Skip to Navigation
Swarthmore College    
College Bulletin - Course Catalog 
  
 
  Sep 19, 2017
 
College Bulletin - Course Catalog

Engineering


Return to Departments and Programs Return to: Departments and Programs


Courses  

 


Faculty

ERIK CHEEVER, Professor
MAGGIE DELANO, Assistant Professor1
ERICH CARR EVERBACH, Professor and Chair
VIDYA GANAPATI, Assistant Professor
NELSON A. MACKEN, Professor2
ARTHUR E. McGARITY, Professor3
LYNNE ANN MOLTER, Professor
ALLAN MOSER, Visiting Associate Professor
FARUQ M.A. SIDDIQUI, Professor
MATTHEW A. ZUCKER, Associate Professor3
MICHAEL PIOVOSO, Visiting Professor
ANN RUETHER, Academic Support Coordinator
EDMOND JAOUDI, Electronics, Instrumentation, and Computer Specialist
JAMES JOHNSON, Machine Shop Supervisor
CASSY BURNETT, Administrative Coordinator


1 Absent on leave, fall 2017.
2 Absent on leave, spring 2018.
Absent on leave, 2017-2018.
 


The professional practice of engineering requires creativity and confidence in applying scientific knowledge and mathematical methods to solve technical problems of ever-growing complexity. The pervasiveness of advanced technology within our economic and social infrastructures demands that engineers more fully recognize and take into account the potential economic and social consequences that may occur when significant and analytically well-defined technical issues are resolved. A responsibly educated engineer must not only be in confident command of current analytic and design techniques but also have a thorough understanding of social and economic influences and an abiding appreciation for cultural and humanistic traditions. Our program supports these needs by offering each engineering student the opportunity to acquire a broad yet individualized technical and liberal education.

The Academic Program


As stated in the introduction of this catalog, Swarthmore seeks to help its students realize their full intellectual and personal potential, combined with a deep sense of ethical and social concern.

Within this context, the Engineering Department seeks to graduate students with a broad, rigorous education, emphasizing strong analysis and synthesis skills. Our graduates will be well rounded and understand the broader impacts of engineering. They will have the skills to adapt to new technical challenges, communicate effectively, and collaborate well with others.

The Engineering Department and its students provide to the College community a unique perspective that integrates technical and nontechnical factors in the design of solutions to multifaceted problems.

Objectives


Graduates of our program will be able to demonstrate the ability to:

  • Be flexible and resourceful, able to learn and apply new knowledge, and to adapt successfully to novel circumstances and challenges.
  • Communicate and work effectively with people with a broad variety of backgrounds at both a technical and nontechnical level.
  • Apply engineering principles and methodology to the design and analysis of systems and to the solution of a wide variety of problems.
  • Consider scientific, technologic, ethical, societal, economic, political and/or environmental issues in a local or global context, as appropriate.

Course Major


Engineering majors must complete requirements from two categories: (1) 12 engineering credits and (2) 8 credits in math and science, at least 3 in math and 3 in science. No courses taken at Swarthmore and intended to satisfy these departmental requirements may be taken credit/no credit, except those taken fall semester in the first year. The requirements are detailed below, with math and science discussed separately.

Math and Science Requirement


To fulfill the math and science requirement for the engineering major, students must receive at least eight credits in math and science (for this purpose science is defined as biological, chemical, and physical sciences). All of the courses used to fulfill the requirement must be acceptable for the minimal major in the offering department. The science courses must include two credits of college level physics, and one credit of either biology or chemistry. All but one of the science courses must include a substantial laboratory component. Students must have either placement or credit for: Elementary Single Variable Calculus (MATH 015 ); Further Topics in Single Variable Calculus or Advanced Topics in Single Variable Calculus (MATH 025  [025S] or MATH 026 ); Several-Variable Calculus (MATH 033 MATH 034 , or MATH 035 ); and Differential Equations (MATH 043  or MATH 044 ). The minimal requirement is three credits in Mathematics. Students are recommended to take Linear Algebra (MATH 027  or MATH 028 ), which can count as a fifth math credit of the eight required math and science credits.

Engineering Requirement


Students majoring in engineering are required to take seven credits from the engineering core courses; Mechanics (ENGR 006 ), Electric Circuit Analysis I &  Electric Circuit Analysis II (ENGR 011A ) & ENGR 011B ), Linear Physical Systems Analysis (ENGR 012 ) Experimentation for Engineering Design (ENGR 014 ), Digital Systems and Computer Engineering Fundamentals & Design of Digital and Embedded Systems (ENGR 015A  & ENGR 015B ) or Numerical Methods for Engineering Applications (ENGR 019 ), Thermofluid Mechanics (ENGR 041 ) and Engineering Design (ENGR 090 ). In their first semester students typically will take either 0.5 or 1.0 credits of engineering, choosing between ENGR 011A  , ENGR 011B  (prerequisite ENGR 011A), ENGR 015A  and ENGR 015B  in accordance with their interests and high school preparation.  A student with a very full schedule in the first semester can also opt to take no engineering courses until the spring without falling behind in degree requirements.  Mechanics (ENGR 006 ) is usually taken in the spring of the first year. In the fall of the sophomore year students typically will finish the ENGR 011A  , ENGR 011B  , ENGR 015A  and ENGR 015B  sequence. Linear Physical Systems Analysis (ENGR 012 ) and Experimentation for Engineering Design (ENGR 014 ) are usually taken in the spring of the sophomore year. Numerical Methods for Engineering Applications (ENGR 019 ) can be taken in the spring of the sophomore, junior or senior year. Thermofluid Mechanics (ENGR 041 ) can be taken in the fall of the junior or senior year. Engineering Design (ENGR 090 ) is the culminating experience for engineering majors and must be taken by all majors in spring of senior year. Submission and oral presentation of the final project report in Engineering Design constitutes the comprehensive examination for engineering majors.

Elective Program for Course Majors


Each student devises a program of advanced work in the department in consultation with his or her adviser. The choice of electives is submitted for departmental approval as part of the formal application for a major in engineering during the spring semester of the sophomore year.

A student's elective program may or may not conform to some traditional or conventional area of engineering specialization (e.g., computer, electrical, mechanical, or civil). The department therefore requires each plan of advanced work to have a coherent, well-justified program that meets the student's stated educational objectives.

At most one Swarthmore course taught by a faculty member outside the Engineering Department can count as one of the 12 engineering credits required for the major.

Normally a maximum of 2.5 transfer credits that are preapproved by the Engineering Department will be accepted as partial fulfillment of the 12 engineering credits required for the major. Exceptions to this rule include students who transfer to Swarthmore and others with special circumstances; the amount of credit accepted in their cases will be determined on a case-by-case basis by the department chair.

Students should be aware that most lecture courses at other institutions carry only 0.75 Swarthmore credits, unless they include a full lab sequence. Students who wish to receive credit for courses taken at other institutions, including those taken abroad, as partial fulfillment of the requirements for the major should consult their academic advisers and the chair of the Engineering Department as early as possible to ensure that all requirements are met.

The courses available for traditional elective programs include the following:

  • Electrical engineering group. Electronic Circuit Applications, Physical Electronics, Electromagnetism, Communication Systems, Digital Signal Processing, and Control Theory and Design. Students having an interest in digital systems might replace one or more of these courses with Embedded Systems, Principles of Computer Architecture, Mobile Robotics or Computer Vision.
  • Computer engineering group. Principles of Computer Architecture, Embedded Systems, Computer Graphics, Computer Vision, Introduction to Computer Networks, Mobile Robotics, Operating Systems, and Compilers. Students with an interest in computer hardware may include Electronic Circuit Applications, Physical Electronics, Digital Signal Processing, and Control Theory and Design.
  • Mechanical engineering group. Mechanics of Solids, Fluid Mechanics, Heat Transfer, Thermal Energy Conversion, Solar Energy Systems, and Control Theory and Design.
  • Civil and environmental engineering group. Mechanics of Solids, Structural Analysis, Geotechnical Engineering: Theory and Design, and Water Quality and Pollution Control. Additional courses include Operations Research and Environmental Systems for those interested in the environment or urban planning; or Structural Design for those interested in architecture and construction. Other recommended courses include Solar Energy Systems, and Fluid Mechanics.

Course Minor


Academic Advising


Students interested in pursuing a minor must have a faculty member within the Engineering Department to advise them. If possible, this faculty member should have interests that overlap the area of the minor. Students who encounter difficulties in identifying an adviser should seek the assistance of the chair of the Engineering Department. Students who plan to minor in engineering should regularly consult their engineering advisers. The sophomore papers of engineering minors should indicate the plan to minor and the courses chosen to fulfill the minor.

Requirements


A minimum of 5 credits in engineering is required, of which at least 2 but not more than 3 must be core courses (ENGR 006 ENGR 011A , ENGR 011B ENGR 012 ENGR 014 ENGR 015A , ENGR 015B , ENGR 019  or ENGR 041 , but not ENGR 090 ). The remainder will be selected from elective course offerings within the department. Only those electives that count toward an engineering major can be counted toward a minor. No courses taken at Swarthmore and intended to satisfy these departmental requirements, except those taken fall semester in the first year, may be taken credit/no credit.

At most one Swarthmore course taught by a faculty member outside the Engineering Department can count as one of the 5 engineering credits required for the minor.

Supporting work in mathematics, physics, chemistry, and computer science is necessary only when designated as a prerequisite to an individual engineering course.

No directed readings may be used as one of the 5 credits for the minor.

A maximum of 1 transfer credit that is preapproved by the Engineering Department will be accepted as partial fulfillment of the minor requirements. Transfer credits will not count for one of the two courses used to fulfill the core course requirement of the minor. Students should be aware that most lecture courses at other institutions carry only 0.75 Swarthmore credits, unless they include a full lab sequence. Students who wish to receive credit for courses taken at other institutions, including those taken abroad, as partial fulfillment of the requirements for the minor, should consult their academic advisers and the chair of the Engineering Department as early as possible to ensure that all requirements are met. No culminating experience will be required. Only students pursuing the major in engineering may enroll in ENGR 090  .

Areas of Study


Although packaged selections of courses will be suggested as options for those interested in an engineering minor, students may tailor their programs to meet individual needs and interests in consultation with their advisers.

Honors Major


Students with a B+ average among courses in the Division of Natural Sciences and Engineering may apply for an honors major in engineering. This B+ average must be maintained through the end of the junior year to remain in the Honors Program. A listing of preparations supported by existing engineering courses is appended. Credits from approved attachments or special topics courses may substitute for not more than 1 credit within any preparation.

Honors majors must complete the same requirements as course majors in engineering.

The honors major in engineering is a four-examination program that includes three preparations in engineering (the major) and one minor preparation. Each area comprises 2 credits of work. The preparations may include ENGR 090 and/or one other core course.

The minor preparation must comprise at least 2 credits of work approved by any department or program outside engineering.

Each major candidate must accumulate 12 credits in engineering, including ENGR 090 , and the same number of science and math credits as required of course majors.

If one of the major preparations includes ENGR 090 , it must be paired with an appropriately related upper-level engineering elective or a 1-credit honors thesis to be completed in the fall semester of senior year. Honors thesis credit may not substitute for any of the 12 engineering credits required for the bachelor of science. Candidates who choose an honors thesis will complete at least 13 credits in engineering and 33 across the College. The two additional major preparations must each comprise two related, upper-level engineering electives. A précis of not more than 12 pages (including tables and figures) of each candidate's ENGR 090  project must be submitted by the end of the 10th week of the spring semester for mailing to the relevant honors examiner. The final ENGR 090  report will not be mailed to any examiner but may be brought to the oral examinations.

Senior honors study by engineering majors is not required.

Honors Minor


Senior honors study is required for all engineering honors minors, except those who are also engineering course majors. For those not majoring in engineering, the senior honors study is the culminating experience. Course majors will not take senior honors study because ENGR 090  serves as the culminating experience.

Every engineering honors minor preparation must include two related upper-level engineering electives for which all prerequisites must be satisfied. If the student is not also an engineering course major, then senior honors study is also required. Credits from official attachments or special topics courses in engineering may substitute for not more than one of the two upper-level courses within an engineering minor preparation.

Prerequisites to upper-level engineering electives may be waived by the department, depending on the student's documentation of equivalent work in another department at the time of application.

Prospective engineering majors and minors receive more specific information about Course and Honors Programs from the department each December. Additional information is also available on the Engineering Department website.

Application Process Notes for the Major or the Minor


A form to aid in planning a proposed program of study is available on the department website. This form must be completed and submitted as part of the Sophomore Plan. All engineering courses are to be listed on this form in the appropriate semesters. Check prerequisites carefully when completing the program planning form. Courses, prerequisites and their availability are listed in the College Catalog. Note that many courses are offered yearly, others in alternate years, and some only when demand and staffing permit. An updated prospective two-year schedule is also available on the website.

Courses Readily Available to Students Not Majoring or Minoring in Engineering


Design and Sculpture in the Digital Age (ENGR 001), Problems in Technology (ENGR 003 ), Art and Engineering of Structures (ENGR 007 ) and Fundamentals of Food Engineering (ENGR 010 ) are designed for students contemplating only an introduction to engineering. Mechanics (ENGR 006 ) is primarily for prospective majors, but other interested students, particularly those preparing for careers in architecture or biomechanics, are encouraged to enroll. Environmental Protection (ENGR 004A ), Operations Research (ENGR 057 ), Solar Energy Systems (ENGR 035 ), Water Quality and Pollution Control (ENGR 063 ), Swarthmore and the Biosphere (ENGR 004B ) and Environmental Systems (ENGR 006 ) appeal to many students majoring in other departments, particularly those pursuing an environmental studies major or minor. Students interested in computers, including computer science majors or minors, may wish to consider Digital Systems and Computer Engineering Fundamentals & Design of Digital and Embedded Systems (ENGR 015A ) & ENGR 015B ), Principles of Computer Architecture (ENGR 025 ), Computer Graphics (ENGR 026 ), Computer Vision (ENGR 027 ), and Mobile Robotics (ENGR 028 ). Students majoring in the physical sciences or mathematics may enroll routinely in advanced engineering courses.

Note that Design and Sculpture in the Digital Age, Problems in Technology, Environmental Protection, Swarthmore and the Biosphere, Art and Science of Structures, and Fundamentals of Food Engineering are not admissible as technical electives within an engineering major or minor but may be taken as free electives subject to the 20-course rule.

Off-Campus Study


Swarthmore's Central European Program in Krakow Poland


A program of study is available, normally in the spring of the junior year, at the Technical University of Krakow, Poland, for students interested in an engineering study abroad experience in a non-English-speaking country. Students take courses taught in English consisting of two engineering electives and a survey course Environmental Science and Policy in Central and Eastern Europe, plus an intensive orientation course on Polish language and culture provided by the Jagiellonian University. Coordinator: Professor McGarity.

Engineering Courses


Preparation for Honors Examinations


The department will arrange honors examinations in the following areas to be prepared for by the combinations of courses indicated. Other preparations are possible by mutual agreement.

Communications and Electromagnetic Fields
Communication Systems
Electromagnetic Theory

Communications and Signal Processing
Communication Systems
Digital Signal Processing

Computer Architecture
Digital Systems & Computer Engineering Fundamentals/Design of Digital & Embedded Systems
Principles of Computer Architecture

Electromagnetic Theory
Electromagnetic Theory I
Electromagnetic Theory II

Electronics
Electronic Circuit Applications
Physical Electronics

Environmental Systems
Operations Research
Environmental Systems

Heat Transfer and Fluid Mechanics
Heat Transfer
Fluid Mechanics

Integrated Electronics
Electronic Circuit Applications
Embedded Systems

Mobile Robotics and Machine Vision
Computer Vision
Mobile Robotics

Signals and Systems
Control Theory and Design
Digital Signal Processing

Solar Thermal Systems
Solar Energy Systems
Thermal Energy Conversion or Heat Transfer

Structural Analysis and Design
Structural Analysis
Structural Design

Structural Mechanics
Mechanics of Solids
Structural Analysis

Structures and Soil
Structural Analysis
Geotechnical Engineering: Theory and Design

Thermal Energy Conversion and Heat Transfer
Thermal Energy Conversion
Heat Transfer

Visual Information Systems
Computer Graphics
Computer Vision

Water Quality and Fluid Mechanics
Water Quality and Pollution Control
Fluid Mechanics

Water Quality and Supply Systems
Water Quality and Pollution Control
Environmental Systems

Return to Departments and Programs Return to: Departments and Programs