June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
22.570.1 - 22.570.9
Engaging Computer Science Students in Electro-Mechanical Engineering ProjectsToday’s competitive job market demands college graduates to be able to function in a multi-disciplinary environment more than ever. In response to this demand, many colleges anduniversities have offered various courses or activities across curriculum. The faculty of computerscience program decided to conduct a pilot test of cross-disciplinary, engineering-based projectsthat require both computer skills and engineering knowledge in the capstone course. The primarylearning objectives were as follows: students apply programming concepts and softwareengineering skills learned in computer science classes to a new programming environment, gainhands-on experience in using industry-type data acquisition systems, and learn data collection,processing, and analysis techniques.Two projects with real-world applications and hands-on activities were designed with the help ofengineering and physics faculty. Both these projects included electrical and mechanical systemswith emphasis on measurement and instrumentation. The first project consisted of a dataacquisition software system development for condition monitoring of industrial machineries.The data acquisition system records both time and frequency domains of vibration signatures ofrotating machineries. It also records three temperature signatures. The entire softwaredevelopment was carried out in LabVIEW programming environment, which is industrialstandard software. The student who worked in this project gained programming skills inLabVIEW and basic knowledge of data acquisition systems (concepts such as Nyquist samplingrate, anti-aliasing filtering, pre-filtering, and signal to noise ratio).The second project was related to the application of a data acquisition instrument (LAbQuestfrom Vernier) designed for academics to record time domain vibration signatures of devices withrotating components (such as cooling fans, hard disks, CD/DVD ROMs within computingsystems such as desktop computers, servers, printers, and copying machines). The other studentwho worked in this project used the equipment at various computer labs on campus to recorddata and then to analyze the data utilizing, Excel Spreadsheet software. The analysis includedobtaining frequency domain signatures using fast Fourier transforms and power spectrum andauto/cross correlation calculations.In both projects, students conducted hands-on activities, gained new knowledge and skills, andunderstood the complexities inherent to cross-disciplinary projects better. The students wereespecially delighted that these projects provided them with additional skills to enhance theircareer opportunities in the job market. We are hoping to offer more of similar opportunities incoming years.
Naghedolfeizi, M., & Arora, S., & Gosukonda, R., & Yousif, N. A. (2011, June), Engaging Computer Science Students in Electro-Mechanical Engineering Projects Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. https://peer.asee.org/17851
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