Courses

Solve real problems, expand your critical thinking skills, and make a difference.

There are many ways to get involved in engineering at Wellesley, complementing your liberal arts education. A great entry point into engineering is taking one of the engineering classes offered at Wellesley.

 

ENGR111: Product Creation for All

A joint first-year seminar and seminar for upperclasswomen for students curious about product development, creativity, and making a difference with technology. This hands-on class will explore how products are created, including an exploration of ideation and brainstorming, reverse engineering, and the product development process. An emphasis will be placed on the role of human factors in engineering, including usability successes and failures of specific products. Students will learn about these topics through two approaches: disassembly and study of existing products and creation of simple product prototypes for specific, local nonprofit organizations serving populations such as those with developmental or physical limitations. By the end of the semester, students will be able to comprehend and independently apply both the product development process and specific human factors engineering approaches used in the design of many everyday objects; they will also have developed their own creativity and a better understanding of how to further develop and apply that skill.

Prerequisite(s): fulfillment of the basic skills component of the Quantitative Reasoning requirement.

Credit Hours: 1

Notes: Mandatory credit/ no credit.

Distributions: MM - Mathematical Modelling and Problem Solving.

Instructors: Amy Banzaert.

 

ENGR120: Making a Difference through Engineering

A project-based exploration of the technical challenges faced by underserved communities in developing countries. Technologies are focused primarily at the household level, exploring the benefits and limitations of existing and proposed solutions. Students will learn and apply engineering design skills - including estimation, prototyping, and creativity - to address real problems facing community partners affiliated with the class. Methodologies for participatory development and co-creation will be considered and utilized as appropriate. The necessity for interdisciplinary work when generating solutions will be emphasized.

Prerequisite(s): fulfillment of the basic skills component of the Quantitative Reasoning requirement.

Credit Hours: 1

Notes: Mandatory credit/ no credit.

Distributions: MM - Mathematical Modelling and Problem Solving.

Instructors: Amy Banzaert.

 

ENGR160: Fundamentals of Engineering

Engineering is about combining ideas from mathematics, physics, computer science, and many other fields to design objects and systems that serve human needs. This project-based course introduces the big ideas of engineering and prepares students for taking additional engineering courses at Olin College or MIT. Topics include the design and construction of mechanisms using rapid prototyping tools such as laser cutters, 3D printers, and computer-aided design software (SolidWorks); modeling and controlling physical systems using the MATLAB programming environments; and feedback and control using digital electronics (Arduino microcontrollers).

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 107 or equivalent 

Credit Hours: 1

Notes: Mandatory credit/ no credit.

Distributions: MM - Mathematical Modelling and Problem Solving

  NPS - Natural and Physical Sciences

Instructors: Amy Banzaert.

 

ENGR305: Intersections of Technology, Social Justice, and Conflict 

This course explores the intersections between social justice, conflict, and engineering using an interdisciplinary, hands-on, case study approach. We will explore four technologies (drones, cell phones, cookstoves and water pumps), exploring in each case both the embodied engineering concepts and the ethical and political implications of using the technology. The case studies will inform our discussions of the following big ideas: technology is directly linked to social justice and can have both highly beneficial and highly problematic results for the development and transformation of conflicts; understanding technology at a deeper level is critical to understanding the justice impact on communities and people; media communication about technology and technological innovations' benefits can be hyperbolic and requires a critical lens. Peace and Justice Studies majors must register for PEAC 305. Students in other majors may register for either PEAC 305 or ENGR 305 depending on their preparation.

This course may serve as a capstone seminar for Peace and Justice majors and minors.

Cross listed courses: PEAC 305 01 - Intersections of Technology, Social Justice, and Conflict.

Prerequisite(s):  For PEAC: PEAC 104 and PEAC 204 or permission from the instructor.

     For ENGR: one ENGR course or a comparable course from another institution      or permission from the instructor.

Credit Hours: 1

Notes: Wendy Judge Paulson ‘69 Ecology of Place Living Laboratory course.

Distributions: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis.

Instructors: Amy Banzaert and Cartia Confortini.