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An Innovative Instrumentation And Controls Laboratory For Engineering Technology

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1996 Annual Conference


Washington, District of Columbia

Publication Date

June 23, 1996

Start Date

June 23, 1996

End Date

June 26, 1996



Page Count


Page Numbers

1.70.1 - 1.70.6



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Paper Authors

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R.J. Kennerknecht

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R.H. Cockrum

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G.K. Herder

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E.T. Ibrahim

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

Session 2647

An Innovative Instrumentation and Controls Laboratory for Engineering Technology

R.H. Cockrum, R.J. Kennerknecht, E.T. Ibrahim, and G.K. Herder California State Polytechnic University 3801 W. Temple Avenue, Pomona, California 91768


The Instrumentation and Controls Laboratory at Cal Poly Pomona combines computers, virtual-reality simulators, and advanced software with industrial hardware into an integrated multi- disciplinary environment. This environment allows tailoring the laboratory experience to the needs of different majors, and hence, enhances the effectiveness of course delivery. This paper presents some of the experiences for engineering technology students in this laboratory.


The increasing speed with which technology is changing forces educators to incorporate innovative methods in order to keep pace with technical advances. Several papers (1-10) of the last decade reveal a common theme: Engineering is a holistic integrative process and thus engineering and engineering technology education should be designed toward that end. From innovative teaching methods come innovative ideas that industry needs to achieve a leadership role or to gain markets. The mission of engineering technology educators must include the cultivation of each student’s ability to bridge the boundaries between disciplines and make the connections that produce deeper insights(z). An instructor’s ability to deliver effective engineering technology education can be greatly enhanced with modern innovative laboratories which include virtual-reality and physical simulators.

The Instrumentation, Simulation, and Controls (ISC) laboratory at Cal Poly Pomona was established to give students in engineering and engineering technology the insight needed to analyze, visualize and synthesize control and instrumentation systems. Students have at their disposal two control panels, a liquid level panel and an analytic panel. These panels can be controlled and monitored by several methods such as a Distributed Control System (DCS), stand-alone controllers, and bench top PC computers. There are twelve student work stations equipped with computers, printers, oscilloscopes, power supplies and signal generators. The expense needed to equip each student station with a full complement of data acquisition, signal conditioning, and analysis equipment is beyond the budget of most universities. By using virtual instruments (VI’s) students can create the equipment that is needed for their project or experiment. There are two basic programs installed on our laboratory computers: - LabVIEW b~ National Instruments and Ma~Lab-/Simulink by the Math Works. B y using

1996 ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings

Kennerknecht, R., & Cockrum, R., & Herder, G., & Ibrahim, E. (1996, June), An Innovative Instrumentation And Controls Laboratory For Engineering Technology Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia. 10.18260/1-2--6113

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