Asee peer logo

Fostering Students' Capability of Designing Experiments Through Theme-specific Laboratory Design Projects

Download Paper |


2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Laboratory Exercises for Energy, Power, and Industrial Applications

Tagged Division

Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.646.1 - 25.646.15



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Hyun W. Kim Youngstown State University

visit author page

Hyun W. Kim is a professor of mechanical engineering in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at Youngstown State University. He has been teaching and developing the Thermal Fluid Applications course and the companion laboratory course for the past few years. He is a registered Professional Engineer in Ohio and is currently conducting applied research in hydraulics and micro gas turbines. He helps the local industry and engineers with his expertise in heat transfer and thermal sciences. Kim received a B.S.E.
degree from Seoul National University, a M.S.E. from the University of Michigan, and a Ph.D. from the University of Toledo.

visit author page


Yogendra M. Panta Youngstown State University

visit author page

Yogen Panta is an Assistant Professor of mechanical engineering at Youngstown State University, Ohio. He has been teaching and developing courses and research projects in the fluid thermal area. He is currently conducting applied research in thermo-fluids and computational fluid dynamics with local industries and federal agencies. Panta received a B.E. degree from Tribhuvan University, an M.S. degree from Youngstown State University, and a Ph.D. degree from the University of Nevada Las Vegas. Panta’s research interests are in fluid dynamics, computational fluid dynamics (CFD), microfluidics/lab-on-chip, and energy research.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Fostering Students’ Capability of Designing Experiments Through Theme-specific Laboratory Design ProjectsAbstractA new approach was initiated in a laboratory course to foster students developing a number ofindependently conceptualized experimental design projects related to a broader theme. Thissenior-level required laboratory course is offered once a year in the fall semester. It deals withthe topics in the areas such as thermodynamics, fluid machinery and power, basic and appliedheat transfer, and instrumentation and measurements. The laboratory is facilitated with a numberof experimental equipment which includes temperature measurement, conduction, forced andfree convection, radiation heat transfer, refrigeration systems, IC engines, flue gas analyzer, fluidpower system, heat exchangers, and gas turbines.The laboratory has been providing students with good opportunities in acquiring hands-onexperiences on the process of verifying fundamental principles in the thermal fluid areas. Thedepartment, through its comprehensive assessment plan implemented since 1998, sets a highpriority for meeting Outcome (b), Ability to Design and Conduct Experiments, of ABET 2000,and requires that each laboratory course contains an open experimental design project. However,most students are observed to be passive and afraid to take an initiative in conceptualizing andconducting their own experiments. Consequently, most design projects are superficiallydeveloped and become less effective pedagogical tools through which the students strive toachieve their educational goals. Despite repeated efforts and hard work put in by the faculty forimprovements of the open design projects, the outcome (b) has always been a subject for furtherimprovement. In order to change this perennial dilemma, the open design assignments aremodified to theme-specific design projects. Several pertinent themes, mainly related tofundamental laws or physical phenomena, are considered for the team design projects. Oneparticular broad theme is selected for a particular semester. Students in each team are required toconduct literature search and thoroughly understand the theme materials. The team, throughconsultations with the faculty, then selects and hypothesizes a sub topic of their interest anddevelops an experiment that verifies their hypothesis. Students are also required to present theirnew design orally and by written reports through the design proposal, interim and final report.The new approach produced positive results related to students’ learning and strengthened theability of students in conceptualizing an idea, designing experiments, analyzing the experimentaldata, verifying the hypothesis, and observing the entire experimental process for in-depthconclusion.

Kim, H. W., & Panta, Y. M. (2012, June), Fostering Students' Capability of Designing Experiments Through Theme-specific Laboratory Design Projects Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21403

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2012 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015