Design of Sustainable Polymer Systems

Capstone subject in which students are charged with redesigning consumable plastics to improve their recyclability and illustrate the potential future of plastic sourcing and management. Students engage with industry partners and waste handlers to delineate the design space and understand downstream limitations in waste treatment. Instruction includes principles of plastic design, polymer selection, cost estimation, prototyping, and the principles of sustainable material design. Students plan and propose routes to make enhanced plastic kits. Industry partners and course instructors select winning designs. Those students can elect to proceed to a semester of independent study in which prototype kits are fabricated (using polymer extrusion, cutting, 3D printing), potentially winning seed funds to translate ideas into real impacts. Preference to juniors and seniors in Courses 10, 1, and 2.

1.096/10.496[J]: 12 units, fall semester

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