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M E 324: Manufacturing Engineering

Guide to using library resources for students enrolled in ME324: Manufacturing Engineering.

Seek Information -- Search the literature

For engineering design projects, it is critical to make sure you fully understand the problem before you create a solution. The goal here is to clarify the context you are designing for, and to make sure that you thoroughly explore existing solutions ("prior art") and current research.

If you've taken Lib 160 already, you'll have explored a few resources for finding scholarly information. Those resources may prove useful for you now, but you'll have to go beyond Google Scholar and Academic Search Premier to ensure that you're getting the full picture. You'll want to expand your search beyond articles:

  • Statistics and demographics can help you understand your audience
  • Patents can reveal the very latest innovations, often not found in other sources
  • Standards can help you understand industry requirements and best practices
  • Trade and business literature don't have the same research focus as scholarly publications, but help you keep up with new products
  • Scholarly books and articles will of course cover academic research in all fields of engineering and related disciplines
  • Material properties are found in many types of sources, and can help you make informed decisions about what materials to use in your design

Each page in this section of the guide will give you some tips for finding a particular type of information, as well as a few recommended links where you can try out those strategies. If you are having trouble finding information relevant to your project, please contact your librarian as soon as possible.

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Erin Thomas
150 Parks Library
Iowa State University
515 294-9886