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Enhancing The Learning Experience Using Simulation And Experimentation To Teach Mechanical Vibrations

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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

What's New in Dynamics?

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.675.1 - 12.675.12



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Paper Authors


El-Sayed Aziz Stevens Institute of Technology

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Dr. El-Sayed Aziz holds a faculty position in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Mansoura University, Egypt. Currently, he is working as research scientist at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey, USA. He received B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Mansoura University, Egypt, in 1991 and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology in 2003. His research interests include knowledge-based engineering systems; computer-integrated design and manufacturing; Finite Element Analysis; software development and applications; as well as remote and virtual laboratories.

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Sven Esche Stevens Institute of Technology

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Dr. Sven K. Esche is currently holding a position as Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey, USA. In 1989, he received an undergraduate degree in Applied Mechanics from Chemnitz University of Technology (Germany). After working for three years at Mercedes Benz AG in Stuttgart (Germany), he obtained M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, USA in 1994 and 1997, respectively. His current research interests include multi-scale modeling of thermo-mechanical processing of metals, integrated product and process design under conditions of uncertainty and risk as well as remote sensing and control of distributed devices with special focus on remote laboratories.

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Constantin Chassapis Stevens Institute of Technology

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Dr. Constantin Chassapis is a Professor and the Director of the Mechanical Engineering Department at Stevens Institute of Technology. His research interests are in knowledge-based engineering systems; computer-aided design and manufacturing; structure-property modeling and characterization of polymers and polymer composites as well as in remotely controlled distributed systems. He has been an active member in ASME and SPE, and he has received a best paper award from SPE’s Injection Molding Division, the distinguished Assistant Professor Award at Stevens Institute of Technology, an Honorary Master’s Degree from Stevens Institute of Technology, and the Tau Beta Pi Academic Excellence Award.

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

Enhancing the Learning Experience Using Simulation and Experimentation to Teach Mechanical Vibrations


Mechanical vibrations represent an important subject in mechanical engineering. This paper describes a simulation-based online laboratory that was developed to assist students in understanding the concepts of mechanical vibrations in the context of practical engineering applications. This system was designed with a flexible multi-layered graphical user interface, and it can be used to illustrate the physical phenomena of vibrations in a visual manner. It comprises interactive applications, virtual experiments, and auxiliary tools for instruction. Examples from real engineering systems provide the missing link between the theoretical concepts and the real engineering world, thus helping the students to capture the essential aspects of the problems in a mechanical model, making reasonable simplifying assumptions, and reducing this model into solvable problems such as single-degree-of-freedom free and forced vibrations. In addition, the remote control of real instruments through the Internet was integrated into the vibration laboratory experience.

Keywords: Virtual Learning Environment; Simulations; Web-based laboratory; Online Learning Environment


Five categories of learning style models have been recommended in the educational literature1,2,3: sensing/intuitive, visual/verbal, inductive/deductive, active/reflective and sequential/global. Most textbooks and classroom teaching are intuitive, verbal, deductive, reflective and sequential, but this environment does not meet the needs of the second-tier students who are sensing, visual, inductive, active and global learners. Engineering educators have been reshaping the engineering curricula to respond and adapt to the ever changing nature of engineering practice where engineering is becoming more global, interdisciplinary and influenced by other disciplines such as computer science, information technology, nanotechnology, economics, etc. Some of the goals of these curriculum changes are to prepare students for a path of life-long learning and to get them involved in the communities where they live.

Self-learning environments are becoming increasingly important. They allow students to reach targeted levels of understanding and skill sets without incurring too great a demand for staff time. They include text documents containing theory and explanations, sometimes hyperlinked to interactive physical models, animations, video, diagrams and others. Computer programs that perform calculations can give the students insight into problems that are not discussed in class, except in very specialized courses. Linking complex theory and equations to numerical and animated graphical results increases understanding and information retention.4 For instance, software packages such as LINCAGES5 and SAM6 are available for the analysis and synthesis of planar mechanisms. A PC-based vibration simulator for determining the first two natural frequencies and mode shapes of two stainless steel rulers was developed.7 However, these and similar software packages could be characterized as providing advanced analytical functionalities


Aziz, E., & Esche, S., & Chassapis, C. (2007, June), Enhancing The Learning Experience Using Simulation And Experimentation To Teach Mechanical Vibrations Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2895

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