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Effective Integration Of Mathematical And Cae Tools In Engineering

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Improving Mechanics & Structural Modeling Courses

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.467.1 - 13.467.15



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Paper Authors


Raghu Echempati Kettering University

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Raghu Echempati is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Ketetring University, Flint, MI. He has over 25 years of academic teaching, research and consulting. He has published several technical papers in national and international conferences and journals of repute. He is an active member of ASME, ASEE and SAE.

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Enayat Mahajerin Saginaw Valley State University

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Enayat Mahajerin is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Saginaw Valley State University, Saginaw, MI. He has over 30 years of academic teaching, research and consulting experience. He has published several technical papers in national and international conferences and journals of repute. He is an active member of ASME, and ASM.

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Anca Sala Baker College

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Anca Sala is currently an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Head of Engineering Technology at Baker College (Flint Campus), Flint, MI. She is an active member of ASME and ASEE.

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



Today, more than ever, engineers are challenged to use efficient computational tools in the simulation and design processes. Math software tools such as MATLAB®, MathCAD® and Excel® in recent years have achieved wide spread acceptance throughout the educational and industrial communities. Moreover, CAE tools such as Solid Edge, Unigraphics®, I-DEAS®, ANSYS®, etc., are used to perform parametric design and finite element analysis of individual components and simple mechanical assemblies. Integration of such tools into the engineering curriculum enhances students understanding of, and appreciation for the iterative and open- endedness nature of design problems. This paper describes the teaching and learning experiences of including such tools in few example courses in mechanical engineering. One of them is a Computational and Experimental course (“Course 1” taught at Saginaw Valley State University (SVSU) using MATLAB), the second one is a Computational course (“Course 2”, taught at Baker College (BC)), and the third course is Machine Design (“Course 3”, taught at Kettering University (KU) using Excel and other CAE/FEA tools). The first and the third courses are 4- credit and junior level subjects that include workshop sessions and laboratory assignments, while the second one is a 4-credit, senior level theoretical course. These example courses have both individual and collaborative assignments, which include conduction of experiments in order to generate data. Experience from all these courses taught at these universities shows that when students generate data on their own using good engineering judgment, they can easily process the data, develop and interpret any mathematical and statistical models for the experiment.


MATLAB® (MATrix LABoratory)1,2 is a tool for doing numerical computations with matrices and vectors. It has a programming feature similar to Basic and C and it can also display information graphically in an easy-to-use environment where problems and solutions are expressed in familiar mathematical notation. Because of its versatility, this software can be used in a wide variety of areas in engineering and science. In the context of this paper, both junior and upper level undergraduate courses can utilize the capabilities of this or other similar math software to provide excellent learning tools for a wide variety of subjects.

MathCAD is a mathematical computation tool allowing the user to solve a wide range of scientific problems, in symbolic or numeric form. Plots and reports can be easily generated.

CAE tools such as UG-NX, I-DEAS, ANSYS3,4, are engineering tools for solid modeling and analysis in an interactive way. These are used routinely in many engineering applications by both practicing engineers and in academia. Such CAE tools provide opportunities for creative design and analysis of machine components and to understand the interaction between the components of an assembly before final design decisions are made4.

Echempati, R., & Mahajerin, E., & Sala, A. (2008, June), Effective Integration Of Mathematical And Cae Tools In Engineering Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3449

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