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A Mechanical Engineering Design Laboratory Integrating

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1997 Annual Conference


Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Publication Date

June 15, 1997

Start Date

June 15, 1997

End Date

June 18, 1997



Page Count


Page Numbers

2.23.1 - 2.23.5



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Paper Authors

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Clifford R. Mirman

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1426

A Mechanical Engineering Design Laboratory - Integrating Numerical and Experimental Analysis. Clifford R. Mirman Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering Mechanical and Materials Engineering Department Wilkes University Wilkes-Barre, PA 18766 Email:

As we enter the twentieth century, engineers must have the tools which will permit them to fulfill multiple engineering tasks in the workplace. This is especially true in this era of downsizing and the competitive global industrial climate. Employers would rather hire one employee who can perform many tasks, rather than several employees which are capable of limited skills. In the area of mechanical engineering design, where the product development cycle is very complex, there are numerous phases which must be completed before a product is shipped; such as initial design and layout, prototyping, testing, analysis, final design, manufacturing, and quality assurance, to name a few steps. In each of these steps, the engineer is involved with the product and it’s development. In many cases, several mechanical engineers with varying expertise are called upon, at different points in the process, to carryout the specific tasks. To examine one step in the design process; as cost becomes the driving issue in the area of design, experimental analysis is giving way to numerical analysis. Thus, the mechanical engineer must have knowledge of both experimental procedures and numerical analysis methods. It is at this point where the well rounded engineer comes is beneficial to the company.

Creating a mechanical engineer who is capable of satisfying many roles is left to the mechanical engineering curriculum. We, as educators, must provide a mechanical engineering curriculum which is diverse and yet integrates the key knowledge bases in the traditional ME concentrations. It is important to have courses which integrate this basic knowledge into a design project where the engineer must use numerical work and experimental methods. In the Mechanical Engineering program at Wilkes University, students of senior standing must take a capstone design laboratory course which integrates the stems of the program into a semester long design project incorporating a laboratory and numerical component. The ability to set-up and apply both experimental and numerical analysis to a design problem, and interpret the results, is very important to the mechanical engineering student. The results of this projects are presented both in written and oral form to fellow students, faculty, and industry. The combination of analysis techniques in the different areas of mechanical engineering give the students a complete introduction to various analysis techniques which are demanded in industry.

Introduction The goal of any engineering educator must be to produce marketable students which have the ability to undertake a variety of engineering tasks. That is to say that we, as engineering educators, must supply the students with the necessary skills which will allow them to tackle difficult industry problems[1-4]. In general, engineering students graduate with the necessary theoretical skills, however, when it comes down to experimental skills, or application of theory in an experimental environment, many of the students are not as well equipped. To solve this problem, the Mechanical Engineering Department at Wilkes University has developed a capstone Mechanical Design Laboratory course. The course, as it’s name implies, is laboratory based (experimental), taken during the student’s senior year. The course is set up to solve two problems in the mechanical engineering curriculum. The first is that the students are introduced to experimental methods in the design area of the mechanical curriculum. The second is that

Mirman, C. R. (1997, June), A Mechanical Engineering Design Laboratory Integrating Paper presented at 1997 Annual Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 10.18260/1-2--6683

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