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Teaching and learning in microsystems engineering

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Whereas research in MicroSystems Technology (MST) has grown rapidly over the last twenty years, the education of engineers at postgraduate level is still in its infancy. The number of dedicated MST research institutions, companies and university laboratories worldwide has grown at a dramatic rate and all require trained individuals who can be immediately operational in the workplace. With the possible exceptions of Germany and Switzerland, the authors of this article believe that the training requirements for such scientists, engineers and technicians have not been satisfactorily addressed as yet. Realising the need for adequate training in MST, the British funding agency for research in science and engineering, the EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) awarded a substantial grant to Heriot-Watt University in order to set up a Masters Training Package (MTP). The context of this grant, the syllabus developed for this Master of Science as well as its implementation are presented in this article. Advantages and drawbacks of block-based delivery of the course are presented from a pedagogical point of view for the different categories of students (full-time students, part-time students and company delegates).
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Keywords: Components; Devices; Microengineering fabrication; Micromachining; Microsystems; Photoresist; Technology microactuators

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: MIcroSystems Engineering Centre (MISEC), School of Engineering & Physical Sciences, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, Scotland, UK

Publication date: 01 September 2005

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