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A Realistic Intelligent Multimedia Virtual Laboratory for Power Engineering

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

NSF Grantees’ Poster Session

Tagged Division

Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.97.1 - 24.97.14



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Paper Authors


Ning Gong Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Temple University

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Ning Gong is currently a second year PhD student in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Temple University. His research is focused on Computer Network and Control Theories. He is particularly interested in network topologies and resilience control applications. Before coming to Temple University, he graduated in Polytechnic Institute of New York University with his M.S degree. Currently he is a Graduate Research Assistant in the department. He can be contacted at:

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Brian P. Butz Temple University

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Dr. Brian P. Butz is a Professor Emeritus of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Temple University, Philadelphia, PA. In 1987, Professor Butz founded the Intelligent Systems Application Center (ISAC). This Center provided a focal point within Temple University concentrating on research in intelligent systems. Professor Butz's research efforts focused on expert/knowledge-based systems and intelligent tutoring systems. He has been the Principal Investigator for projects that immerse users into a particular virtual environment in which they are able to learn both theory and application within a specific subject area. From 1989 through 1996, Professor Butz was the Chair of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Temple University. He has written many papers on intelligent systems and has received several teaching awards including the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching and the Temple University Great Teacher Award. He is a member of the ASEE and a Life Member of the IEEE.

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Li Bai Temple University

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Dr. Li Bai is an Associate Professor in the ECE department, Temple University. He received his B.S. (1996) from Temple University, M.S. (1998) and Ph.D. (2001) from Drexel University, all in Electrical Engineering. He was a summer research faculty in AFRL, Rome, NY, during 2002–2004 and the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division (NSWCCD), Philadelphia, PA, during 2006–2007. His research interests include video tracking, level 2+ information fusion, array signal processing and multi-agent systems, wireless sensor network and dependable secure computing. His research has been supported by Office of Naval Research, Department of Transportation, U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA), National Science Foundation, U.S. Army and Exxon Mobil, etc. Also, Dr. Bai served as the Chair of the IEEE Philadelphia Section in 2007 and was Young Engineer of the Year in Delaware Valley, IEEE Philadelphia Section in 2004.

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Saroj Biswas Temple University

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Saroj Biswas is a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Temple University specializing in electrical machines and power systems, multimedia tutoring, and control and optimization of dynamic systems. He has been the principle investigator of a project for the development of an intelligent tutoring shell that allows instructors create their own web-based tutoring system. His current research focuses on security of cyber-physical systems based on multiagent framework with applications to the power grid, and the integration of an intelligent virtual laboratory environment in curriculum. He is an associate editor of Dynamics of Continuous, Discrete and Impulsive Systems: Series B, and is a member of IEEE, ASEE, and Sigma Xi.

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A REALISTIC INTELLIGENT MULTIMEDIA VIRTUAL LABORATORY FOR POWER ENGINEERING AbstractLaboratory works and exercises play an important role in learning and increasing students’understanding of basic concepts in engineering. Although a laboratory practicum is oftenconsidered a key component of engineering education, a hands-on approach is often ignored forcourses involving electrical machines for various reasons, such as safety, expense, and lack ofqualified teaching assistants. A recent survey of the IEEE Power Engineering EducationCommittee (PEEC) shows that many universities in the USA that offered power-related courseshad no laboratory support for these courses.In this paper, we present a NSF funded project on the development of a realistic softwareenvironment which simulates an electrical machines laboratory. This software environmentserves as an alternative to providing laboratory experience at institutions that do not haveresources to establish a physical machines laboratory. This virtual laboratory can also be used bystudents as a safe test bed (a pre-laboratory) for gaining experience before they encountermachines in a real laboratory. The virtual laboratory is supervised by a virtual instructor, anexpert in the power field, who will answer questions and provide guidance to the students.The architecture of the virtual laboratory consists of several modules: 1) Core ConceptKnowledge Base, 2) Experiment Knowledge Base, 3) Mathematical Tool, 4) Intelligent Tutor,and 5) Virtual Instrumentation Core that are interfaced with the 6) Student Input module througha 7) Multimedia Graphical User Interface module. The graphical user interface (GUI) enablesstudents to simulate various electrical machines under different operating conditions.As a proof of concept, this project develops a virtual laboratory for DC machines. There areseven virtual experiments for DC generators and motors. Machine concepts are summarizedusing text, 2D and 3D graphics as well as multimedia animation. The animated GUI plays animportant role in this system as it enables students to review and retain basic concepts and buildsa bridge from the virtual to the real laboratory. Multimedia is incorporated in this project toprovide convenient visual and aural guidance for students to better understand power generatorsand machines. The laboratory system can be accessed through the Internet, and as a scalable webapplication of popular mobile devices.This nation needs young people to become interested in power engineering to secure its future.Young people have experienced computer games and simulations throughout their lives andcomputer simulations are becoming important tools in delivering educational materials. Theproposed virtual laboratory allows students to be exposed to power engineering by a path that isnot only inviting but one with which they are most familiar.Key Words: Virtual Power Laboratory, Generator/Motor, Animation, Web Application

Gong, N., & Butz, B. P., & Bai, L., & Biswas, S. (2014, June), A Realistic Intelligent Multimedia Virtual Laboratory for Power Engineering Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--19989

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