Teaching Goals

Our group's education goal is to broadly disseminate the knowledge necessary to design and fabricate flexible structures, mechanisms, and materials among a diverse population at UCLA and throughout the world by pioneering innovative teaching techniques, creating online educational resources, and fostering collaborative research opportunities for minorities and underrepresented groups in engineering with industry and academia.

UCLA Courses Currently Taught by Professor Hopkins

MAE 294A: Compliant Mechanism Design

 

Course Description: This course introduces students to leading compliant mechanism analysis and synthesis theories via animated PowerPoint lectures, hands-on exercises, homework problem sets, exams, and group projects that involve the advancement of compliant mechanism design research. Each group gives a final presentation on their research and submits a manuscript to a professional conference as a final report. Stellar manuscripts are submitted to peer-reviewed journals.

 

Topics Covered: (1) Introduction and classification of compliant mechanisms and flexible structures, (2) Screw theory kinematics, (3) Modeling general flexible structures and mechanisms using mechanics of materials, beam theories, and matrix-based equations, (4) Traditional compliant mechanism design theories (e.g., psuedo-rigid body model, topology optimization, and the instant center approach, (5) Introduction to the Freedom And Constraint Topologies (FACT) synthesis approach, (6) Analyzing and synthesizing parallel, serial, and hybrid flexure systems and elements, (7) Compliant transmission-based mechanisms, (8) Projective geometry and FACT spaces displaced to infinity, (9) Compliant mechanism actuation theory: static and dynamic actuation space, (10) Analyzing and synthesizing compliant mechanisms that decouple actuators.

 

Level: Graduate course 

 

Typical Class Size: 70 students

 

Typical Instructor Evalution Rating for Prof. Hopkins: 8.75/9.00

MAE 162A: Introduction to Mechanisms and Mechanical Systems

 

Course Description: This course introduces students to the fundamentals of traditional mechanism analysis and synthesis via animated PowerPoint lectures, hands-on exercises, homework problem sets, exams, and a project that involves the design of a practical mechanism that solves a real-world problem. Students are introduced to a variety of classical machine elements and a number of famous mechanisms.

 

Topics Covered: (1) Introduction and classification of useful mechanisms, linkages, and machines, (2) Position, velocity, and acceleration analysis of mechanisms using graphical, analytical, and numerical approaches, (3) Rolling contact kinematics, (4) Gears, cams, levers, belts, pulleys, and other transmission-based machine elements, (5) Mechanical and geometric advantage, (6) Power equations, (7) Static force analysis, (8) Dynamic force analysis, (9) Planar, spherical, and spatial mechanism synthesis.

 

Level: Undergraduate course 

 

Typical Class Size: 100 students

 

Typical Instructor Evalution Rating for Prof. Hopkins: 8.43/9.00

Outreach Goals

Our group's outreach goal is to provide research and mentoring opportunities for minority, women, and other underrepresented K-12, undergraduate, and graduate students in engineering by helping to organize and participate in a variety of outreach activities geared toward creating interest in the field of flexible structures, mechanisms, and materials. Some of these activities include:

Each summer, our group hosts minority students, women, or other underrepresented high school students in engineering as part of UCLA's HSSRP program. These students are provided with (i) hands-on research experience that involves the design and fabrication of flexible structures, mechanisms, or materials, (ii) access to state-of-the-art facilities, (iii) experience presenting their research in a professional setting, and (iv) lasting relationships with the PI, who can write meaningful recommendation letters to help the students be successful in their pursuit of higher education. Click here to learn more about the HSSRP program.

UCLA's High School Summer Research Program (HSSRP)

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Center for Excellence in Engineering Diversity (CEED)

Each fall quarter, our group hosts minority students, women, or other underrepresented undergraduate freshmen in engineering as part of UCLA's Introduction to Engineering Disciplines E87 course, which is offered under UCLA's CEED program. Our group creates a research project that involves the design of flexible structures, mechanisms, or materials to excite and encourage these students to pursue degrees in engineering. Our group mentors these students through this project in preparation for the course's final presentations. Click here to learn more about the CEED program.

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University of California Leadership (UC LEADS) Program

Our group hosts minority students, who are recipients of UCLA's prestigious UC LEADS Fellowship, by providing them with research opportunities that involve the design and fabrication of flexible structures, mechanisms, and materials. Click here to learn more about the UC LEADS program.

UC LEADS 2017-2018

Sydney Austin fellowship recipient 

Laboratory Tours for High School Field Trips 

Our group provides regular tours of our laboratory for high school students from schools in the greater Los Angeles area.  

Laboratory Tours

Lucas Shaw giving a tour of our laboratory to high school students from Harvard-Westlake School   

Copyright © 2013 Flexible Research Group. All rights reserved.

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Last Updated 01/17/2019