University of

Challenge-based multiscale computational projects

Background and justification of the project

This project aims to redesign the masters elective masters, ‘Computational Materials Science (3MN200)’ at the department of Applied Physics, and to realize a full implementation of CBL in the redesigned course “Advanced Materials Modelling using Multiscale Methods (3MQ110)”. To complete this implementation, two innovations will be required:

This innovation is expected to enhance the learning experience of a high-level theoretical course by offering ingredients covering a complete range of theory-implementation-application.

In particular, the expansion of 5ECTS to 10ECTS will allow the students enough room to make the transition from teaching to learning within one comprehensive and yet focused discipline: computational materials science. Secondly, by introducing the challenges in the beginning of the course, the students can understand the relevance of the theoretical knowledge to the real-life problems and therefore are more motivated in the learning process.

Thirdly, because of the multiscale and multidisciplinary nature, the students can choose their own focus and dive deeper there without losing the overall scope of the subject, as they will also collaborate in the projects as groups. Combining the above points, we expect a more engaging and effective learning experiences for a highly theoretical course, and this will also allow diverse students to excel in a multidisciplinary context.

Objectives and expected outcomes

The objective of this innovation is twofold:

  1. to implement an educational approach where students are challenged to understand the high-level theory and also transfer this knowledge to society-relevant applications, and
  2. to implement an 10ECTS course to improve the effectiveness of teaching and learning in the context of CBL.

Dissemination and sustainability of the project

Dissemination of the project will be done via several channels. At our department of Applied Physics, challenge-based and multidisciplinary education are one of the most discussed topics among our fellow lecturers. We have regular education meetings, inspiration sessions among teachers, and education days, where innovation ideas and products are shared and discussed. To reach potential users outside our department, the experiences from this course will be presented during education meetings/days at TU/e, for example, at the Innovation Space and meetings of the TU/e Program Directors. Beyond TU/e, publications related to AUTIQ (Advanced University Teaching Innovation Qualification) and participation in conferences on education innovation, for example the ICAB conference, will allow us to reach an even broader audience.

Results and learnings

This project started in 2021.

For more information, please contact:

Assistant Professor
Shuxia Tao


OngoingCourse redesign
Challenge-Based Learning