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A Common Instrumentation Course For Electronics/Electrical And Other Majors

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Instrumentation in the Classroom

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.22.1 - 8.22.6



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Paper Authors

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Swaminadham Midturi

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Session Number 3159 A Common Instrumentation Course for Electronics/Electrical and Other Majors

Midturi, Swaminadham Professor, Department of Engineering Technology Donaghey College of Information Science and Systems Engineering The University of Arkansas at Little Rock Little Rock, AR 72204 – 1099 Email:


The design and contents of instrumentation courses in four-year colleges often reflect the stature of current instrumentation technology, background of the instructor, and the specific instrumentation need of an engineering industry. The syllabus in the instrumentation course, therefore, is largely shaped by individual taste and need and lacks cohesiveness in instruction to appeal to a large spectrum of engineering disciplines.

This paper provides an insight into the design of course contents and instructional approach for an instrumentation course to meet the need of a large spectrum of engineering and technology disciplines. Difficulties encountered in developing a cohesive and integrated course, faculty experiences in classroom and laboratory, student evaluations of the instructors, and course are described. The course that we envisioned captures emerging trends in electronics, mechanics, manufacturing, process, and other industry applications with emphasis on analog and digital electronics, microprocessor interface, specifications of data acquisition board for automated data acquisition and analysis, and graphical display of measured data. Issues related to the design of experiments, statistical representation of data, curve fit, identification of critical design parameters of an instrument, and robust design of an instrument are covered. This course- offer recommends a common lecture but different laboratory and project assignments to benefit electronics and mechanical engineering technology majors. Team teaching experiences, mental and technical preparedness of the course instructor, scope and nature of laboratory assignments, and student learning preferences are described in this paper.

1. Introduction

Engineers work often with a variety of instruments in industry. In real world engineering, productivity in manufacturing plants, control of temperature and humidity in air conditioning units, and regulation of pressure and volume of fluid media in process industries depend on appropriate selection and use of transducers, signal collection, analysis, and interpretation of data to ensure safety of equipment and efficiency of operation. Some specialized industries, including semiconductor manufacturing, require fast, miniaturized sensors to acquire large volumes of data. Also, research and exploratory investigation in science and engineering requires innovative methods of developing and applying new sensors to quantify and explain phenomena. Common measurements in

Midturi, S. (2003, June), A Common Instrumentation Course For Electronics/Electrical And Other Majors Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11784

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