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University of Utah Library Guides
All University of Utah libraries course and research guides, in one place.

Engineering-LEAP | Dale Larsen: FALL #2 Engineering


How would a civil engineer approach putting a race track together that would serve drivers, fans, and the people who actually have to live with the thing on their front step?

[1] T. Clarkson, "CAR interviews Hermann Tilke, the F1 architect," CAR Magazine, August 27, 2014. [Online]. Available [Accessed Oct. 12, 2017].

Out on the open web, there are many points of view and contexts that can be overly generic.  Research scholarship in a particular discipline has much greater focus and value: especially to those practicing in that discipline, but it can be frustrating to use unless you have a strategy.

TIP #1: know that a discipline (like engineering) will have a meaningful vocabulary/jargon that is discipline and application specific.  For example:

Solar Panels  =  Photovoltaic cells

TIP #2: keep a record of synonyms and related words to your technology in a spreadsheet of terms used -and number of times they led to a good and usable source.  Terms change over time, so record which terms are most successful for searching. Note: the database Engineering Village is fantastic for this -look for the facet in the search results called controlled vocabulary.

Solar Panels
cell arrays
thin films

TIP #3: keep a record of what terms you searched and in what resources -if you can do this as a team then you won't be duplicating efforts -the library visits are structured to do this somewhat, but communicating to team mates with a written record helps efficiency.

OneNote, EverNote, Google Drive doc,, etc. are all good shared spaces to keep research records in.

Library Resources for Library Research Class #2

Finding Subjects, Keywords, Discipline Focused Vocabulary & Jargon > Research Databases (tab) > E > Engineering Village > Research Databases (tab) > I > IEEE Xplore > Research Databases (tab) > A > American Chemical Society Journals (ACS) > Research Databases (tab) > A > Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Journals
FIND a book/encyclopedia and see
 table of contents, indexes, chapters for breakdown of terminology

Searching by Impact > Research Databases (tab) > E > SCOPUS > Research Databases (tab) > W > Web of Science
also: Google Scholar

Searching for Companies/Industries > Research Databases (tab) > E > Business Source Premier (in search results, use facet: company) > Research Databases (tab) > W > IBISWorld Industry Research (in a report, use tab: major companies)
also on google manufacturer:solar  company:solar  

Keywords Help

Getting an effective search through on a database with millions of sources is helped a ton by AND, OR, NOT operators.  Lots of examples below, but AND is the most common:

Technology AND history

Solar and history

"solar energy" and history

Technology AND (fundamentals OR application OR basics)

Technology AND (manufacture OR construction OR fabrication)

Technology AND (prototype NOT commercial)

Technology AND (future OR development) NOT history

Class Objectives


1. Students will learn how information has value in disciplinary contexts, and how to work with disciplines as an outsider.

2. Students will learn how to utilize the idea of Research as Inquiry (instead of end result)

3. Students will learn keyword searching strategies with boolean operators

ALSO: Introduction to Library Services: What on earth can I do if the perfect article is unavailable to me via the library?  How do I get it for free?

Today's In-Class Assignment

ELECTRIC AUTOMOBILE: Major categories breakdown w/ key terms

Vehicle Attributes, pros/cons

Electric motor/transmission

Range anxiety

Differences between gas and electric

Life of vehicle

Applications and scalability


Energy storage/battery

Lithium ion


Solid state battery


Energy storage


Home charging

Super chargers


Charging speeds vs. infrastructure

Residential grid

Regenerative braking


Environmental effects

Lithium mining

Rare metals recycling

Lithium supply (and demand)


Permanent-magnet brushless drive


[2] Nissan Motor Company, "2017 Nissan Leaf," 2017 Nissan Leaf, [Online]. Available [Accessed Oct. 12, 2017]. 
[3] J. Cole, "Longer range 2016 Nissan Leaf coming this fall? We think so, here is why," Inside EVs, [Online]. Available [Accessed Oct. 12, 2017].

sample of library assignment

What is the completed library assignment supposed to look like?  Here's a pdf sample I made up -(and you can ask for help too -love to help!!

Egregiously noisy video of the week

Marriott Library Eccles Library Quinney Law Library