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Establishing A Multidisciplinary Control System Laboratory

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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

Computer-Assisted Lab Studies

Tagged Division

Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.688.1 - 12.688.9



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Paper Authors

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Nasser Houshangi Purdue University Calumet

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

Establishing a Multidisciplinary Control System Laboratory


The paper describes the establishment of a multidisciplinary control laboratory taken by students in electrical and computer engineering, and mechanical engineering at Purdue University Calumet. A well developed, economically designed, multidisciplinary laboratory will significantly improve student preparation for industry and help address the lack of attention to control engineering in the U.S.

The area of control systems at the undergraduate level in the U.S. does not receive enough attention, as was pointed out at the NSF-sponsored workshop on “New Directions in Control Engineering” at the University of Illinois [1]. To improve the introductory undergraduate courses in control, there was consensus [2] to include computer control and simulation, hands-on experiments, and design problems. The control system laboratory is designed with emphasis on mechatronics systems that is part of the “Introduction to Control Systems” course offered for both Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering students. The three credit hour course (2 credit lecture, 1 credit laboratory), “Introduction to Control Systems” (ECE 384 and ME 485), currently exists in the curriculum, and is taken by electrical engineering, computer engineering, and mechanical engineering students. In the past, the course had only a 3 credit hour lecture component. The added laboratory helped in strengthening the mechatronic program option offered for the first time in fall 2001.

Mechatronics is the application and integration of mechanical engineering, control theory, computer science, and electronics to the design of functional and adaptable products. Most products developed by engineers currently involve both mechanical devices and, perhaps, some type of electric motor combined with an electrical or computer-based control system, thus crossing the traditional border between electrical/computer and mechanical engineering. Mechatronics is a significant design trend that has a marked influence on the product- development process, and international competition in manufacturing goods. Despite the importance for industry of this interdisciplinary area, many of today’s engineering graduates are unprepared to function competently in environments that require them to integrate electrical and mechanical knowledge areas. The main objectives of the developed laboratory are: (a) To address, the need of industry to have engineers educated in the principles and applications of feedback control for mechatronic systems. The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) 2000 criteria have recognized that a well-developed laboratory is a key for preparing a modern technological workforce. The developed laboratory emphasizes modeling of mechatronic systems, and system control issues and techniques. This course is required course for all electrical engineering students, and for mechanical engineering

Houshangi, N. (2007, June), Establishing A Multidisciplinary Control System Laboratory Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2456

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