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Designing with Lessons from the Machine Design Course: A Capstone Experience

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

Design Throughout the Mechanical Engineering Curriculum II

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

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Paper Authors


Sangarappillai Sivaloganathan United Arab Emirates University

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Dr Sangarappillai Sivaloganathan – Siva is a Srilankan by birth and a citizen of the United Kingdom. His experience in Sri-lanka started with an year’s post-graduate apprenticeship in the manufacturing shops of the Government Railway and nine years in the Cement Industry. He graduated as a Mechanical Engineer from University of Srilanka, and obtained his Masters from the University of Aston and PhD from City University of London, both in the UK. He started his career in the UK as the Senior Research Assistant at the SERC Engineering Design Centre. He joined Brunel University in 1995 where he worked for 18 years before joining United Arab Emirates University in August 2011. During his stay at Brunel he has worked with many British industries. Dr Sivaloganathan is a keen researcher in Design and was the Convenor for the International Engineering Design Conferences in 1998 and 2000. He has been a regular participant of the ASEE annual conference during the past few years. He has published more than 85 papers in reputed journals and conferences.

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Farag K. Omar United Arab Emirates University

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Farag K. Omar is an Associate Professor at the Mechanical Engineering department, United Arab Emirates University. He received his B.Sc. from the University of Benghazi, Libya, in 1989. From 1989 to 1992 he worked as a consultant engineer in Libya for Brown and Root Overseas Limited. He obtained his M.Sc. degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Waterloo, Canada in 1994, and his Ph.D. degree from the University of British Columbia, Canada in 2000. From 2000 to 2001, he worked as a research scientist at the University of British Columbia. From 2002 to 2003 he worked as a research & development engineer for Intelligent Mechatronics Systems Inc. in Canada. Farag's main research interest is in mechatronics, machine vibration and diagnostics.

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More general field of mechanical design involves the design of several Machine Elements, which are elementary components of a machine. To design mechanical devices and systems therefore, one must be competent in the design of individual machine elements that comprise the system. To this effect Machine Design courses cover general topics such as the principles of strength of materials, the design properties of materials, combined stresses, design for different types of loading, and the analysis and design of columns and beams as well as primary machine elements such as belt drives, chain drives, gears, shafts, keys, couplings, seals, and rolling contact elements. The contents of the course involve extensive procedures and complex calculations. However this knowledge alone is not suficient in the modern context where the students are expected to be able to integrate several components and devices into a coordinated, robust system, involving several decisions, and should be able to understand and evaluate the impact of such engineering designs in the society.

With the aim of getting and showcasing these abilities, a Graduation Project entitled ‘A Rotating Display Boasting the Greatness of Mechanical Engineering’ was undertaken by a group of three students from the x university. The display was a dodecahedron, a solid made up of 12 regular pentagons, which represents the universe in the Platonic solids. The displays included the Model T car, concord aircraft and composite materials as well as Newton and Einstein. A vertical shaft driven by an AC motor through a drive system containing belt, gear and chain drives and other elements carried the dodecahedron. The system was aimed to attract potential students to choose mechanical engineering specialization. The paper describes the system, learning experience and lessons learned.

Sivaloganathan, S., & Omar, F. K. (2016, June), Designing with Lessons from the Machine Design Course: A Capstone Experience Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26706

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