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A New Approach in Teaching “Measurement Laboratory” Courses Based on TRIZ

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Interdisciplinary Education in Engineering Technology

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.76.1 - 22.76.11



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Paper Authors


Irina Nicoleta Ciobanescu Husanu Drexel University

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Dr. Ciobanescu–Husanu is Assistant Professor in Engineering Technology at Drexel University. She received her Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering from Drexel University in 2005 and also holds a M.S. degree in aeronautical engineering. Her research interest is in thermal and fluid sciences with applications in micro-combustion, fuel cells and research of alternative and green fuels as well as expanding her research work towards new areas regarding plasma assisted combustion. Dr. Ciobanescu-Husanu has prior industrial experience in aerospace engineering areas, that encompasses both theoretical analysis and experimental investigations such as designing and testing of propulsion systems including design and development of pilot testing facility, mechanical instrumentation of the tested prototype, and developing industrial applications of aircraft engines. Also, in the past six years she gained experience in teaching Mechanical Engineering courses with emphasis on thermal-fluid and energy conversion areas from various levels of instruction and addressed to a broad spectrum of students, varying from freshmen to seniors, from high school graduates to adult learners. She also has extended experience in curriculum development at both community college and university level.

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Michael G Mauk P.E. Drexel University


Radian G. Belu Drexel University

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Dr. Radian Belu is Assistant Professor within the Engineering Technology (ET) program - Drexel University, Philadelphia, USA. Before joining to the Drexel University Dr. Belu hold faculty and research positions at universities and research institutes in Romania, Canada and United States. He also worked for several years in industry as a project manager and senior consultant. He has taught and developed undergraduate and graduate courses in electronics, power systems, communication, control and power electronics, electric machines, instrumentation, radar and remote sensing, numerical methods and data analysis, space and atmosphere physics, and physics. His research interests included power system stability, control and protection, renewable energy system analysis, assessment and design, power electronics and electric machines for wind energy conversion, radar and remote sensing, wave and turbulence simulation, measurement and modeling, numerical modeling, electromagnetic compatibility and engineering education. During his career Dr. Belu published several papers in referred journals and in conference proceedings in his areas of the research interests. He has also been PI or co-PI for various research projects United States and abroad in power systems analysis and protection, load and energy demand forecasting and analysis, renewable energy analysis, assessment and design, turbulence and wave propagation, radar and remote sensing, instrumentation, atmosphere physics, electromagnetic compatibility, and engineering education.

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Eric Carr Drexel University Orcid 16x16

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Mr. Eric Carr is currently the Laboratory Technician for Drexel University's Engineering Technology program. Eric assists faculty members with the development and implementation of various Engineering Technology courses. A graduate of Old Dominion University's Computer Engineering Technology program, Eric enjoys finding innovative ways to use microcontrollers and other technologies to enhance Drexel's Engineering Technology course offerings. Eric is currently pursuing a M.S. in Computer Engineering at Drexel, and is an author of three technical papers in the field of Engineering Technology Education.

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An innovative approach in teaching “Measurement Laboratory” coursesThis paper presents an innovative approach in improvement of a laboratory based course in“Measurement Laboratory”. The instruction is dual based on both TRIZ and hands-on laboratoryexperimental approaches, leading Engineering Technology students to gain skills and experiencein industrial/technological real-life setting as well as in developing innovative ideas. Thiseducational strategy promotes creativity among students, develops an innovative environmentand also enables them to identify the best optimum design alternative for an engineeringproblem.Traditional laboratory instruction offered up to now a general, vague and too broad vision overmostly mechanical measurements, using LabView as interface between physical set-up and dataacquisition system only seldom and as a prepared package delivered to the student (a “black-box” approach). That limited student understanding as well as his/her engagement in developingthe experiment and ultimately grasping the methodology of generating an optimal experimentalset-up that serves the purpose of the proposed investigation, the various sources of error anderror propagation in such experiment. That led also to disconnection between lectured materialand laboratory activity.To overcome these issues, we proposed an integrated lecture/experiment package, where thestudent is fully involved in creating and analyzing the experiment during laboratory activity,based on his prior knowledge gained from previous courses as well as in class lectures (deliveredprior to each lab activity and closely linked to each lab activity). In this way the student has theopportunity of applying what he learned. Students will be introduced to LabView and berequired to create and generate VI’s (virtual instrument) to collect needed data from physicalexperiments. For “Measurement Laboratory” course students are introduced to more appealingmeasurement methods, based on new techniques rather than based on mature or even outdatedtechniques that traditionally are taught in class. For example, they will have lab activities basedon reaction times statistics measurements using PIC microcontrollers analyzed vs. computerbased LabView VI of the same measurement; capturing temperature measurement using a Kthermocouple, a microchip family linear active thermistor and LabView VI’s (created by thestudents) to measure and statistically analyze temperature variation. The software and thephysical experiment are connected using a NI DAQ 6009 data acquisition board. In this way, thecourse gains multi- and interdisciplinary character, enabling students to acquire necessary skillsin developing their future projects including “Senior Design”.Theory of Inventive Problem Solving (TRIZ) developed by Genrich Altschuller is becoming animportant theoretical tool in academic and industrial environment around the world and lately inUnited States. Also, there is a consensus that TRIZ offers a highly effective pathway toinstructing students in producing novel solutions to technical problems in a systematic way.

Ciobanescu Husanu, I. N., & Mauk, M. G., & Belu, R. G., & Carr, E. (2011, June), A New Approach in Teaching “Measurement Laboratory” Courses Based on TRIZ Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17358

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