Learning outcomes

fyap2m  2019-2020  Louvain-la-Neuve

Physical engineers master the physical aspects of how objects function and their interaction with the environment (waves, light, ions, electric and magnetic fields, temperature gradients). Physical engineers have dual training in experiments and simulation. They are capable of using theories and formal representations of objects thanks to numerical simulation tools. They are also capable of carrying out laboratory-based experiments. Their comprehensive understanding of physical properties allows them to make the connection between properties on an atomic scale with those that are macroscopic.

Due to the in-depth study of different fields of physics (material physics, optics, electromagnetics, electronics, mechanics, quantum physics, etc.), the Master’s degree programme in physical engineering (FYAP) prepares students for numerous jobs and specialisations in the industrial sector as well as participation in research-based technological activities.

Physical engineers are called on to resolve technological problems that are often complex and multidisciplinary in nature, linked to the design and creation of materials, devices and systems. They can act as an interface between different professions that use functional materials. They are called on to innovate in a specific technological environment.

Physical engineers systematically take into account constraints, values, rules (both legal and ethical) and economics. Their solid scientific background allows them to be autonomous enough to manage complex industrial projects. They are comfortable working as part of a team and communicating effectively even in English.

On successful completion of this programme, each student is able to :

1.Demonstrating their mastery of a solid body of knowledge in basic engineering sciences allowing them to understand and solve problems related to technological and industrial applications in the physical sciences.

1.1 Identify and use concepts, laws, and appropriate reasoning to solve a given problem (for example, identifying laws and materials to go from LED to white light; designing energy convertors based on thermoelectric elements; creating materials and devices to store and/or transfer information; designing photovoltaic panels with optimal output.)
1.2 Identify and use appropriate modelling and calculation tools to solve problems.
1.3 Verify solutions to a given problem.

2.Organise and carry out an engineering process in a high-tech field that requires the use of fundamental tools and concepts in order to solve a particular problem.

2.1 Analyse a problem and formulate a specifications note.
2.2. Model the problem and design one or more original technical solutions in response to the specifications note (for example, the optimisation and/or combination of materials for thermal insulation), develop measures for electrical and thermal classification of a given material, choose materials for light emission (LEDs) or the creation of photovoltaic panels.
2.3 Evaluate and classify solutions in terms of all the figures in specifications notes: efficiency, feasibility, quality, ergonomics, and security in the professional environment.
2.4 Implement and test a solution through a mock-up or a prototype and/or a numerical model.
2.5 Make recommendations to improve the operational character of a solution under consideration.

3.Organise and carry out a research project to understand a new technological or industrial problem in different areas of applied physics or high tech engineering.

3.1 Document and summarize the existing body of knowledge.
3.2 Suggest a model and/or an experimental device allowing for the simulation and testing of hypotheses related to the phenomenon being studied.
3.3. Write a summary report explaining the potentialities of the theoretical and/or technical innovation resulting from the research project.

4.Contribute as part of a team to the planning and completion of a project while taking into account its objectives, allocated resources, and constraints.

4.1 Frame and explain the project’s objectives (in terms of performance indicators) while taking into account its issues and constraints (resources, budget, deadlines).
4.2 Collaborate on a work schedule, deadlines and roles, for example the division of labour among students.
4.3 Work in a multidisciplinary environment with peers holding different points of view; manage any resulting disagreement or conflicts.
4.4 Make team decisions (whether they be about technical solutions or the division of labour).

5.Communicate effectively (speaking or writing in French or a foreign language) with the goal of carrying out assigned projects.

5.1 Identify the needs of the client or the user: question, listen and understand all aspects of their request and not just the technical aspects (for example, select the best-suited equipment for the material concerned, select the best material according to the desired functionalities and systems integration).
5.2 Present your arguments and convince your interlocutors (technicians, colleagues, clients, superiors) of your technological choices by adopting their language.
5.3 Communicate through graphics and diagrams: interpret a diagram, present results, structure information.
5.4 Read and analyse different technical documents, plans, specification notes: progress of physical properties in function of materials, temperature, mechanical limits or external fields, phase diagrams, band structures, etc.
5.5 Draft documents that take into account contextual requirements and social conventions.
5.6 Make a convincing oral presentation using modern communication techniques.

6.Demonstrate rigor, openness and critical and ethical awareness in your work: using the technological and scientific innovations at your disposal validate the socio-technical relevance of a hypothesis or a solution.

6.1 Rigorously apply the field’s standards (terms, units of measure, quality standards and security).
6.2 Find solutions that go beyond strictly technical issues by considering sustainable development and the socio-economic ethics of a project (for example, “life cycle anaylsis”).
6.3 Demonstrate critical awareness of a technical solution in order to verify its robustness and minimize the risks that may occur during implementation (this skill is mainly developed through the graduation project as either a critical analysis of manufacturing and classification techniques or a discussion of research perspectives and development as part of a Master’s thesis).
6.4 Evaluate oneself and independently develop necessary skills for “lifelong learning” (this skill is mainly developed as part of class projects requiring bibliographic research).