadruped robots, hexapod robots and all other types of legged walking mechanisms. A final term project would allow students to apply all this information to design, analyze, and simulate parallel and walking mechanisms. Students taking this course are expected to have a background in kinematics and dynamics.

RBE 595. ST: SOFT ROBOTICS

Soft robotics studies ‘intelligent’ machines and devices that incorporate some form of compliance in their mechanics. Elasticity is not a byproduct but an integral part of these systems, responsible for inherent safety, adaptation and part of the computation in this class of robots. This course will cover a number of major topics of soft robotics including but not limited to design and fabrication of soft systems, elastic actuation, embedded intelligence, soft robotic modeling and control, and fluidic power. Students will implement new design and fabrication methodologies of soft robots, read recent literature in the field, and complete a project to supplement the course material. Required Background: Differential equations, linear algebra, stress analysis, kinematics.

RBE 595. ST. DEEP LEARNING FOR ADVANCED ROBOT PERCEPTION

This course will cover deep learning and its applications to perception in many modalities, focusing on those relevant for robotics (images (RGB and RGB-D), videos, and audio). Deep learning is a sub-field of machine learning that deals with learning hierarchical features representations in a data-driven manner, representing the input data in increasing levels of abstraction.

The course will cover the fundamental theory behind these techniques, with topics ranging from sparse coding/filtering, autoencoders, convolutional neural networks, deep belief nets, and Deep reinforcement networks. We will cover both supervised and unsupervised variants of these algorithms, and we will work with real-world examples in perception-related tasks, including robot perception (object recognition/classification, activity recognition, loop closure, etc.), robot behavior (obstacle avoidance, grasping, navigation, etc.), and more.

The course will involve a project where students will be able to take relevant research problems in their particular field, apply the techniques and principles learned in the course to develop an approach, and implement it to investigate how these techniques are applicable.

Operations

OIE 598E. ENGINEERING ECONOMICS

The intention of this course is to aid all engineering students in understanding economics and business constraints on engineering decision making. Topics may include but will not be limited to: evaluation of alternative; the six time-value-of-money factors; present worth, annual cash flow and rate-of-return analysis; incremental analysis; depreciation and income taxes; replacement analysis; inflation; handling probabilistic events; public economy; break-even and minimum cost points; and foreign exchange.

System Dynamics 

SS 590. INTRODUCTION TO SYSTEM DYNAMICS 

This course introduces the basic concepts of System Dynamics with the aim of setting the student on the path to becoming a successful modeler.  Topics include uses of models, behavior over time, feedback and causal loop diagrams, stock-flow diagrams, and the modeling process. Through examples and assignments, the student will learn how to build simple, insightful models from textual descriptions.

Systems Engineering

SYS 512. REQUIREMENTS ENGINEERING
Requirements drive system definition and development. Properly managed requirements contribute to project success, while poorly defined and poorly managed requirements often lead to project failure. Modern systems are demanding even more attention to proper requirements definition and management. This course provides processes, techniques, and best practices necessary to develop and manage requirements in today’s complex environments. (Prerequisite: SYS 501.)

SYS 579C. COMPLEX DECISION MAKING
One of the biggest ways that you can influence the quality of your life is by improving the quality of your decisions. Complex Decision Making is intended for professionals in management positions and/ or those individuals, regardless of industry, who seek to enhance both their career potential and their overall quality of life. Based on logical principles, and informed by what we know about the limitations of human judgment and decision-making in complex situations, the course trains managers how to think about and structure decisions. These decisions incorporate both their everyday decisions as well as the tough, complex decisions that involve uncertainty, risk, several possible perspectives, and multiple competing objectives, thus improving the quality of the resulting decisions. In addition to teaching formal decision theory and application, we will explore cognitive biases that prevent us from being completely rational in our thinking and deciding. Exit this course able to define the right decision problem, clearly specify your objectives, create imaginative alternatives, understand consequences, grapple with trade-offs, clarify uncertainties, and think hard about your individual values and risk tolerance.

SYS 579D. ENGINEERING DEPENDABLE AND SECURE SYSTEMS

This course considers all facets of engineering dependable and secure systems, i.e., systems that are reliable, available, secure, and can be depended upon to deliver their intended capabilities despite hardware failures, software failures, network failures, external attack, and unexpected behavior. Topics include building dependable system architectures; resilience; security and quality of service of networks; dependability assessment; and software reliability. The class will consist of lectures, case studies, and a class project. (Prerequisite: SYS 501.)

SYS 579S. System of Systems Engineering

An innovative approach to engineering complex systems of systems is developed. This approach relies heavily on case studies to drive the discovery of effective techniques. We will discuss complex systems of systems characteristics and behaviors, enterprises, the principled engineering of systems of systems, and distinctions between these forms and conventional approaches. A forward-looking, people-focused approach will be developed, with emphasis on systems thinking; posing a guiding architecture (not just architectural views) up-front that does not change much as the system evolves; balancing competing factors rather than subsystem optimization; pursuing opportunities as opposed to just mitigating risks; sharing information to build interpersonal trust; and communicating individual perspectives to collectively garner better views of the underlying reality. The overall goal is to revisit and broaden one’s “mindsight” in order to build more effective, resilient, scalable, and durable systems. Prerequisites: SYS 501 and SYS 510.

SYS 579X. MODEL-BASED SYSTEMS ENGINEERING II

The course expands upon the principles of MBSE I and demonstrates a variety of modeling languages, analytical methods and tools to help analyze a system. Upon completion of the course the student should have an understanding of the different types of modeling languages, methods and tools available and the limitations of each. This is a survey course that will demonstrate through lecture and case study the use of many languages, methods and tools. (Prerequisite: SYS 521.)

SYS 579Y. MODEL-BASED SYSTEMS ENGINEERING III

The course will require the student to narrow in on a particular modeling language and develop depth in its use to analyze a variety of complex issues that could pop up in higher level systems such as Health Care, Finance, Transportation, etc., that require several engineering disciplines for their development and sustainment. The student is expected to become fully competent in at least one modeling language and demonstrate proficiency in its use and fully understand its limitations. (Prerequisite: SYS 521.)

SYS 579Z. CURRENT TOPICS IN SYSTEMS ENGINEERING

Central to the practice of Systems Engineering is a broad base upon which to build and view problems from. This class will hone the students’ academic skills and provide a strong experience base that would otherwise take many projects to develop. This course will cover two or more topics each week, generally through guest lecturers using their own personal experience or case studies, covering a broad range of topics. In addition to active participation in class and attendance at guest lectures, the student will be expected to conduct independent research and reading about each topic and write a short paper about its applicability to a fictitious or actual project. The fictional project will be provided to the class. The student will also prepare a thesis in an area chosen from a list of topics which could include: Systems Thinking, System Optimization, Use of non-Engineering Disciplines on the SE Team, Systems of Systems Environments, Using Systems Engineering in Social Systems, Using Systems Engineering in Software Intensive Systems and Surety Engineering.

SYS 579#: PROTECTION PLANNING ACROSS THE PROGRAM LIFE CYCLE*


This course presents a strategic view of how to implement Protection Planning theories and methods across a program’s life cycle in terms of tradeoffs among risks, costs and benefits. Topics covered include using criticality analysis to identify mission-critical functions and components and to determine the consequences of losing mission capability; using threat analysis and vulnerability assessment to identify and manage the likelihood of losing mission capability; implementing countermeasures to mitigate or neutralize threats and vulnerabilities; and methods for implementing these and other systems security engineering practices across the various phases of the system life cycle.

SYS 579#: PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS OF SYSTEMS SECURITY ENGINEERING*

This course examines several applications or case studies of Systems Security Engineering in practice. The course starts with an overview of Systems Security Engineering and the areas of domains; threats, vulnerabilities, and countermeasures; passwords; and authentication schemes. The course then covers design and architectural trends and techniques in the areas of multilevel and multilateral security; security domains; physical protection; biometrics; emissions; and network defense. Other topics such as cryptography, supply chain risk management, information assurance, software assurance and system evaluation and assurance are explored.