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A Single Computer Based Data Acquisition And Control System For A 4 Year Met Program

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.99.1 - 6.99.10



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Paper Authors

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Peter Schuyler

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Howard A. Canistraro

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

Session 1526

A Single Computer Based Data Acquisition and Control System For a 4 Year MET Program

Howard A. Canistraro And Peter Schuyler The S.I. Ward College of Technology University of Hartford


Under support from an Instrumentation and Laboratory Improvement grant from the National Science Foundation (DUE # 9851104 ), the laboratory portion of the Mechanical Engineering Technology (MET) program at Ward College is being revised. Analog signal conditioning, measurement and data storage is now being accomplished using the data acquisition and control package LabView, by National Instruments. This powerful tool has been implemented throughout the curriculum, ranging from introduction as freshmen with simple mechanical measurements and data storage, to culmination with a senior design project that typically involves control and automation, achieved using the LabView system. A primary focus of the paper will be the philosophy of the introduction of computer software packages in a four year engineering technology curriculum, and how they can be used to reinforce key concepts found in MET. The paper will also detail some of the introductory and advanced laboratories that have been developed, the specific hardware that was purchased, the results of student lab reports and assessment of student outcomes.

I. Description of the Mechanical Engineering Technology Program

The four year program attempts to orient graduates towards problem solving ability using classical theoretical methods coupled with computer analysis packages aimed at practical application. These traits have been shown to be in high demand by industry.1 The first year emphasizes basic mathematical, communication and experimental skills. A strong foundation of strength of materials is then established, leading to advance capabilities in the machine design sequence. Also, in the upper division the various specialties of mechanical engineering are investigated, leading up to the senior design project. A listing of the curriculum is shown in Appendix A. A major advantage of the program is the additional three hours of laboratory time assigned to most MET courses. This extra contact time allows for numerous experiments that reinforce the theory presented in class, which fits in well with reported successes of experimental learning2 and permit the integration of numerous software packages which are a necessary part of any program in technology or engineering.3 Graduates have typically found jobs as mechanical engineers in all varieties of industries, due to their integrated background in fundamental design skills coupled with the latest computer analysis and control methods. As can be seen from Appendix A, there is a thorough coverage of mathematics, physics, and technical communication as well as mechanical engineering theory and application. The program was initiated in 1995 and has grown from 8 to 46 majors as of Fall 2000.

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition Copyright  2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Schuyler, P., & Canistraro, H. A. (2001, June), A Single Computer Based Data Acquisition And Control System For A 4 Year Met Program Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 10.18260/1-2--9779

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