In my opinion, the single most important course I’ve taken in my undergraduate curriculum at Cal Poly Pomona by far has to be…HRT 318 Wines, Beers, and Spirits. And I think anyone who has taken that course will agree. Cheers.
However, the most important course I’ve taken in my MECHANICAL ENGINEERING curriculum has to be ME 315 Engineering Materials. Now, I’ve never cared much for chemistry, but this course ignited interest in a possible career of goggles, lab coats, and studying microstructures. The “material” in this course answers a question that I’ve always had: “Why did they use that material?” It seems like a very easy question to answer but there is so much that goes into answering it that it is, in fact, a science. The course covers dislocations to alloying techniques to fatigue of polymers and everything in between. This is the course that made me say, “Wow, chemistry is cool!” And yes that is a very nerdy statement, but I stand by it. The course covers the properties of certain types of pure metals, alloys, polymers, composites and how these properties can be used to select the correct material for the application. Not only this but how to change these properties to have a more effective material or a completely different material after processing. And if that wasn’t enough, even goes over how to perform a myriad of tests to have experimental evidence of predicted properties. It really is the basis of how we live our lives and how everything is made. Very profound stuff. I was very fortunate to have had a professor who was very passionate about the subject and inspired students to pursue a career in materials.
With all this said, taking the course did not make me an expert of material science, but this course did inspire me to take more materials related courses such as composites and corrosion science, both of which I highly recommend. I was not planning on it but if all goes well, I will be getting my materials minor this spring along with my mechanical engineering bachelor of science. So in conclusion, ME 315. Best. Class. Ever.