Engineering Multiphysics Research

Ivana Milanovic, Tom Eppes, Ingrid Russell


This paper describes an engineering undergraduate course that covers the methods and techniques of multiphysics modeling. Students become active participants in analysis and discovery by being challenged to solve a sequence of problems related to high priority technology areas. Projects range from power systems and thermal control of habitats to autonomous flight systems and harsh environment electronics. Working in a cooperative learning environment, teams encounter a series of assignments that build on existing skills while gradually expanding their knowledge and expertise in disciplines outside of their own. This project-based approach employs a scaffolding structure with assignments organized in progressively challenging modules supported by mentoring.
Each project begins with a problem definition which requires consideration of factors and influences beyond a single discipline. Solution development then moves to setting material properties, boundary constraints and including the necessary physics engines. For many students, this is the first in depth exposure to problems with specialized terminologies, driving equations and limiting conditions. Lastly, solving and post processing are addressed exploring steady state, time-variant, frequency response, optimization and sensitivity methods. The paper discusses the teaching and learning strategies, course structure, outcome assessment and project examples.


multiphysics modeling, multidisciplinary design, contextual projects

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International Journal of Online and Biomedical Engineering (iJOE) – eISSN: 2626-8493
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