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Embedding Laboratory Activities in “Applied Mechanics” Course

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Innovations in Solid Mechanics

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

25.516.1 - 25.516.11



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Paper Authors


Irina Nicoleta Ciobanescu Husanu Drexel University

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Irina Ciobanescu Husanu (Co-PI) is Assistant Professor in applied engineering at Drexel University. She received her Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering from Drexel University and also a M.S. degree in aeronautical engineering. Her research interest is in thermo-fluid sciences with applications in micro-combustion, fuel cells, green fuels, and plasma assisted combustion. Husanu has prior industrial experience in aerospace engineering that encompasses both theoretical analysis and experimental investigations such as designing and testing of propulsion systems including design and development of pilot testing facility, mechanical instrumentation, and industrial applications of aircraft engines. Also, in the past seven years, she gained experience in teaching ME and ET courses in thermal-fluid and energy conversion areas from various levels of instruction and addressed to a broad spectrum of students, from freshmen to seniors, from high school graduates to adult learners. She also has extended experience in curriculum development.

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Yalcin Ertekin Drexel University

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Yalcin Ertekin received his B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from Istanbul Technical University. He attended the Business School of Istanbul University and received M.S. degree in production management. After working for Chrysler Truck Manufacturing Company in Turkey as a project engineer, he received dual M.S. degrees in engineering management and mechanical engineering from Missouri University of Science and Technology (MS&T), formerly the University of Missouri, Rolla. He worked for Toyota Motor Corporation as a quality assurance engineer for two years and lived in Toyota City, Japan. He received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from MS&T in 1999, while he worked as a quality engineer for Lumbee Enterprises in St. Louis, Mo. His first teaching position was at the Architectural and Manufacturing Sciences Department of Western Kentucky University. He was a faculty member at Trine University. He is currently teaching in Engineering Technology Program at Drexel University. His area of expertise is in CAD/CAM, computer numerical control (CNC) machining, rapid prototyping, and quality control. His research interest includes sensor based condition monitoring of CNC machining, machine tool accuracy characterization and enhancement, non-invasive surgical tool design, reverse engineering, and bio materials.

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Embedding Laboratory Activities in “Applied Mechanics” CourseFast paced transformations in Engineering Technology area require new and enhanced strategiesin engineering technology education. More than ever, the educational advance is leaning towardsmeeting the demands of industrial world. Engineering Technology curricula needs to adjust tonovel technologies by enabling students to acquire meaningful and relevant practices. Laboratoryactivities should be incorporated into dry-lectured courses, being vital to ET programs, sincethey are ultimately enhancing the understanding process, leading towards developing experience-led engineering technology degree. Laboratory activities are the main promoters of creativity andcritical thinking, a place where students develop, practice and improve the required skills, and aplace where theory meets the real-like scenarios.One way to lead the students to become creative and innovative in ET is building a systematicapproach of the knowledge to be conveyed during class time by combining laboratory activitieswith a well structured in class lecture. Based on this perspective, we developed a series of wellstructured experimental activities to complement the existent lecture material. DuringLaboratory activities, students are fully involved in creating and analyzing the experiments basedon prior knowledge gained from previous courses as well as in class lectures (delivered prior toeach lab activity and closely linked to each lab activity). In this way the student has theopportunity of becoming an active learner and applying what he learned in lectures. The mainpurpose of this paper is to describe the efforts of developing the lecture/experimentalactivity package and also the preliminary results of beta-testing of this package. Uponsuccessful implementation, the newly improved course will be offered starting next AY 2012-2013. The efforts of building a new laboratory for mechanical experiments will also bedescribed.We propose several mechanical experiments such as: tensile test: a metal bar (tensile specimen)is loaded in longitudinal tension; elastic behavior of metal in torsion: strains are measured on thesurface of a metal tube or solid shaft loaded in pure torsion; elastic-plastic behavior of a simplysupported beam. The objectives of the experimental activities are to correlate theory withpractical approaches and to enable students to better understand the applications of theoreticalconcepts presented (i.e. strain and shear stress, Young’s Modulus etc.). Students will observe,and analyze several phenomena such as the bar’s behavior to fracture and the material’s stiffness,strength and ductility, they will use load deflection data to measure of Young’s modulus, thetensile stress at yield and ultimate load carrying capacity of the beam. All these experiments willbe also enhanced by modern simulation software and data acquisition hardware that will generatereal-like industrial scenarios. Therefore, student will gain a broader perspective over the subjecttaught with a more in-depth understanding, enabling them to use this knowledge in other coursessuch as manufacturing, dynamics, quality control, sensors and measurements etc. In this way, thecourse gains multidisciplinary character, enabling students to acquire necessary skills indeveloping their future projects including “Senior Design”.

Ciobanescu Husanu, I. N., & Ertekin, Y. (2012, June), Embedding Laboratory Activities in “Applied Mechanics” Course Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21274

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