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Industrial Motion Control as a Context for Mechatronics Education

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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

NSF Grantees' Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.772.1 - 25.772.9



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Paper Authors


Hakan Gurocak Washington State University, Vancouver

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Hakan Gurocak is Director of the School of Engineering and Computer Science at Washington State University, Vancouver. His research interests include haptic interfaces for virtual reality, robotics, automation, fuzzy logic, and technology-assisted distance delivery of laboratory courses. Gurocak is an ABET Program Evaluator for mechanical engineering.

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Ashley Ater Kranov ABET

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Ashley Ater Kranov is ABET's Managing Director of Professional Services. Her department is responsible for ensuring the quality training of program evaluators, partnering with faculty and industry to conduct robust and innovative technical education research, and providing educational opportunities on sustainable assessment processes for program continuous improvement worldwide.

She is Principal Investigator of a NSF-funded validity study of her direct method for teaching and measuring the ABET engineering professional skills and is adjunct associate professor in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Washington State University where she co-teaches the senior design capstone sequence.

During her more than 21 years as a higher education administrator and professional educator, Dr. Ater Kranov has led university-wide assessment initiatives, coordinated regional and professional accreditation activities, taught at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and conducted faculty development workshops on teaching and assessment worldwide.

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Rochelle Letrice Williams ABET

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Rochelle Williams recently joined the ABET headquarters staff as the Educational Research and Assessment Manager in the Professional Services Department. In this role, Williams manages ABET’s educational offerings on a global scale and leads technical education research projects. Prior to joining ABET, Williams held two positions at Baton Rouge Community College: Science Laboratory Manager and Adjunct Faculty in the Mathematics Department.

In addition, Williams has worked closely with the National Science Foundation’s Next Generation Composites Crest Center at Southern University. In this role, she supported the center’s mission to increase the awareness of engineering education to underrepresented minority groups on both the secondary and post-secondary levels.

Williams holds a Ph.D. in science and mathematics education and a master of engineering in mechanical engineering from Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge, La., and a bachelor of science in physics from Spelman College in Atlanta, Ga.

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Industrial Motion Control as a Context for Mechatronics EducationHakan GurocakSchool of Engineering and Computer ScienceWashington State University Vancouver, USAAshley Ater-KranovManaging  Director  of  Professional  Services,  ABETOver the past couple decades, mechanical engineering programs have made significantadvances in developing educational materials and laboratory exercises in controls andmechatronics. However, there is an important gap remaining between the academicprograms and the needs of the graduates and industry.The academic programs are heavily oriented towards control theory, board-levelelectronics, interfacing and microprocessors supplemented with laboratory equipment,such as the inverted pendulum, and projects, such as Lego robots. But industrialapplications require mechanical engineers to design machines with multiple axes thatexecute complex, high speed, high precision coordinated motion using sophisticatedmotion controllers. To design such systems students need to learn the industrial motioncontrol technology; be able to bring together control theory, kinematics, dynamics,electronics, simulation, programming and machine design; apply interdisciplinaryknowledge; and deal with practical application issues. Due to the currentcompartmentalized approach used in teaching these subjects and the emphasis onmathematical algorithms and board-level applications, most new mechanical engineeringgraduates are unable to meet the industry expectations.In this paper, we present an overview of a new modular curriculum we are designing bypartnering with industry to “teach the fundamentals”, but in the context of industrialmotion control technology and multi-axis machines. We also provide details of one of itsmodules along with assessment results and feedback from students. This project wasfunded by a grant in 2010 from the NSF-TUES program.

Gurocak, H., & Ater Kranov, A., & Williams, R. L. (2012, June), Industrial Motion Control as a Context for Mechatronics Education Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21529

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