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RD 100: INTRO TO ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGY: GETTING STARTED

Learn how to find information and resources in engineering technology.

Engineering Technology Resources


Click through the tabs above to see key resources for researching engineering technology topics from a variety of sources. 

If you have suggestions for improving this guide, please let us know!

Research Methods

Research is based on the investigation of a topic to produce new knowledge and build upon the work of other scholars. Researching a discipline can utilize different methods. Certain methods of research which may be good for one academic discipline, may not be appropriate for another.

For your Industrial Technology topics you may use the Historiecal Method or Scientific Method.

The Historical Method uses these techniques:

  • Develop a question to investigate.
  • Gather relevant theories.
  • Construct a hypothesis, if appropriate.
    • Hypothesis definition: an idea or explanation for something that is based on known facts but has not yet been proved.
    • Example: How are robots used in injection molding of plastics products?
  • Organize evidence, verify authenticity and sources.
  • Select, organize and analyse evidence, draw conclusions
  • Communicate results, ex: research paper.

The Scientific Method utilizes these techniques:

  • Develop a question to investigate.
  • Do a backround search.
  • Construct a hypothesis.
  • Test the hypothesis by doing an experiment.
  • Analyze the data and draw conclusions.
  • Communicate results, ex: research paper.

Choose a Topic

In order to decide on a topic to study it is important to browse current books and periodical articles to see what others are researching. Browse current resources:

  • Periodicals Collection
  • Handbooks and Encyclopedias:
    • ASTM Dictionary of Engineering, Science and Technology REF TA402 .A86
    • Credo Reference Stout Users Only Several dictionaries related to Engineering are available including: 
      • Condensed Encyclopedia of Polymer Engineering Terms
      • Dictionary of Engineering Terms 
      • McGraw-Hill Concise Enclycopedia of Science and Technology
      • McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms 
    • Guide to Surface Engineering Terminology REF TA418.7 .G85
    • Wiley Encyclopedia of Electrical and Electronics Engineering REF TK9 .E53

 

Research Strategy

Define your research topic or question:

  • Write one or more sentences defining your research question.
  • Example: How are robots used in injection molding of plastics products?

Define terms you don't understand, ex: strech film

  • Consult an encyclopedia, dictionary or handbook on engineering.
  • Example: Wiley Encyclopedia of Electrical and Electronics Engineering REF TK9 .E53

Make up a list of keywords on your topic, breaking the topic into concepts:
(Note: For the best results use similar terms or synonyms)

  • Concept 1: materials, plastics, polymers
  • Concept 2: robot, robots, robotics, industrial robots
  • Concept 3: molding, injection molding

Combine terms using Boolean Operators (Connectors):

  • AND = Narrows search, combines terms (plastics and robots)
  • OR  = Broadens search, similar terms (robot or robots or industrial robots)
  • NOT = Narrows search, excludes terms (plastic not glass)

Search Statement Example:

(plastic* or polymer*) and (robot* or industrial robot*) and (molding or injection molding)

Each concept within the parenthesis is searched first (OR operator), then each concept is combined using the AND operator. This is called nesting.

Truncation or Wildcards: Different symbols can replace certain letters in terms.  Most databases use * (asterisks) or ? (question marks) for different endings of a term, ex: robot, robots, robotics. To determine what symbol to use look at the help screens of the index or database you are searching.

Subject Guide

Lelah Lugo
Contact:
Robert S. Swanson Library Learning Center
Office 108
UW-Stout
315th Ave.
Menomonie, WI 54751
715-232-1552

Last Revised

10/8/2013