Asee peer logo

Attributes Of A Modern Mechancial Engineering Laboratory

Download Paper |


2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Capstone and Senior Projects

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.240.1 - 10.240.9



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Gary McDonald

author page

Charles Knight

Download Paper |

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

Attributes of a Modern Mechanical Engineering Laboratory

Dr. Charles V. Knight, Dr. Gary H. McDonald Mechanical Engineering The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga


Senior level mechanical engineering labs have traditionally been devoted to investigating energy utilization systems while providing little support for mechanical systems. This created mechanical engineering graduates who had varying degrees of fundamental experimental knowledge. The thermal science graduates were taught principles of experimental design, experimental analysis and uncertainty, properties of measurement systems, and oral/written communication that was not similarly emphasized for the graduates who concentrated in mechanical systems. The mechanical engineering program at UTC began offering a mechanical engineering laboratory (one hour lab plus one hour design project) in 1997 that provides balanced support for both thermal and mechanical systems. This laboratory provided a major component of support for the mechanical engineering program meeting ABET 2000 Criterion 3 Outcomes a through k and UTC’s mechanical engineering program receiving accreditation on first request this past year. The paper will describe the various types of laboratories and design projects being used in the new lab that supports all areas of mechanical engineering. All labs utilize modern electronic instrumentation and LabVIEW for data acquisition, analysis, control, and presentation. Some of the lab systems are older renovated/upgraded systems while others were fabricated at UTC or purchased from vendors then upgraded. The design projects typically involve design, fabrication, and testing of an experimental system related to mechanical engineering, for example, a comprehensive comparative testing of two Stihl leaf blowers one with and the other without a catalytic converter for exhaust emission control.


Attributes are qualities or characteristics ascribed to or inherent in a person or thing. Engineering programs in general and specific courses have attributes that are generally shared with constituents through university catalogs and web sites and other means. But, specific attributes associated with defining the “REAL” qualities of a course and/or laboratory may be more difficult to define due to inadequate interest and sustainability being provided by the university and faculty. The senior mechanical engineering (ME) laboratory at UT-Chattanooga as described in this paper has both ME faculty, university, and external support required to sustain the many positive attributes associated with the laboratory.

“Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright 2005, American Society for Engineering Education”

McDonald, G., & Knight, C. (2005, June), Attributes Of A Modern Mechancial Engineering Laboratory Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14465

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2005 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015