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University of Texas University of Texas Libraries

ME 302 - Introduction to Engineering Design and Graphics

ME 302 Special Projects

Research and Investigative Topics

When you've been asked to investigate a topic, we hope that you will use library materials --- as appropriate --- to assist your work.  Thinking about types of material should help. 

Here are some of the library categories we use for both print and electronic (mostly electronic):

  • Encyclopedias 
    • Encyclopedias provide background information and definitions.
    • We also expect references and links to more information.
  • Books 
    • Books bring together known research on a topic and can be good for background information even if the newest developments aren't included. 
    • Biography continues to be a popular book genre, though we expect some lag between fame and production of a book.
    • The UT Libraries have many books on engineering topics; these are usually scholarly.  Topics range from the ethics of engineering to practice of specific areas. 
  • Journal articles and conference papers 
    • To help find these papers, we recommend using indexing tools; look for (or filter for) papers marked as "scholarly", "peer-reviewed", or as a "conference paper".  
    • Journal articles provide the newest research plus, when needed, details on older work.
    • Account of both biography and engineering will be included, though a scholarly focus.
  • Magazine and newspaper articles
    • To help find magazine and newspaper articles, we recommend using indexing tool; look for (or filter for) papers marked as "magazines", "newspaper", "trade", "periodical", or "popular."
    • Magazine and newspaper articles provide close-to-the events and easier-to-understand reports. 
    • Expect to find biographical profiles of people in the news and descriptions of the work of engineers.



We hope that you will consider library resources when they are a good match for your work but, of course, there are many important sources beyond the library.  Some examples:


  • Government resources 
    • Occupational Outlook Handbook is a standard resource from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor.  Specialists try to predict the future job market for various occupations.  They also describe the work done by those in the occupations.
    • To limit a Google search to information from government agencies, use a site limit.  For example, 


Reverse Engineering

For help in understanding how products are made and what materials are used, here are some sources that may help.  Some describe manufacturing processes, materials, and properties.  Others may help you identify information about specific products.

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