Just a quick one today!
In Sweden, they split the semesters into two periods. I am now a couple of weeks into the second period of this semester, and am starting to get into my two new courses: Intoduction to Computational Mechanics and Engineering Materials Design.
The Intro to Comp. Mech. is basically Finite Element Methods, which is something that is extremely important in modern engineering and something that I’m keen to find out more about.
Engineering Materials Design is similar to my last materials course, however we’re dealing with polymer engineering in stead of metals.
Both of these courses are not part of my particular area of interest, but I am able to maintain my enthusiasm thanks to two very good lecturers. The Comp. Mech. lecturer continually slips into Swedish, usually only to clarify a point or tell a joke, which I’m finding useful in keeping me on my toes and not letting me slip into blankly staring at a whiteboard full of matrices.
My Engineering Materials lecturer is from Holland originally, and teaches this course simply because he enjoys teaching it (he is a headmaster of a school in Linköping). Therefore, he is keen to make the course content interesting and accessible. For instance, to demonstrate the effect of the Glass Transition Temperature on the mechanical properties of a rubber-like material, he brought in a plastic ball and some liquid nitrogen… The end result was him throwing the ball at the wall above some students and the ball shattering into lots of tiny pieces which flew across the room!
In other news, I received my results from my Aircraft Design course. I got an A (on the grade boundary, but an A is an A) which I’m very pleased with.
All the frustration I had around how the course was delivered has mysteriously melted away… How fickle we humans are!