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Engineering Laboratory Experiments – An Integrated Approach Of Teaching The Introductory Engineering Course

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Design of Lab Experiments I

Tagged Division

Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.642.1 - 12.642.12



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Paper Authors


Atin Sinha Albany State University

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Atin Sinha is the Regents Engineering Professor and Coordinator of the Engineering Program at Albany State University. He received his Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Tennessee Space Institute in 1984. He had worked in aeronautical research and industry (National Aerospace Laboratory-India, Learjet, Allied-Signal) for 12 years before moving to academia in 1990. He is also a Registered Professional Engineer in Oklahoma. Currently, he is engaged in motivating undergraduate students in inquiry based learning through laboratory experimentations.

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

Engineering Laboratory Experiments – An Integrated Approach of Teaching the Introductory Engineering Course Abstract

In an effort to introduce more realism and familiarity with the current manufacturing and testing equipment at an early stage of students’ engineering education, the introductory level engineering course offered by Albany State University’s transfer engineering program with Georgia Institute of Technology was transformed from a 3 hour lecture only to a 2 hour lecture and a 3 hour laboratory class where students go through a series of hands-on projects in a multidisciplinary laboratory setup established from a grant from the Department of Education. The LEGO Mindstorm robots, FLOTEK 1440 wind tunnel, PC TURN 55 CNC machine, SolidWorks 3D software with Dimension 3D Printer rapid prototyping machine are primarily used in the laboratory component of the “Principles of Engineering Analysis and Design” course taught at the sophomore level which carried 30% of the final course grade. The laboratory class introduced in 2001 has become a strong motivational tool for our engineering students inspiring them to continue with the upper level courses. Apart from exposure to multiple equipment and software, students gain an insight into how a task can be accomplished by first defining the problem, then breaking it down to workable steps and apply known information to solve them to arrive at an acceptable solution.


Albany State University (ASU), located in Southwestern part of Georgia, conducts the Regents Engineering Transfer Program (2+2) and Dual Degree Program (3+2) to transfer students to Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) under a cooperative agreement. Over 90% student of ASU belong to the African American community as well as the entire group of engineering students which currently stands at around 50. ASU follows an open enrollment policy for engineering studies in spite of an entrance requirement suggested by Georgia Tech. On an average 2 to 3 students per year transfer to Georgia Tech with 5 transferring in the year 2005- 06. As of fall ’06, 84.4% of ASU students that had transferred to Georgia Tech since the beginning of the program in mid-80’s, have either graduated from or are currently enrolled in one of the 5 different engineering majors. The range of the comparable figure denoting the success rate for transfer engineering programs of all other institutions in Georgia is 72% to 92%, which validates the quality of our program. The students complete the core courses in humanities, mathematics and science as well as some freshman and sophomore level engineering courses in order to have a seamless transfer to the junior level at Georgia Tech. As is customary in most if not all undergraduate engineering programs, ASU also conducts an introductory level course for the engineering students. Unlike most other programs where this course is taught at the freshman level, our course called “Principles of Engineering Analysis and Design” is taught every fall semester at the sophomore level with Pre-calculus as a prerequisite.

The Original Course Structure and Reasoning for Change

Engineering educators have grappled with many topics that deserved to be included in the introductory engineering course1 since it became common place in the undergraduate curriculum. Aside from the discipline specific introductory courses, in the vast majority of

Sinha, A. (2007, June), Engineering Laboratory Experiments – An Integrated Approach Of Teaching The Introductory Engineering Course Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--1567

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