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Undergraduate Coursework in Applied Sciences and Engineering

From big problems like global warming to focused needs in your home or community, engineering is all about solving problems. The Department of Applied Physical Sciences offers courses that make engineering and making concepts accessible to all UNC students. Check out our Minor in Applied Sciences and Engineering to see how you can learn to use technology to make a difference in the world.

Fall 2022 Course Listing

APPL 101-001 – Exploring Engineering
3 Credits. Sample Syllabus.

Engineers help to design and build solutions to the world’s problems. This course will explore some of the fundamental skills and tools in engineering. You will get experience using engineering tools, and you will also develop a mindset so that you can “learn how to learn” because technology changes rapidly and the tools that you use today may be obsolete in 20 years. There will be an emphasis on developing strong professional skills, including work in a group setting and effectively communicating your efforts.

In addition, a goal of this class is to help you develop an entrepreneurial mindset so that you will understand the bigger picture. For example, while it may be easy to develop an engineering solution to a problem, what are the economic and ethical considerations of various solutions? These concepts are important to help engineers build a better world.

This will be an “”active learning”” class in which we spend much of our class time working. For example, we will write computer programs to model and simulate real world systems. We will debate the ethical issues that are associated with engineering innovations. Students should be prepared to come to class and participate in these activities!
Prerequisites: None.
Instruction: T/Th 11:00AM-12:15PM.

APPL 110 — Intro to Design and Making: Developing Your Personal Design Potential
3 Credits. Sample Syllabus.

Students work in flexible, interdisciplinary teams to assess opportunities, brainstorm, and prototype solutions. Design thinking and physical prototyping skills are developed through fast-paced, iterative exercises in a variety of contexts and environments.
Prerequisites: None.
Section 001: T/Th 9:30 AM – 10:45 AM

Section 02F: T/Th 2:00 PM – 3:15 PM

APPL 285-001 – Fluid Relationships: An Intuition Building Approach to Fluid Mechanics
3 Credits. Sample Syllabus.

Fluids are literally all around us. The air we breathe, the water we drink, our bodies themselves — all primarily fluid. The purpose of this course is to lead you to an intuitive understanding of the fundamental properties and behaviors of fluids. This is an immersive treatment of the concepts and methods of fluid mechanics – the study of behavior of fluids at rest and in motion. This course will provide students with solid grounding in the fundamentals and applications of fluid mechanics through extensive use of hands-on exercises. Areas covered will include pressure, pressurized flow, gravity flow, viscous flow, boundary layers, system losses, microfluidics, and measurement techniques. Equations of state for both liquids and gases will be explored as well as conservation of mass and momentum for moving fluids. The course will include exposure to standard fluid appurtenances such as pumps, blowers, gauges, valves, ducts, pipes, and fittings.
Prerequisites: APPL 110 and an introductory physics class (PHYS 104, PHYS 114, PHYS 116, PHYS 118); or permission of the instructor for students lacking the pre-requisites.
Instruction: T/Th 12:30 PM – 1:45 PM.

APPL 462-001 – Engineering Materials: Properties, Selection and Design
3 Credits. Sample Syllabus.
This course will cover both fundamental and applied aspects of modern materials science. We will discuss how to select materials based on their properties and how they can be processed into products that you encounter in everyday life. A strong focus will be on the relationship between processing, structure (development), and properties of solid materials, such as metals, ceramics and polymers. Topics include crystal structures, imperfections, diffusion, mechanical properties, deformation mechanisms, phase diagram, phase transformations, material characterization techniques, and electrical, magnetic, optical and thermal properties of materials. In-class demonstrations and class projects will be a critical part of this course and involve the use of the UNC makerspace (BeAM) and the Chapel Hill Analytical and Nanofabrication Laboratory (CHANL). One of the goals of this class is to bridge materials science and engineering disciplines and to make connections to real-world applications.
Prerequisites: CHEM 102, or an introductory physics class (PHYS 104, PHYS 114, PHYS 116, PHYS 118)
Instruction: M/W 12:20 PM – 1:35 PM.

APPL 465 – Sponge Bob Square Pants and Other Soft Materials
3 Credits. Sample Syllabus.

What kind of material is Sponge Bob made of? What about the slime of his pet snail, Gary? We are taught that there are three states of matter: solid, gas, and liquid. However, in our daily lives we encounter materials that challenge this simple description such as foams, pastes, gels, soap, and rubber, as well as our skin, hair, nails, and cells. These are Soft Materials and in this course we will learn about their special properties and how to describe them mathematically. This class is an active one, everyone participates and everyone learns from and helps one another. We will use various in-class activities to make the class more engaging. We will discuss, take quizzes, and do presentations. We will also evaluate each other’s homework. Be prepared to come to class and participate in these activities! The technical material that you will learn will provide you with a valuable skillset. In addition, a goal of this class is to help you develop an entrepreneurial mindset so that you will understand the bigger picture; draw connections between the material in this class and what you have learned in other classes; recognize opportunities; and learn from mistakes to create value for yourself and others.
Instruction: M/W/F 11:15 AM – 12:05 PM.