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Design, Build And Test In A Thermal Fluids Laboratory Course

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Thermal Systems

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.413.1 - 10.413.12



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Paper Authors

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Kevin Schmaltz

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Robert Choate

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

Session 2266

Design, Build and Test in a Thermal Fluids Laboratory Course

Robert Choate and Kevin Schmaltz Western Kentucky University


Mechanical Engineering students at Western Kentucky University are required to take a comprehensive thermal fluids lab in the fall semester of their senior year that is designed to augment the traditional thermal fluids engineering science courses taken during their junior and senior years. In addition to a variety of instructor-led thermodynamics, fluid mechanics and heat transfer experiments, student teams are required to design, build and test (DBT) an experimental design project of their own choice. This project requires experimental problem solving skills, builds upon the analytical and numerical techniques they have acquired in their engineering science courses, and will then be expanded upon in a multi-disciplinary capstone laboratory design course in the spring semester of their senior year. The project is coordinated through the ME program Design of Experiments Plan and further supports the ME program's Professional Component Plan by requiring the use of engineering design with open-ended problems, integration of professional tools, and demonstration of professional communications. This experience takes place from a point of view that students are less familiar with the role of instructors building a lab experience. Secondary outcomes of the project include demonstration of professional ethics and teamwork with peer assessment. This paper will review the experimental design projects implemented by the seniors, requiring the students to perform independent research and hopefully encourage lifelong learning. A number of ME program outcomes are supported by this activity and the assessment methods used and results gathered will be discussed.


The Mechanical Engineering faculty at Western Kentucky University have used the development and implementation of professional experiences to provide consistent and properly assessed instruction for students pursuing the new baccalaureate Mechanical Engineering degree at WKU. To achieve these professional outcomes, of which experimental design is an essential outcome, it is necessary to provide students with the opportunity to acquire tools and skills, as well as technical competency 1, 2.

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

Schmaltz, K., & Choate, R. (2005, June), Design, Build And Test In A Thermal Fluids Laboratory Course Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14802

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