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Instrumentation Theory And Practice For Engineers

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.602.1 - 6.602.9

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Paper Authors

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Mang Tia

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David Bloomquist

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

59 Instrumentation Abstract 1678

Instrumentation Theory and Practice for Engineers

David Bloomquist, Mang Tia University of Florida

Introduction While there are a plethora of electrical engineers out there who by nature are attracted to magnetism and electron flow, a large number of non-electrical engineering students consider the Elements of Electrical Engineering (or some other incarnation) as one of those “only because I have to take it” courses necessary for their degree. In fact, several students that have completed the course, to their dismay, did not perform very well on the electrical portion of the Fundamentals Exam. While the course does provide quite detailed theoretical information, what we felt it lacked was numerous practical examples geared towards the FE exam. We also believe that understanding, say Wheatstone bridges, is indeed valuable, actual hands on usage of sensors that employ a bridge circuit would be even more beneficial. Finally, graduating engineers that have actual experience hooking up; calibrating, conducting and reducing data might appeal to potential employers. That is to say, by introducing the students to basic circuit analysis, including operational amplifiers, strain gages, pressure transducers, load cells, accelerometers, temperature sensors, pH meters etc. should be beneficial in both the short and long run.

Hence, in 1994, we decided to create a general course that would fulfill the above requirements by providing a wide variety of both fundamental and functional information. In addition, a laboratory section was offered to provide hands on experience in hooking up, calibrating, conducting tests, and reducing the data using various sensors. Currently, two sections of the class, “Electrical Instrumentation for Civil Engineers” are offered each term. There are two lecture periods and one 3-hour lab per week. The sections are capped at 24 each, so that the lab groups are limited to 3 students per group. Two Teaching Assistants help the students set up and conduct the experiments.

Currently, all Civil majors are required to take both the course and the FE exam before graduation. Various other departments also allow their students to substitute this course for Elements of Electrical Engineering offered by the Computer and Electrical Engineering Department. These include: Environmental, Agriculture and Biological, and Chemical Engineering. Industrial Engineering is considering allowing the substitution. The course syllabus for the Fall 2000 semester is shown on the following page.

The course notes are purchased individually by the students from our ASCE student chapter. Cost is approximately $12.00 Additional reading and reference literature is provided during the semester.

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Tia, M., & Bloomquist, D. (2001, June), Instrumentation Theory And Practice For Engineers Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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