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Assessment of Fluid Power Modules Embedded in Junior Level Thermodynamics and Fluid Mechanics Courses

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Mechanical Engineering Division Technical Session 11

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

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Paper Authors


Liping Liu Lawrence Technological University

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Liping Liu is an associate professor in the A. Leon Linton Department of Mechanical Engineering at Lawrence Technological University. She earned her Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2011. Her research focuses on thermal sciences and energy systems, with special interest in addressing transport phenomena in energy processes. She is a member of ASEE, ASME, and SAE International.

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James A. Mynderse Lawrence Technological University Orcid 16x16

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James A. Mynderse, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the A. Leon Linton Department of Mechanical Engineering at Lawrence Technological University. His research interests include mechatronics, dynamic systems, and control with applications to piezoelectric actuators, hysteresis, and perception. He serves as the faculty advisor for the LTU Baja SAE team.

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Robert W Fletcher Lawrence Technological University

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Robert Fletcher joined the faculty of the Mechanical Engineering Department at Lawrence Technological University in the summer of 2003, after two decades of various industry engineering positions in research, and product development.

Dr. Fletcher earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Washington, in Seattle, and the Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees in Chemical Engineering, both from the University of Michigan.

He teaches a number of alternative energy courses at Lawrence Tech. Dr. Fletcher and his student research team is focusing on energy usage and efficiencies of several traditional and alternative energy systems.

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Andrew L Gerhart Lawrence Technological University

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Andrew Gerhart, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Lawrence Technological University. He is actively involved in ASEE, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and the Engineering Society of Detroit. He serves as Faculty Advisor for the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Student Chapter at LTU, chair of the First Year Engineering Experience committee, chair for the LTU KEEN Course Modification Team, chair for the LTU Leadership Curriculum Committee, supervisor of the LTU Thermo-Fluids Laboratory, coordinator of the Certificate/Minor in Aeronautical Engineering, and faculty advisor of the LTU SAE Aero Design Team. Dr. Gerhart conducts workshops on active, collaborative, and problem-based learning, entrepreneurial mindset education, creative problem solving, and innovation. He is an author of a fluid mechanics textbook.

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In collaboration with the National Fluid Power Association (NFPA), the faculty at Lawrence Technological University developed and implemented fluid-power based modules (i.e., classroom exercises) for two BS Mechanical Engineering (BSME) core courses: Thermodynamics and Fluid Mechanics. The project aims to teach students the basic theories and concepts in fluid power and expose them to real-world hydraulic and pneumatic applications. Modules designed for the Fluid Mechanics course focus on addressing hydraulics related applications, and modules designed for the Thermodynamics course focus on pneumatic systems. Fluid power modules include homework to be completed individually, in-class active and collaborative learning (ACL) exercises, and problem-based learning (PBL) team projects with entrepreneurially minded learning (EML) components. However, all modules are intended to foster a better student understanding of the theory, practices, and career opportunities associated within the fluid power industry.

Starting in the Fall of 2016, the authors developed the modules and implemented them in multiple sections (taught by different instructors) of Thermodynamics and Fluid Mechanics courses in three consecutive semesters (Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017). Pre and post surveys were conducted to gage the impact on student learning on the fluid power content before and after the designed activities. Both direct and indirect assessment tools were developed and data were collected. This paper focuses on reporting the assessment results in both courses and making recommendations for future improvements of the modules.

Liu, L., & Mynderse, J. A., & Fletcher, R. W., & Gerhart, A. L. (2018, June), Assessment of Fluid Power Modules Embedded in Junior Level Thermodynamics and Fluid Mechanics Courses Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--29836

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