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Integrating Labview And Real Time Monitoring Into Engineering Instruction

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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

Integrating Computer-based Technology in the Civil Engineering Classroom

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.762.1 - 14.762.18



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Paper Authors


Vinod Lohani Virginia Tech

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Vinod K Lohani is an associate professor in the Engineering Education Department and an adjunct faculty in the Civil and Environmental Engineering at Virginia Tech. He received a PhD in civil engineering from Virginia Tech in 1995. His research interests are in the areas of knowledge modeling, water and energy sustainability, engineering learning modules for freshmen, and international collaboration. He leads a major curriculum reform project (2004-09), funded under the department-level reform program of the NSF, at Virginia Tech. A spiral curriculum approach is adopted to reformulate engineering curriculum in bioprocess engineering in this project. He co-authored an award winning paper with his PhD student at the 2007 annual conference of ASEE. He received the College of Engineering Faculty Fellow award in 2008.

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Parhum Delgoshaei Virginia Tech

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PARHUM DELGOSHAEI is a Ph.D. student in Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. He holds an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Western Michigan University. His PhD research involves developing real-time remote monitoring systems and their application in enhancing sustainability education.

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Chelsea Green Virginia Tech

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Chelsea Green is a senior student in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Virginia Tech. She worked with LEWAS project investigators as an undergraduate researcher in fall '08 and spring '09.

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

Integrating LabVIEW and Real-Time Monitoring into Engineering Instruction


Authors’ experiences with programming modules in a freshman engineering course at Virginia Tech are documented. An approach involving gradual integration of the LabVIEW programming concepts into this course is suggested. A variety of assessment data indicate success of the proposed approach. A LabVIEW Enabled Watershed Assessment System (LEWAS) is introduced and status of its development is discussed. It is proposed to integrate the LEWAS into the curriculum of this freshman engineering course. Integration of LEWAS is a logical extension of the current LabVIEW activities and is targeted at enhancing sustainability component of the course. After the integration of real-time water quality monitoring, enabled by the LEWAS, students will be able to learn about environmental sustainability using data from an on-campus impaired stream.


In 2004, a group of engineering and education faculty at Virginia Tech received a major curriculum reform and engineering education research grant under the department-level reform program of the NSF1. This grant resulted in developing a framework for reformulating the curricula of bioprocess engineering, within the Biological Systems Engineering (BSE) department and general engineering (GE, also called freshman engineering), within the Engineering Education (EngE) department using a spiral theory approach2. A number of hands- on activities were developed and implemented in the freshman engineering program as a result of the Departmental Level Reform (DLR) project3,4,5. Engineering Exploration (EngE1024), a freshman engineering course required of all engineering undergraduates, is the most affected course by the DLR project in the GE program. This course primarily focuses on hands-on design, problem solving, professional ethics and skills, and critical thinking skills9. This course is taken by about 1700 freshmen every year. One of the learning objectives of this course is that after successful completion the students should be able to develop and implement algorithms and demonstrate understanding of basic programming concepts. In late 90s, FORTRAN was replaced by MATLAB to cover basic programming instruction in this course. Beginning in Fall ’04, MATLAB was replaced by Alice programming language. In Spring ’07, Alice was replaced by LabVIEW programming. The dataflow programming approach of LabVIEW is suitable for many engineering applications. Furthermore this approach is well suited for collection, processing and communication of environmental data which can be used to teach sustainability concepts; the details of this application are covered in the section “LabVIEW Enabled Watershed Assessment System (LEWAS)”.

Lohani, V., & Delgoshaei, P., & Green, C. (2009, June), Integrating Labview And Real Time Monitoring Into Engineering Instruction Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5530

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