This website was created to make accessible the materials generated for this course development work.


The goal of this curriculum development work is to update an existing engineering problem solving course (ENG6) to introduce undergraduate students to sustainable engineering. There are three goals:
  • Sustainability focused lab exercises
  • Hands-on experience
  • Project-based learning

Students who enrolled in the course will learn MATLAB through solving sustainable/renewable engineering related problems. Students will also gain hands-on experience working with hardware (Developed based on Arduino UNO) to gather sunlight data. The course emphasizes topics in solar cell technology, but other topics such as green building design and electric vehicles are also briefly covered.

MATLAB Topics Covered: 1D, 2D vectors and manipulations, mathematical and logical operations, loops, flow control, custom function, structures, object-oriented programming, string regular expression, Graphical User Interface design, and plotting.

This course targets lower division undergraduate students (however, some senior students also enroll) in all engineering and scientific disciplines. The pre-requisite for the course is only differential and integral calculus, no computer science (programming) courses are required.

Important: Although students are introduced to various topics in sustainable engineering, the goal of the course is to teach engineering problem solving (and how to use MATLAB to model and solve engineering problems) and not sustainable engineering.

Engineering Problem Solving: Sustainable Engineering Theme

Introduction to Engineering 6 (From General Catalog)

Lecture: 3 hours; discussion: 1 hour.
Prerequisite: Calculus -- differentiation and integration.
UC Davis: Mathematics 16A or 21A, C- or above; Mathematics 16B or 21B (may be taken concurrently). Course description: Methodology for solving engineering problems. Engineering computing and visualization based on MATLAB. Engineering examples and applications.

Introduction to Solar Energy and Smart Building Design Theme

We plan to develop all of the course modules (lectures, notes) and assignments (problem sets, programming exercises, labs, and projects) for the new curriculum around the theme of solar energy and smart building design. This theme provides an opportunity to introduce the students to basic concepts of renewable energy generation, energy efficiency, embedded systems, and feedback while simultaneously teaching basic programming skills. In the course of completing their assignments, students will learn to (1) program wireless sensors to measure physically relevant signals, (2) access and process the sensor data to develop models of physical systems, (3) integrate the models into a design, and (4) simulate the design to verify performance to specifications.

The poster below was presented at the UC Davis Electrical & Computer Engineering Department's Industrial Affliate's Conference in 2012. The poster was presented together with a demonstration of the Arduino Solar Module.

Click on Poster image below to enlarge.

PDF of the poster.

Pages and files are under constant update since this is an active project!
Last update: 7/8/2013 by Stanley Hsu