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Development Of An Instrumentation And Experimental Methods Course And Laboratory For A Bse Program

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Instrumentation and Measurements: Innovative Course Development

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Page Numbers

11.468.1 - 11.468.15



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David Farrow University of Tennessee-Martin

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David Farrow is an Assistant Professor at the University of Tennessee at Martin. He received B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering and a Ph.D. degree from the University of Texas at Arlington in 1989, 1990, and 1995, respectively. Dr. Farrow has taught courses in solid modeling, mechanical vibrations, automatic controls, automated production systems, and instrumentation and experimental methods at the University of Tennessee at Martin for three and a half years.

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

the UT Martin engineering program. The lab is Matlab-based, not LabVIEW-based, and the material is being taught to students having concentrations mechanical, electrical, civil, and industrial engineering, which is not unique, but certainly is a challenge in that it must be broad.

Placement of course in UT Martin curriculum

The sophomore or junior year of study is typically where a first course in engineering experimentation is placed in four-year engineering curricula. At UT Martin, students typically have had basic coursework common to all concentrations by the start of their junior year: Graphics, English Composition I and II, Calculus I, II, and III, Differential Equations, Chemistry I, Physics I and II, Engineering Economy, Electronics I, Strength of Materials, Statics, and Dynamics. The junior year is when students begin to take coursework specific to their concentration of mechanical, electrical, civil, or industrial engineering, along with more core engineering coursework, which continues with Circuit Analysis I, Engineering Probability and Statistics, Thermodynamics, Engineering Materials, and Fluid Mechanics. By this point in the curriculum, many of these required core curriculum courses have included laboratory components: Chemistry I, Physics I and II, Electronics I, Circuit Analysis I, and Engineering Materials. Other “upper division” courses have laboratory components, including Elementary Surveying, Concrete Design, and Geotechnical Engineering for the civil concentration, Electronics II, Circuit Analysis II, and Microprocessors for the electrical concentration, Vibrations, Kinematics and Dynamics, and Machine Design for the mechanical concentration, and Automated Productions Systems for the mechanical and industrial concentrations. The ENGR 317 Instrumentation and Experimental Methods course described in this paper is intended to be taken in the junior year, is the highest level common course in the program with a laboratory component, and is intended to help prepare students to specify, design, instrument, take data, and otherwise conduct their own experiments in much of their upper division coursework, labs, and required senior capstone design projects. The prerequisites for the ENGR 317 course are: ENGR 311 Engineering Probability and Statistics, and ENGR 232 Circuit Analysis I. ENGR 315 Engineering Analysis I (differential equations) is a co-requisite for ENGR 317. Thus, students are expected to be familiar with electrical circuit principles, statistical distributions and considerations, and dynamical system response prior to or in parallel with taking this course. The UT Martin Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog describes the course thusly:

ENGR 317 Instrumentation and Experimental Methods (3) - Introduction to experimental methods, design of experiments, and analysis and interpretation of experimental data. Topics include accuracy and precision, Fourier series and FFT, expected time response of zeroth-order, first-order, and second-order measurement systems, applied statistics and uncertainty analysis, analog and digital signals and AD/DA conversion, and introduction to basic transducers and instruments for measuring voltage, current, temperature, pressure, flow, and strain. Two lecture hours and one three-hour lab.

This is a very broad-based course and the lab component emphasizes applying concepts learned in the lecture and homework components to practical engineering measurements.

Farrow, D. (2006, June), Development Of An Instrumentation And Experimental Methods Course And Laboratory For A Bse Program Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--23

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