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How Do You Teach Vibrations to Technology Students?

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Issues in ET Education II

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.673.1 - 24.673.10



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Paper Authors


M. Austin Creasy Purdue University (Statewide Technology)

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Assistant Professor
Mechanical Engineering Technology
Purdue University

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How Do You Teach Vibrations to Technology Students?Engineering technology is seen as a “hands-on” engineering education. Classes are very similarto those found in any engineering curriculum with emphasis placed on the application and notnecessarily the theory. Because of this emphasis, the technology curriculum does not alwaysrequire that students take the same level of mathematics needed to understand all of the theory.Therefore the technology classes will introduce the typical assumptions applied to the theory formost types of application. The majority of mechanics classes can be taught in this fashion andallow technology students to become very proficient in the application of mechanics. Vibrationsis one of those upper level mechanics courses that is heavily dependent on those upper levelmathematics courses. Many vibrations textbooks start by introducing students to distributed-parameter systems that requires an in-depth understanding of partial differential equations andhow you solve them. This type of analysis is straight forward for strings, rods, and simple beamswithout complex geometries or varying material properties. Once a product leaves these“textbook” examples, finite element analysis or experimental methods are used to analyze theproduct in terms of vibrations. This step of leaving the “textbook” examples provides thestarting location for the application aspect of the topic and is the location that is appropriate tointroduce technology students to the concepts of vibrations.In vibrations, students need to understand the concepts of damping, natural frequencies, modeshapes and does not require students to solve a partial differential equation for an Euler orTimoshenko beam. The application side is to use the concepts in the design process to insurethat parts are not being excited at resonance or to understand how to dissipate the energy whensomething is or may be excited at resonance. Therefore the “hands-on” education will showstudents how to analyze parts for vibration and what to look for in their future designs. Thispaper describes ways that can be used to introduce technology students to the topic of vibrationswithout the high level mathematics.

Creasy, M. A. (2014, June), How Do You Teach Vibrations to Technology Students? Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20564

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