Under Construction: New Drexel Materials Undergraduate Lab Space to Enhance Research and Learning


Drexel Materials undergraduates will soon have a dedicated laboratory space to conduct research for upper level undergraduate laboratory courses and senior design.  

The department has recently been allotted a former classroom slated to undergo a complete renovation to be converted into a full service laboratory in 2017.  In particular, the space, located on the second floor of the Center for Automation Technology (CAT), will be used to support three key undergraduate lab classes: MATE 315 – Processing of Polymers, taught by Professor Caroline Schauer; MATE 345 – Processing of Ceramics, taught by Professor Wei-Heng Shih; and MATE 366 – Processing of Metallic Materials, taught by Professor Mitra Taheri.

“Currently, the classes make do with space in existing departmental labs and borrowed space around campus,” says Professor Rick Knight, teaching professor, associate department head, and undergraduate advisor, who is also in charge of space and facilities for the department.  “This will not only centralize our undergraduate lab classwork, but also provide a space for students to conduct some of their research for senior design, where appropriate.”

The department plans to outfit the lab with a number of instruments to cater to each of the lab classes.  The wish list of equipment includes a tabletop SEM, metallographic sample preparation equipment, optical microscope, metallograph and stereo microscope, tabletop tensile tester, assorted furnaces, impact tester, Zeta sizer, spectrofluorometer, rheometer, thermo gravimetric analyzer, tabletop XRD, twin-screw compounder, injection molder, and FTIR, among other instrumentation.

“This new laboratory will provide our undergraduates with a dedicated space for hands-on research opportunities to augment their classroom learning experiences,” emphasizes Department Head and Professor Michele Marcolongo. “We’re excited for this well-needed addition to our student resources and are building a plan to outfit the labs with state-of-the-art equipment to give our students the experimental background to propel them into their careers in materials.”

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