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Automated Laboratory Experience In An Undergraduate Mechanical Engineering Program

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Instrumentation in the Classroom

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.257.1 - 8.257.13



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Paper Authors

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Amir Karimi

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

Session 3159

Automated Laboratory Experience in an Undergraduate Mechanical Engineering Program

Amir Karimi, A.C. Rogers, Thomas J. Connolly, and James W. Frazer

Department of Mechanical Engineering The University of Texas at San Antonio


The mechanical engineering BS degree program at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) requires an experimental laboratory sequence that supports both stems of mechanical engineering (energy and structures/motion). Data acquisition systems are integrated into the required laboratory sequence. A 5-year laboratory plan is in place to repair and upgrade existing equipment, design and fabricate new equipment, procure basic measurement equipment including computers, programs and interfacing hubs to central computers, replacement of outdated equipment and acquisition of new laboratory benches. The laboratory experiments are designed to provide hands-on experience in application of classroom theory through use of state- of-the-art measurement and instrumentation techniques. Design of experiments is required in upper level laboratory courses. Laboratory experience is also included in elective courses using the same basic laboratory equipment in an “Open laboratory” approach. This paper describes the restructured laboratory sequence, explains how the data acquisition systems are integrated into the laboratory experience, and provides procedures for selected lab experiments.

I. Introduction

In Fall 2000, the mechanical engineering department at the University of Texas at San Antonio began implementing its most recently revised undergraduate curriculum.1, 2 The required laboratory sequence in the revised curriculum was restructured in order to provide a better experimental laboratory experience for students in both stems of mechanical engineering (energy and structures/motion).

Prior to the Fall 2000 semester, the required stand-alone laboratory course sequence was ME 3241-Materials Engineering Laboratory, ME 3313-Measurements and Instrumentation, and ME 4802-Senior Laboratory. In addition there were laboratory components attached to such required courses as EE 2214-Electronic Circuits and ME 4523-Mechanical Systems and Controls.

In the revised curriculum, the basic materials laboratory course (ME 3241) remained the same. However, the course sequence EE 2214-Electronic circuits/Electronics and Laboratory, ME 3313–Measurements and Instrumentation, ME 4523-Dynamic Systems and Control in previous catalogs was restructured and renamed EE 2213-Electronic Circuits and Electronics, ME 3312-

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Karimi, A. (2003, June), Automated Laboratory Experience In An Undergraduate Mechanical Engineering Program Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--12184

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