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Adding a Simulation Module to a Primarily Experimental Mechanical Engineering Course

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


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Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Mechanical Engineering Technical Session: Mechatronics & Simulation

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

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Paper Authors


Reihaneh Jamshidi University of Hartford

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Reihaneh Jamshidi is an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Hartford. She received her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Iowa State University. Her teaching focuses on materials science, mechanics of materials, and mechanical engineering design. Reihaneh’s primary research interests are design, manufacturing, characterization, and mechanics of soft materials and structures.

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Ivana Milanovic University of Hartford

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Dr. Milanovic is a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Hartford, with ongoing research programs in vortical flows, computational fluid dynamics, multiphysics modeling and inquiry-based learning. Dr. Milanovic is a contributing author for more than 100 journal articles, NASA reports, conference papers and software releases.
Dr. Milanovic an American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Fellow. She is also a member of the American Institute of Aeronautcs and Astronautics (AIAA), and the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE).

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This study reports on addition of a simulation module based on Finite Element Analysis (FEA) to Mechanical Engineering Materials and Laboratory course. The study addresses two topics: (1) mastering different levels of knowledge with the help of simulations, and (2) honing new simulation skills. The course has a weekly lab session where students perform various materials testing such as tensile, shear, bending, and impact. The lecture portion deals with the theories behind materials’ formation, bonding and how those relate to the material properties. In the recently added simulation module, students were assigned projects to simulate the mechanical testing procedures performed in the lab. The simulations were done using Abaqus Unified FEA software. The main goal of this study was to assist students with the learning process. Students gained deeper understanding of the material properties and the materials’ changes resulting from various testing procedures using visualizations and simulating the influence of relevant parameters. The other goal was to familiarize students with modern computational tools for solving engineering problems. The importance and value of this approach is in the use of industrial software early in the curriculum, as well as helping fulfill ABET student outcome (k). Students were also required to compare their simulation results with the experimental data, and discuss the potential sources of variations. Objective was to improve students’ analytical skills and decision making in design problems. Students’ achievement was assessed by the project deliverables: status report, oral presentation and final report. Additionally, a survey was conducted on effectiveness of the simulation project in developing students’ simulation skills, and learning mechanical engineering concepts.

Jamshidi, R., & Milanovic, I. (2020, June), Adding a Simulation Module to a Primarily Experimental Mechanical Engineering Course Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34091

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