June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
Engineering Physics & Physics
23.140.1 - 23.140.8
Adapting an Engineering Physics Measurements Laboratory to Incorporate Metrology ConceptsWe are restructuring an existing required, two-credit advanced laboratory coursearound the subject matter of metrology and design of experiments. This is beingdone for several reasons: to provide a unifying theme for the course, whichpreviously was a collection of unrelated experiments; to more clearly identify thepurpose of the course to students, faculty, and outside observers; and to provide aclearer link between the skills a student gains in the course, and the methods andskills desired by industry. The course – “Engineering Physics (EP) Lab” – istypically taken in a student’s third year. It has advanced prerequisite courses,enabling more in-depth studies of physical phenomena and more sophisticatednumerical analysis. Indeed, many Physics programs have a similar type of course.While an important part of the curriculum, it has lacked a “unifying idea” thathelps explain the course to employers and students: it largely consisted of studentgroups rotating among challenging, but unrelated, experiments. Metrology, thescience of measurement, is a core competency of STEM fields and plays a key rolein modern engineering practice. It deals with several aspects that are common to(or readily adapted to) our laboratory course: (1) uncertainty in measurements(and its propagation); (2) traceability of measurements to the SI units via theNational Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST); (3) calibration of ameasurement instrument or process; (4) using design of experiments (DOE) forstatistical analysis of variation in a process. In this paper we will describe howincorporating these ideas has complemented and enhanced the course so that it hasan enhanced focus on quality of measurement. In addition to describing the courseand its experiments, we will also report on the results of the first offering of thisredesigned course and remark on future improvements.
Evensen, H. T., & St.John, W. D. (2013, June), Adapting an Engineering Physics Measurements Laboratory to Incorporate Metrology Concepts Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19154
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