Engineering the Perfect Cup of Coffee at UC Davis

Architectural work plan and coffeeDo you know how much engineering went into brewing your morning cup of coffee? Students at the University of California, Davis’ College of Engineering are finding out. The college first enrolled students in a coffee laboratory class in spring 2013, according to the Sacramento Bee, and is now additionally offering a “Design of Coffee” general education class and another course geared towards chemical engineering and materials science students.

Part of the reason for these coffee engineering classes was to get students more interested in chemical engineering, according to chemical engineering and materials science professor William Ristenpart. In the Bee article, Ristenpart expresses more concern over students who switch majors because engineering is not interesting to them, than about those who switch because they find it too challenging. National Science Foundation findings showing that meaningful design projects were crucial to getting freshman excited about engineering also spurred the coffee classes.