Fordham Notes: FordhamScience: Engineering Physics at Fordham

Thursday, August 12, 2010

FordhamScience: Engineering Physics at Fordham

One of the most important components to an engineering education is hands-on laboratory experience. Freeman Hall is home to the new Engineering Physics Laboratory, which plays an important role supporting the Engineering Physics Program.

As part of the Engineering Physics curriculum, students take courses in Engineering Statics, Mechanics of Materials, Fluid Mechanics, Introduction to Electrical Engineering and now a formal course in Engineering Experimentation. The introduction of this new course to the curriculum is a result of the Engineering Physics Laboratory which was made possible through a generous gift from John and Jeanette Walton.

The creation of the new laboratory included the renovation of an older laboratory space which required new floors, fresh paint, new and improved lighting, all new laboratory benches and furniture, new computers and air conditioning.

In addition to the renovation, the gift included funding for new laboratory experiments. These experiments were selected to match the courses taught as part of the curriculum. Experiments include strength of material testing, material hardness testing, beam and column buckling, complete fluid dynamics experiments including fluid flow analysis in pipes, pressure and velocity measurements and analysis of fluid flow through various valve configurations.

Additional experiments in Mechatronics and automation technology include computer controlled robotic platforms and conveyor belt assembly units. Students can program each conveyor unit separately in small groups so that the groups can connect all of the units to create a long conveyor system which can assembly parts, test the assembled unit and finally lift and remove the unit from the conveyor system. Experiments also include a broad spectrum of experiments in Electrical Engineering including operational amplifiers, power semiconductors, transistor and amplifier circuits, DC and AC technology, and digital technology.

Sanzari speaking about Engineering Physics to the Fordham College at Rose Hill Board of Visitors.

The curriculum in engineering physics offers unusual opportunities to the student to combine a broad set of options in the engineering disciplines with a strong background in physics and mathematics. Building on a physics and engineering science base, students may choose from among technical elective options in mechanical engineering, civil engineering, computer and information science, and electrical engineering. This combination of experience in engineering design and practice with a broad knowledge of the underlying fundamental physical and mathematical concepts provides the student with an excellent base for careers in engineering as well as for graduate work in engineering.

Fordham students graduating with a degree in Engineering Physics are currently pursuing or have completed graduate degrees in engineering from the following institutions: Columbia University, University of Southern California, Manhattan College, Stevens Institute of Technology, University of California San Diego, University of Central Florida, and Georgia Institute of Technology. Graduates have also entered the professional workforce as engineers with the following companies: Lockheed Martin, Con Edison, Thor Laboratories, City of Yonkers Engineer, Inductotherm, Mottola Rini Engineering, John P. Picone, Inc, and Valador.

A new minor in Engineering Physics has been created. The minor will provide students in the pre-architectural program with courses in civil and mechanical engineering that are vital to their field. The minor will also be attractive to any student that wants to gain a more sophisticated background in engineering and technology. I am currently working to finalize a cooperative agreement with Manhattan College which would lead to guaranteed acceptance for Fordham student’s graduating with a degree in Engineering Physics to the Master’s degree programs in Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering at Manhattan College.

The Engineering Physics Program is also building a new Alternative Energy Laboratory which is currently under renovation and will be completed this Fall. The renovation and creation of this laboratory is made possible through a generous gift from the estate of William A. Robba. Solar panels and a wind turbine will be mounted on the roof of Freeman Hall. Electrical cables from these devices will run into the Alternative Energy Laboratory. Students will be able to perform experiments in energy conversion, DC and AC electrical circuits, energy storage, photovoltaic cells and wind energy conversion. The power generated by the solar panels and wind turbines will supply energy to help power the lab.

—Martin A. Sanzari, Ph.D

Martin A. Sanzari, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of physics and director of the Engineering Physics Program. Before joining the faculty in 1996 he was a program manager at Kearfott Guidance & Navigation Corp. The holder of four U.S. patents, Sanzari’s research focuses are on Medical Engineering Physics and Applied Optics. He is also a visiting research scientist at The Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.

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