Mech 2 Overview
Mech 2 is a carefully designed engineering curriculum aimed at developing student's analytical, practical and design skills in Mechanical Engineering. The goal of Mech 2 is for students to be able to use their knowledge and skills to apply engineering science to practical engineering problems.
We believe that the traditional curriculum is not an optimal way to educate all students and that many students will benefit from the unified approach of Mech 2. In the traditional program, students take diverse courses at the same time and spend a great deal of energy juggling disconnected mid-terms and assignments. In Mech 2, students take only one course at any one time. These courses are designed to ensure good communication between the instructors in mathematics, materials, electronics and mechanical engineering. We have designed the program so that you have time to focus your thinking on key aspects of theory, and then have a chance to use the ideas in an experimental or design setting. In order to do this, we have had to completely change the way courses are scheduled over each day and over the term. You will see in the weekly schedule that your life in Mech 2 will be very different from that of your friends in other programs.
Although Mech 2 has only been offered since September 2004, we have already observed substantial positive impact on student development. Students have been able to take on much more challenging real-world problems and have had greater opportunity for meta-skill development. In addition, there has been a marked change in performance in senior year classes since Mech 2 alumni have filled those courses. We are very pleased that Mech 2 has also been recognized locally and internationally. In April 2006, Mech 2 received the prestigious American Society of Mechanical Engineers Curriculum Innovation Award for demonstration of significant advancement in engineering education; and, in March 2007 Mech 2 received the UBC Alfred Scow Award for providing a significant positive impact on student life and development at UBC.
To get an idea of what life in Mech 2 is like, why not take a look at a photo slideshow (self-executing file, 10.9Mb, 3 min 17 sec).
If this new approach to education appeals to you, then an excellent, qualified team of instructors welcomes you to Mech 2.
Courses in Mech 2
The biggest difference between Mech 2 and a conventional engineering program is that the regular course structure has been eliminated. Instead of many different courses taken at the same time, you will concentrate on only one integrated course at one time. Over the entire second year, you will take only four courses taught by a coordinated team of instructors.*
In Mech 2, the four courses you will take are numbered MECH 220, MECH 221, MECH 222, and MECH 223.* The four courses are taught in series (you only take one course at a time) as shown in the schedule below.
Notes: 1 includes MATH 256, 2 includes APSC 201, 3 includes MATH 253
To see what a typical week would look like in Mech 2, take a look at the schedule below. One of the first things that you will notice is that you have no more than twelve hours of regular lectures per week. You will also see that Thursdays have a field trip, guest lecture or other special event but are otherwise open. There are one or two labs per week that are directly coordinated with the lecture material. You will notice that there is a lab tutorial on the mornings before you perform a lab so that you will know exactly what to expect when conducting experiments and how it relates to the lecture material. The other activities include one computer lab each week and numerous tutorials to give you plenty of opportunity to work through problems and ask questions. There is also a dedicated question-answer session where you can have contact in small groups with instructors. In the second term, there are two tutorials on technical communication (APSC 201) each week - in the first term, these times are free for you to use as you see fit.
Other than lectures, all activities are done in small groups of four to thirty students.
Click the above schedule for an enlarged printable view.
The details for each course are:
- In MECH 220 you learn all of the skills required to take you through the development and building of a small project. You will complete four one-week modules that include training in machine shop practice, engineering drawing, computer aided design and analysis, and instrumentation. At the end of the four weeks, you will have modeled, documented, fabricated and tested your own fully-working, electronically-controlled magnetic levitation (MagLev) device based on a design that we will supply. Duration: 4 weeks.
- MECH 221 includes more formal training in solid mechanics and rigid body dynamics. The mechanical, materials, mathematics, and electrical aspects relating to solid mechanics and dynamics will be delivered in an integrated fashion by a team of instructors. The material will be covered through a series of lectures, labs, computer labs, field trips, problem sessions, and question/answer sessions. MECH 221 will conclude at the end of first term. Duration: 10 weeks.
- MECH 222 covers material in fluid mechanics, thermodynamics and mathematics. As with MECH 221, the material will be provided by a team of instructors through lectures, labs, computer labs, field trips, problem sessions, and question/answer sessions. MECH 222 will take place in the middle of second term. Duration: 7 weeks.
- MECH 223 is the design course and it is split into two segments which run for four weeks after the completion of MECH 221 and for three weeks after the completion of MECH 222. In MECH 223, you will complete two design projects relating directly to the material from MECH 221 and MECH 222 respectively. MECH 223 will also include a series of lectures and labs focusing on engineering design and professional practice. At the end of each segment of MECH 223, you will have designed and fabricated a mechanical device with a group of other students. You will then have an opportunity to demonstrate your device in a competition with the rest of the class. In addition, you will prepare professional quality engineering reports and presentations as part of the design module. Duration: 7 weeks.
Students register for all courses by selecting one of four standard timetables (STT).
*As a result of the cross-faculty nature of Mech 2, MATH 253, MATH 256, and APSC 201 appear separately on your registration. Apart from this small adminstrative difference, these courses are completely integrated into Mech 2 in terms of both delivery and marking. Also, when you register for a standard timetable in Mech 2, you will automatically be registered in the Mech courses, Math courses and APSC 201. Students with previous credit for APSC 201, MATH 253, or MATH 256 (or Faculty-recognized equivalent courses) may drop these courses from their standard timetable. This is done as a lenience for reducing tutition fees only - students are still fully responsible for the course material in Mech 2. Please see Previous Credit for details.