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An Important Experiment And Project In The First Measurement Course

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

DELOS Best Paper Nominations

Tagged Division

Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.153.1 - 15.153.37



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Paper Authors


Bijan Sepahpour The College of New Jersey

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Bijan Sepahpour is a Professional Engineer and a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ). Currently, he is serving as the chairman of the department and is actively involved in the generation of design-oriented exercises and development of laboratory apparatus and experiments in the areas of mechanics of materials and dynamics of machinery for undergraduate engineering programs. He has served as the Chair of the Division of Experimentation and Laboratory Studies (DELOS) as well as the Mechanical Engineering Division of ASEE.

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

An Important Experiment and Project in the First Measurement Course


One of the important components of a first measurement course in an engineering curriculum should be the coverage of the fundamental concepts in probability, uncertainty, and statistical analysis. An experiment and Project are designed and offered to better instill the significance of the above concepts and tools in engineering measurements, data analysis, and decision making process. The experiment calls for the establis in each of the several sets of springs. Groups of students equal to the number of sets are formed to accurately measure and obtain the necessary data for each of the samples. These groups are then divided into smaller teams which conduct a comprehensive statistical analysis for each set and compare its tendencies with the rest. The teams then must justify their final decisions based on the statistical conclusions that they have drawn. The process for the establishment of six distinct samples is described. Design of the associated apparatus and their costs are presented. The parameters influencing the choice of the sample are discussed. The sample size and how its optimal selection may enable the coordinators to create fifteen (15) different combinations of the sets are described. The required number of measurements and the process for the establishment of K-values are briefly discussed. A comprehensive assessment of how the experiment and the project have improved the learning curve of the students is presented. Sufficient details are provided for creation of a variation of this exercise utilizing electronic components. This alternative features reduced cost and time for assembly and machining. The handout of the project and the experiment as well as a sample of the data required for conducting the analysis is included in the Appendices.

I - Introduction

Laboratory experimentation is a critical final link for a thorough understanding and appreciation of scientific and engineering theories and principles. Every possible effort should be made not to deprive the future engineers or educators from this vital component of their education1. It is therefore necessary to continue development of effective and efficient pedagogical methods and techniques for the engineering laboratory experience2.

The ability to perform Statistical Analyses and developing a solid understanding of the parameters influencing the reliability requirements/considerations in the engineering decision making process may prove critical for a functional design team. An integrated experiment and project are designed to better instill the significance of the above parameters.

Sepahpour, B. (2010, June), An Important Experiment And Project In The First Measurement Course Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16236

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