Graduate Certificates

Plastics Design Certificate

The Department of Plastics 

Plastics DesignThe Department of Plastics Engineering now offers a stand alone, four course Graduate Certificate in "Plastics Design."

Admission to the program is open to candidates with a B.S. in Engineering or a related field. The graduate record exam (GRE) is not required. More information can be found on the UMass Lowell Plastics Engineering website. You can apply for this certificate program through UMass Lowell Graduate Admissions.

For the latest course information and descriptions please visit the UMass Lowell online Graduate Academic Catalog

Required Courses:

Mechanical Behavior of Polymers

Topics covered in this course include linear viscoelasticity, creep, stress relaxation, dynamic behavior, hysteresis, stress-strain response phenomena, principles of time-temperature superposition, rubber elasticity, failure and fracture mechanisms for polymers, and the effect of additives on mechanical behavior. Real life design examples are used to demonstrate the topics and concepts as much as possible.

Plastics Product Design

This course reviews the theoretical principles and the engineering practice associated with the development of new plastic products. The course focuses on design pratices for products that will be produced by conventional and advanced injection molding processes. Topics include design methodology, plastic materials selection, design for manufacturing, computer aided engineering, mechanical behavior of plastics, structural design of plastic parts, prototyping techniques, experimental stress analysis, and assembly techniques for plastic parts.

Elective Courses (choose two of the following):

Polymer Structure, Properties, and Applications

(3 credits) Relationships between polymer structure (chemical composition, molecular weight and flexibility, inter-molecular order and bonding, supermolecular structure) and practical properties (mechanical, acoustic, thermal, electrical, optical and chemical) and applications.

Computer Applications in Plastics 

Problem solving in plastics engineering has been dramatically influenced by the computer and innovative software packages. This graduate course will focus on the application and development of software packages for engineering analyses of plastics processes. Specially, the course will cover the basic CAD programs, Pro/ENGINEER, SOLIDWORKS, followed by basic Pre-and-Post processor software, FEMAP, meshing program HYPERMESH, FEMLAB multiphysics, and MATHEMATICA.

Product Design for Elastomers 

This course covers the basic of thermoset and thermoplastic elastomer product design. Topics include mechanical behavior, large deformation structural analysis, design for manufacturability, performance limitations, and end use applications for elastomers and assembly considerations.

Extrusion Die Design 

This is a project-oriented course which utilizes current CAE programs to design extruder dies. This course will study the basic principles of extrusion die design and apply these principles in designing extrusion dies. A review of the extrusion process and the flow behavior of various polymers will be studied.

Machine Design

Hydraulics, machine logic, drives, pumps, motors, heating barrel and screw combinations, mechanical design. Hydraulic and electrical control circuits development. A semester project is required.

Medical Device Design I

A systematic approach to inventing new medical devices. The class details the process of validating medical needs including market assessment and the evaluation of existing technologies; basics of regulatory (FDA) and reimbursement planning; brainstorming and early prototyping for concept creation. Course format includes expert guest lecturers and interactive practical discussions with faculty. Students will prepare a medical device proposal and presentation.

Medical Device Design II

This course focuses on how to take a medical device invention forward from early concept to technology translation and implementation planning. Topics include technology research and development; patent strategies; techniques for analyzing intellectual property; advanced planning for reimbursement and FDA approval; choosing translation strategies (licensing vs. start-up); ethical issues including conflict of interest; fundraising approaches and cash requirements; essentials of writing a business or research plan; strategies for assembling a development team. Students will prepare a final medical device proposal and presentation.

Advanced Mold Design

This course provides an integrated approach to mold engineering which includes the interrelationships of polymeric materials, engineering principles, processing, and plastics product design. Major topics include cost estimation, mold layout and feed system design, cooling systems, structural design considerations, and ejector system design. Analytical treatment of the subject matter is given based on the relevant rheologym, thermodynamics, heat transfer, fluid flow and strength of materials.

Computer Aided Engineering and Design I

This course provides a fundamental approach to computer-aided engineering for plastics processing. Emphasis is upon the theory and techniques of computer aided engienering as applied to plastics processing problems, allowing students to understand the various assumptions and methods used to create the programs.

Computer Aided Engineering and Design II 

Modeling and process simulation in plastics processing. Design of plastic components and molds. Use of finite element programs to perform flow, cooling, and stress analysis of injection molded parts.

Structural Product Design

Design of plastic and composite products to meet structural requirements including strength, stiffness, impact, fatigue and creep while remaining low weight, low cost and easy to manufacture. The course will include an overview of structural properties of polymeric materials as well as application of finite element analysis to homework and project assignments.

12 Credits

Contact Information

Professor Stephen McCarthy
Department of Plastics Engineering
College of Engineering
UMass Lowell
Ball Hall Room 207
One University Avenue Lowell, MA 01854
Phone: 978-934-3417
Fax: 978-934-3065

Department of Plastics Engineering Main Office
Ball Hall Room 204
Phone: 978-934-3420
Fax: 978-934-3089

The Registrar’s Office
UMass Lowell
883 Broadway Street - Dugan Hall
Lowell, MA 01854
Office Hours:
Monday thru Friday
8:30 AM to 5 PM

Main Office:
Phone: 978-934-2550, or 800-656-GRAD
Fax: 978-934-4076
TTY: 978-934-2367

Graduate Admissions Office:
Phone: 978-934-2373
Fax: 978-934-4058

To apply for this certificate program, go to Graduate Admissions

For courses and descriptions, go to the UMass Lowell Graduate Catalog.