Graduate Certificates

Certificate in Plastics Engineering Fundamentals

Bottles_Fundamentals   The Department of Plastics Engineering at UMass Lowell now offers a stand-alone, four-course Graduate Certificate in "Plastics Engineering Fundamentals."

        Many of these courses are also available on-line.

Graduates who have already completed these course requirements can receive a retroactive certificate.

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:

Advanced Plastics Materials This course reviews the historical developments of polymeric material systems, commodity, engineering, biodegradable, and high performance thermoplastics. Topics include their synthesis, structure, properties, and applications and there is also an overview of typical additives that are used to modify the properties of plastics. Knowledge of general and/or organic chemistry is recommended as a prerequisite for this course.

Advanced Plastics Processing This course reviews the commond plastics manufacturing processes, including extrusion, injection molding, blow molding, thermoforming, and rotational molding. After the revew, the course focus shifts to the impacts of screw design and processing parameters on the conveyance, melting, devolatilization, and mixing with single screws and compounding with twin screw extruders. This course also includes an overview of die designs, multi-shot and gas assist injection molding, film stretching and methods for heating and cooling in platics processing.

Elective Courses (choose two of the following):

Mechanical Behavior of Polymers Me Topics covered in this course include linear viscoelasticity, creep, stress relaxation, dynamic behavior, hysteresis, stress-strain response phenomema, 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.

Polymer Structure, Properties, and Applications  Relationships between polymer structure (chemical composition, molecular weight and flexibility, intermolecular order and bondng, supermolecular structure) and practical properties (processability, mechanical, acoustic, thermal, electrical, optical, and chemical) and applications. 

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 practices for products that will be produced by conventional and advanced injection molding processes. Topics include design methodology, plastic materials selection, design for manufacturing, computeraided engineering, mechanical behavior of plastics, structural design of plastic parts, prototyping techniques, experimental stress analysis, and assembly techniques for plastic parts. 

Advanced Mold Design (3 credits)  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 rheology, thermodynamics, heat transfer, fluid flow and strength of materials.

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
Email: stephen_mccarthy@uml.edu


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 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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


Graduate Admissions Office: 

Phone: 978-934-2373
           978-934-4058
Email: graduate_school@uml.edu


To apply for this certificate program, go to Graduate Admissions

For courses and descriptions, go to the Graduate Academic Catalog.