Welcome to Introductory Engineering!

EGR 101 – Introductory Engineering

Spring 2006

INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Scott D. Johnson, Associate Professor, Physical Sciences and Engineering


PHONE NUMBERS: 301-386-7536


To facilitate e-mail communication with me, please include the following code: NM231 along with the course designation (EGR 101) in the subject of any e-mails to me during the spring 2006 semester.


OFFICE HOURS: W 4-5pm, TTh 1:00-3:00pm, by appointment all other times


This course introduces the student to the theory and practice of engineering. The course has four main parts. Each part will cover important aspects of engineering giving the student a full picture of the career they are about to embark upon. The first part will help the student understand what an engineer is and what type of work they would be expected to perform in society. The second part will deal with higher level engineering concepts. This will be developed in an application area such as a research laboratory giving students exposure to professional practices common in all engineering disciplines. A number of professional papers will be reviewed leading to a creation of a hypothetical laboratory emphasizing the interaction common to all engineering disciplines. The third part will cover fundamental aspects of engineering including drawing, modeling, problem solving, design, and laboratory experimentation. Basic computer skills will be developed using MATLAB, Fortran, C, or similar high level computer language. Finally a team project will constitute the fourth part. The teams will be expected to develop a product using a number of engineering and software skills.

Team work along with communication skills (oral, written, and graphical) are exercised throughout the course.


MAT 241 Complete or concurrent


Upon successful completion of the course a student will be able to

  1. Describe and apply the engineering design process to a simple design problem.

  2. Demonstrate the ability to contribute to a team based design activity, including presentation of design review briefings, developing a simple project budget, measuring progress against the budget, and presenting design project results.

  3. Describe and apply fundamental engineering concepts to a simple problem.

  4. Use a CAD software (Keycreator, AutoCad, MicroStation, or similar product) to construct either a plane layout drawing or a three dimensional wire frame model of a physical object.

  5. Sketch a system design of a laboratory showing sufficient details for presentation.

  6. Read and interpret orthographic views of a three dimensional object.


Engineering Your Future: An Introduction to Engineering 4th Edition. Oakes, William, Leone, Les, and Gunn, Craig. Great Lakes Press (2004).


Handouts on material not covered in the required textbook to be distributed in class throughout the semester.


As with any class an amount of time at least equivalent to two times the credit hours is expected to be performed for homework and labs. Please allot sufficient time for homework.


Evaluation of student performance is to be based on:

  1. Unannounced quizzes and homework will account for approximately 25% of the semester grade. Homework consists of essays that are to be written in standard English format and problem sets.

  2. A comprehensive in-class test on the fundamentals of engineering will account for approximately 25% of the semester grade.

  3. A four to five page essay describing the virtual laboratory we will build in class will account for approximately 25% of the semester grade. This essay is to be an original work that roughly follows along with the class lecture, but is to be wholly original and not just a re-write of the class notes.

  4. A major laboratory design project that is to account for approximately 25% of the semester grade. This project will require an appropriate laboratory book to be handed in along with a small report summarizing the results.


  1. Homework is due at the start of class (or before) except for in-class projects.

  2. Laboratory work is to be submitted in appropriate binders follow any standard laboratory format (this will be reviewed in class).

  3. Make-up homework, quizzes, and/or tests are up to the discretion of the teacher (excused absences only). No makeup will be possible for laboratory work, sufficient time should be available to recover if an absence is necessary.


New topics are to be covered each week and include but are not limited to the following subjects. This outline is subject to change.

Week 1 What is an Engineer: Class discussion and homework

Week 2 Historical case studies in Engineering

Week 3 Expectations in a laboratory setting

Week 4 Case study in engineering: What it takes to build a laboratory

Week 5 Case study in engineering: What it takes to build a laboratory

Week 6 Case study in engineering: What it takes to build a laboratory

Fundamentals of Engineering

Week 7 Units and a mathematics review

Week 8 Statics, dynamics, and optics

Week 9 Thermodynamics and materials

Week 10 Electrical circuits and computer science

Week 11 Introduction to MATLAB

Week 12 Project: Discussion and lab

Week 13 Project: Discussion and lab

Week 14 Project: Discussion and lab

Week 15 Project: Discussion and lab (Final Laboratory DUE)

Reading.assignments are as follows: For class it is expected that an article of sufficient engineering strength be read.

Quizzes will all be unannounced so be prepared.

Tests will be announced a week before and will depend on our progress in the classroom.


  1. Food and drink in limited quantities (snacks, not meals) are permitted in restricted areas (not near electronics) and will be revoked if proper cleanliness is found wanting.

  2. Cell phones must be in vibrate mode and are only to be answered for emergencies (step outside please).

  3. Common courtesy is to apply at all times.


Last day to apply for spring graduation Wednesday, February 15

Presidents' Day - College Closed, No Class Monday, February 20

Last day to change from "audit" to "credit" or "credit" to "audit" Friday, March 3

Spring Break - College Closed, No Classes Mon.-Sun., April 10-16

Last day to withdraw from full-semester classes Friday, April 21

Final Exam Tuesday May 9


Lab is in class CH-307 during class and after class during open hour lab periods