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Incorporating A Teacher’s Research Project Into An Undergraduate Level Course

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Trends in Mechanical Engineering I

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.715.1 - 14.715.10



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Paper Authors

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Jiang Zhou Lamar University

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Paul Corder Lamar University

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Hsing-wei Chu Lamar University

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Kendrick Aung Lamar University

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

Incorporating a Teacher’s Research Project into an Undergraduate Level Course

1. Introduction

This paper describes the integrating of a research topic into an undergraduate “System Dynamics and Vibration” course. The process helped the students to capture the essential aspects of the problems in a mechanical model, make reasonable simplifying assumptions, and reduce this model into solvable problems, such as, single degree of freedom and multiple degrees of freedom vibrations. It provided the missing link between the theoretical concepts and the real engineering world.

The research topic used was related to a study on reliability of electronic products subjected to drop impact. Drop reliability is a great concern to semiconductor and electronic product manufacturers, especially for portable devices such as mobile phones and PDAs. It is not uncommon for those portable electronic products to be accidentally dropped onto the ground. Vulnerable elements inside such products may experience very high accelerations and dynamic stresses. This ultimately causes failures in solder joints, intermetallic layers at solder-pad interfaces, or boards via cracking. The impacts and shocks can lead to the failure and malfunction of the products. Manufacturers usually determine the fragility of such products by three levels research on the drop reliability – component level, board level, and system level [1- 8]. Vibration analysis can be used in both board level and system level analysis.

Board level drop tests can be simplified and analyzed as one degree of freedom dynamic systems, and system level product analysis can be simplified and analyzed as a two degree of freedom system. Two projects of finding analytical and numerical solutions for both board level drop tests and system level product analysis were assigned in different stages of the students’ learning experience.

In the paper, the description, implementation and assessment of the teaching process are presented and discussed. Section 2 presents the description and implementation of the single degree of freedom model and analysis for the simplified board level drop tests. Section 3 describes the multiple degrees of freedom analysis for the system level products subjected to the drop impacts. Finally, assessment and conclusion are given at the end of the paper.

2. Project 1 - Single Degree of Freedom Model and Analysis

A board level drop test can be simulated with a one degree of freedom (1DOF) dynamic system. The students are assigned the project when they are learning 1DOF systems. Both theoretical and numerical solutions are required to find the displacement and acceleration of the drop test board.

Specifically, the students are required to: 1. Model the standard board level drop test system as a 1DOF system, and derive the simplified system’s equations of motion.

Zhou, J., & Corder, P., & Chu, H., & Aung, K. (2009, June), Incorporating A Teacher’s Research Project Into An Undergraduate Level Course Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--4672

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