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Functional Modules For Teaching Mechatronics To Non Ee Engineering Students

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.586.1 - 8.586.15



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Paper Authors

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Victor Giurgiutiu

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Brian Mouzon

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


Functional Modules for Teaching Mechatronics to non-EE Engineering Students

Victor Giurgiutiu and Brian Mouzon Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of South Carolina Columbia, SC 29208,


The Department of Mechanical Engineering of the University of South Carolina has embarked upon a project to enhance the Mechatronics education of non-EE engineering students. NSF funds the project with cost-share by the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the College of Engineering and Information Technology. An essential part of this project is the construction of functional modules for teaching hands-on skills related to the interfacing of mechanical, electrical, and electronic components of a Mechatronics system. Non-EE engineering students have the need for hands-on experience to increase their ability and confidence in tackling electrical and electronics concepts, especially during the realization phase of a Mechatronics project. To address this need, we started developing a suit of functional teaching modules. These functional modules are intended as bolt-on building blocks with clearly defined inputs and outputs, and an explanation of the underlying operational principles. The students are expected to use the functional modules as a learning tool. After understanding their functionality, they are expected to duplicate the circuitry on their own breadboards to be incorporated into their Mechatronics class projects, as well as into other hands-on projects, as appropriate.


THE NEED FOR MECHATRONICS EDUCATION Due to the accelerated growth of electronics, computers and information technology industries, a hiatus has emerged between the teachings of traditional non-EE engineering education (e.g., Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Chemical Engineering, etc.) and the skills expected of non-EE graduates entering the job market. A recent job announcement for hiring a mechanical engineering graduate states “immediate opening for a Mechanical Design Engineer: broad knowledge in mechanical design and two or more of the following disciplines is required: electro-mechanical devices (preferably piezoelectric), opto-mechanics, precision components and mechanisms; must have demonstrated capabilities in the use of computer-aided engineering systems.” A deluge of computers, sensors, microcontrollers, actuators has permeated the very fabric of present-day society. Microcontroller-based devices and appliances are to be found in all the crevices of our everyday life. Even the auto industry, a traditional mechanical engineering fiefdom, is putting tens of microcontrollers in a modern automobile, and plans to increase this

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Giurgiutiu, V., & Mouzon, B. (2003, June), Functional Modules For Teaching Mechatronics To Non Ee Engineering Students Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--12405

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