June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
15.755.1 - 15.755.24
Instrumentation Emphasis in Undergraduate Mechanical Engineering
Jerry K. Keska Department of Mechanical Engineering University of Louisiana-Lafayette Lafayette, LA 70506
This paper reports the results of the development and implementation of hands-on laboratory experiments in a newly developed laboratory for a two-semester undergraduate course in Instrumentation and Measurements in Mechanical Engineering. The course, designed for the undergraduate junior level, was a two-semester course for a total of four credits, and it took place in conjunction with a one-hour classroom lecture in mechanical engineering. A modified version of this approach, however, can easily be used at all levels of the mechanical engineering curriculum. An important component to the process involves the utilization of a two-semester long, open-ended project (OEP) that required the students to come up with creative approaches to problem solving. Over the course of the year, a full-cycle learning experience took place. After acquiring the necessary minimum knowledge, the students began their OEP by developing an initial idea. They then went on to design and construct a working prototype (that included both system and measurement sensors on prototyping boards), and concluded the project by conducting a feasibility study by writing a report and delivering a class presentation. Because the ELVIS system has been used primarily as an instructional tool in electrical engineering laboratories, an extensive process that adapted it to the needs of mechanical engineering was implemented. This included the development of completely new experiments that involved newly-designed hardware and instructions that were all developed and built in-house with student participation.
Topics: laboratories and experiments; innovative experiments; instrumentation emphasis in undergraduate programs.
Introduction During the undergraduate teaching process, instructors and students often get bored solving simple textbook problems that require little, if any, imaginative thinking. These types of problems are usually significantly simple compared to real life situations, and more often than not, they have very limited connections to the real world. They are also very limited in terms of their usefulness in incorporating the individuality of the students involved, and they make it difficult to give students genuine, individualized feedback about their control of the process. All of these qualities diminish the overall efficiency of the students’ learning during the lab process. It is recognized that an efficient learning process always requires excitement, creativity and close interaction with the subject matter. Hands-on physical experimentation is one of the best solutions to fulfill these requirements. In order to increase student interest and the student’s own creative, hands-on problem solving skills, a unique and innovative sets of physical experiments has been developed and implemented which pushes students’ creativity to its limits by applying combinations of both a
Keska, J. (2010, June), Instrumentation Emphasis In Undergraduate Mechanical Engineering Programs Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16249
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