June 15, 2019
June 15, 2019
June 19, 2019
Electrical and Computer
In this paper, authors present the outcomes of implementing an experiential learning model to explore innovative teaching pedagogy in CSU Chico EECE 482 Control Systems Design course. To reach this goal, multiple projects and demonstrations are designed to engage students of senior level Control Systems Design course in actual engineering problems to develop their practical engineering skills and to enhance students’ connection with junior level courses such as microcontroller programming. By utilizing the available resources within the College of Engineering at CSU Chico, multiple projects were developed for the Control Systems Design course. These projects benefited from existing laboratory spaces and equipment, which included a wind tunnel and a solar photovoltaic array at the Energy Systems Lab and a water flume at the Fluid and Mechanics Lab. The control systems were implemented using either the TM4C123GH6PM, the Tiva™ C Series microprocessor, which students use in the two required embedded systems courses in the curriculum, or an Arduino microcontroller.
Prior to the assignment of the projects, the properties of several control algorithms were discussed during the course lectures. Hands-on demonstrations of the algorithms were performed using a Quanser QUBE Servo 2 inverted pendulum. To continue this learning, students were asked to form small teams and to select a project from a list provided by the course instructor. Examples of three projects will be described in this paper. In the first project, a controller was designed to optimize the performance of the wind turbine by maximizing the power delivered to the wind turbine load. The second project was an optimization of performance of a motorized solar photovoltaic panel where students designed a sun tracker, a proportional-integral-derivative (PID) controller to maximize the power generated by the solar panel by adjusting the angle of the panel with respect to the solar irradiance. The third project was a control system to fix the lateral position of a boat in the water flume while it was navigating along the flume to prevent contacts with the walls. Finally, a discussion on how the set of demonstrations and the design projects boosted students’ interest in the Control Systems Design course. An assessment has been conducted to evaluate the impact of the demonstrations, labs and project on the student learning outcomes and the depth of their understanding of key concepts in comparison to that obtained in the previous semesters. The assessment results show that the inclusion of the demonstrations, labs and design projects in the course resulted in increased mastery of control theory concepts through the visualization and hands-on experience and that students were better able to relate theory to practice.
Alavi, Z., & Meehan, K. (2019, June), Enhancing a Control Systems Design Course by Using Experiential Learning Model Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. https://peer.asee.org/32744
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