This topic will introduce students to polymer science. The topic will discuss polymer synthesis including step-growth polymerisation, chain growth polymerisation and controlled free radical polymerisation. It will also discuss the development of molecular weight by each polymerisation method and how molecular weight is measured. Mechanical property relationships, including visco-elastic properties and thermo-mechanical properties of polymers will be discussed. As a Capstone element, students will be taught project management and teamwork through tutorial-type sessions. This will be practised through team exercises where students will report on and be evaluated by their participation in teams and the processes they follow. The Capstone project will be related to the topic material and involve literature research, practical application, problem solving, critical review and written and oral reporting of outcomes
This topic aims to provide students with an appreciation of polymer science and to teach students how polymers are formed, how the molecular weight develops and how the mechanical properties influence the real world behaviour of these materials. This topic will contribute to graduate student attributes through instruction related to team based projects as well as participation in a team based project, where evaluation will be through team behaviour and participation.