Washington, District of Columbia
June 23, 1996
June 23, 1996
June 26, 1996
1.73.1 - 1.73.8
An Integrated Modular Senior Design Laboratory for Electrical Engineers
James J. Carroll and Said Ahmed-Zaid Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Clarkson University Potsdam, NY 13699-5720 Tel: (315) 268-7726 // Fax: (315) 268-7600 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. clarlmon,edu
ABSTRACT requisites. Students typically worked in design teams and got involved in a series of design steps including planning, The authors propose an integrated modular design labora- analysis, preliminary design, simulation, construct ion, t e&- tory to enhance the existing senior design experience in Elec- ing and evaluation, class demonstrations, oral presentations trical Engineering at Clarkson University. This laboratory and documental ion. The goal in each casse was to provide integratea physically-based device-s and components within the student with the opportunity to develop a complete solu- a PC-based data acquisition and control environment. The tion to one or more design problems and to develop effective new design sections offer an integrated systems approach for communication skills. the rapid development and implementation of both hardware and software components in a complete engineering design. A. The Need jor an Integrated Modular Design Laboratory
Unlike the well-structured sophomore and junior laborato- I. I NTRODUCTION ricx, the various senior design sections were run indepen- At Clarkson University, undergraduate electrical engineering dently of each other, with little in common other than the students are required to complete a sequence of three labora- overall design spirit. According to the personal experience tories culminating in the senior capstone design laboratory. of the investigators, many students performed poorly due to a number of deficiencies which can be attributed as follows: The first two electrical engineering laboratoritis are taken during the sophomore and junior years, respectively, and are 1. Meaningful senior design projects require inter- common to all electrical engineering disciplines. ln t hfise disciplinary teamwork between students of various elec- introductory laboratories, students are introduced to the trical engineering backgrounds. Prexent efforts to in- techniques, circuits, and instruments used to make electri- volve groups of students from several disciplinfi< have cal measurements. The laboratory work providfi~ experience been hampered by the fact that there is no common in the use of ammeters, voltmeters, oscilloscopes, bridges, framework for the senior design a? opposed to the sopho signal generators, and other instruments. All experiments in more and junior laboratories. thesse two laboratories are well structured and include some introductory design projects. A majority of the undergrad- 2. The prior senior design laboratory did not take advan- uate e design experiences are obtained, however, in the senior tage of current microprocessor technology and modern design laboratory which has historically consisted of five ad digital instrumentation for data acquisition and control hoc sections (instrumentation, electronics, robotics/control, purpows. power, and solar car), and provid= senior students with the 3. The prior senior design laboratory did not provide laboratory specialization of their choice. enough “hands-on” experience with machines and 1~ recent years, this senior laboratory has undergone drives, without which meaningful design projects are significant changes in the electrical engineering curriculum difficult to implement in areaa as diverse as power engi- basxl on accreditation requirements. Several sections of this neering, power electronics, controls, and robot ics. course were taught in areas of strong departmental expertise, such as controls, robotics, power engineering, power electron- 4. New and emerging technologies (e.g., in the area of elec- ics, electronics, instrumentation, and the solar car project. tric/electronic control of power processing/conversion), Each senior design section was taught by a separate faculty require a changing educational focus towards more elab- member and enrollment was limited to at most 30 students orate, systems-oriented design applications, Only a few per section. This course typically involved a series of design schools are adapting to this changing environment [l]- projects in each area of interest and required different pre- .
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Ahmed-Zaid, S., & Carroll, J. J. (1996, June), An Integrated Modular Senior Design Laboratory For Electrical Engineers Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia. https://peer.asee.org/6118
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