New engineering courses highlight innovation in manufacturing

Miranda Buckheit
November 05, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Penn State Harold and Inge Marcus Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering will introduce two new graduate courses on the future of manufacturing and nanotechnology during the spring semester.

Mechanics of Materials in Manufacturing and Nano and Composite Manufacturing showcase the department’s ability to translate emerging engineering developments into new educational opportunities, according to Ling Rothrock, interim department head.

“The department is always seeking to innovate with new and exciting opportunities for our students,” Rothrock said. “These courses exemplify the need to challenge traditional thinking and provide an outlet for novel ideas in industrial engineering. I look forward to seeing what our faculty and students accomplish.”

The courses aim to prepare industrial engineering graduate students for futures in academia, industry and other areas. The department offers multiple graduate programs, including a master's and doctoral degree, as well as online opportunities such as the master of engineering in industrial engineering.

“I am thrilled to be working with the students,” said Saurabh Basu, assistant professor of industrial engineering. “Every class I teach is a learning opportunity for me about how to tune my thought processes on a concept so that I can deliver it in a relatable manner.”  

Basu will teach IE 597: Mechanics of Materials in Manufacturing. He explained that when a new design is created for a new product, an important question must be asked: how will this design be manufactured?

If a suitable answer cannot be found, the design may be scrapped, an old manufacturing process may need improvement or a new manufacturing process must be invented. According to Basu, the course will help students develop a sense of design complications within the manufacturing process by teaching them to think critically before design finalization and fabrication. He noted that this course will provide valuable information in advanced product design settings.

Hongtao Sun, assistant professor of industrial engineering and co-hire of the Materials Research Institute, will teach IE 597: Nano and Composite Manufacturing.

“This course will create a base knowledge in the field of composite manufacturing and nanomanufacturing by teaching students how to assemble nanostructured materials into macroscopic bulk forms ranging from hierarchical architectures, structural composites and functional devices,” Sun said.

In this course, students will design advanced materials and devices using nano-building blocks along with scalable and high throughput manufacturing processes to realize the promise of nanotechnology and nanomaterials at commercially feasible scales. 

“This course is complementary to the current courses regarding traditional manufacturing approaches, but it will enrich the scope of the manufacturing area in this department,” Sun said. “Because this course covers multidisciplinary areas, it may attract students from other departments such as materials science, mechanical engineering, engineering science and mechanics, biomedical engineering and more.” 

For more information on graduate studies in the Penn State Harold and Inge Marcus Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, visit  


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Last Updated November 05, 2019