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Interconnected Software Modules to Aid the Learning of Fuel Cell Courses

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

NSF Grantees’ Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.1010.1 - 26.1010.16



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Paper Authors


Amjad Aman Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of Central Florida

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Amjad Aman is a PhD student at the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Central Florida. His research interests include fuel cells, fuel cell materials, perovskites and numerical modeling.

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Yunjun Xu University of Central Florida

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Dr. Yunjun Xu is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Central Florida. His research interests are robotics, controls, and aerospace system.

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Haiyan Bai University of Central Florida

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Haiyan Bai, PhD., is an Associate Professor of Quantitative Research Methodology in the College of Education and Human Performance at the University of Central Florida. Her interests include resampling method, propensity score analysis, research design, measurement and evaluation, and the applications of statistical methods in educational research and behavioral sciences. She has been involved in several large projects of instructional technology use in educational settings. She has published books and many professional articles in refereed national and international journals. She has won several competitive awards at the University of Central Florida for her excellent teaching and research. Dr. Bai also served on several professional journal editorial boards, such as Journal of Experimental Education, Frontiers in Quantitative Psychology and Measurement, and Journal of Data Analysis and Information Processing. She is also the Fellow of the Academy for Teaching, Learning, and Leadership and the Faculty Fellow at The University of Central Florida.

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Nina Orlovskaya University of Central Florida

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Prof. Nina Orlovskaya is an Associate Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Central Florida. Her research interests are in field of ceramics for energy applications - solid oxide fuel cells, oxygen separation membranes, sensors and catalysis.

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Interconnected Software Modules to Aid the Learning of Fuel Cell CoursesAs the energy demands are increasing, the need for more efficient and versatile powerconversion devices has become paramount1-3. The use and commercialization of fuel cells aspower conversion devices has escalated in the past few decades due to their scalability,versatility, ability to be integrated with other power conversion devices, and minimalenvironmental impact. It is reported that by 2020, there will be 180,000 new jobs in the US fuelcells market4. Educating the current and future generations of engineers and scientists in fuelcells has hence become of significance. Although more than 130 educational institutions offercourses related to fuel cell or hydrogen technology5, very few present the educational contents inan inter-connected manner from the fuel cell system perspective. The purpose of this work is toshow the development of software to be used as an augmented learning tool in undergraduatefuel cell courses. The targeted users mainly include undergraduate students in the majors ofmaterials, mechanical, and aerospace engineering.The five interconnected modules included in the developed software are: (i) introduction, (ii)applications, (iii) fuel cell systems, (iv) single cell and fuel cell stacks, and (v) fuel cell science.Technical contents are presented using animations, text, audio, and videos. Every piece ofanimation or video has been designed after careful and deliberate considerations about how thematerial could be presented such that the student could learn without a lot of backgroundknowledge. The student could go through the contents sequentially module after module, orchoose to make use of the inter- and intra-connections among and within the five modules whichgives the student the freedom to learn and navigate through the various topics in terms of thedepth of science and engineering understanding. The intention is that this methodology willaccommodate the different learning styles of students; making the whole learning processinteresting/intriguing and improving student retention.The hardware and software requirements of the project are kept to a minimum such thatcomputers with a standard operating system and an internet connection will be sufficient. Figure1 shows a screen capture from one of the animations developed.Along with the software development, an evaluation method is under development. Quasi-experimental research will be designed to evaluate the effectiveness of interactive modules. Arandom clustered sample of around 200 senior undergraduate students in a senior design coursewill be used in the current study. Students’ learning outcomes will be measured using bothobjective and performance-based test items. Students’ demographic data will be collected.Multivariate Analysis of Covariance (MANCOVA) will be used to test if there are statisticallysignificant differences between the treatment and control group in the survey conducted after thestudents have tested the software out.The software is planned to be implemented and evaluated at the University of Central Florida inFall 2014 and Spring 2015.Figure 1. A screenshot of animation demonstrating the difference between fuel cell, battery and internal combustion engineReferences:1. James P. Dorian, Herman T. Franssen, Dale R. Simbeck, Global challenges in energy, Energy Policy, Volume 34, Issue 15, October 2006, Pages 1984-19912. Steven Chu, Arun Majumdar, Nature 488, 294–303, 16 August 20123. Johansson, Thomas B., Anand Prabhakar Patwardhan, Nebojša Nakićenović, and Luis Gomez-Echeverri, eds, Global Energy Assessment: Toward a Sustainable Future, Cambridge University Press, 2012.4. U. S. Department of Energy, Fuel Cell Technologies Office January 2014 Newsletter.5. G. Bromaghim, K. Gibeault, J. Serfass, P. Serfass, E. Wagner, Hydrogen and Fuel Cells: The U.S. Market Report , A Report by the National Hydrogen Association on 2008 Data, March 22, 2010.

Aman, A., & Xu, Y., & Bai, H., & Orlovskaya, N. (2015, June), Interconnected Software Modules to Aid the Learning of Fuel Cell Courses Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24347

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