San Antonio, Texas
June 10, 2012
June 10, 2012
June 13, 2012
25.843.1 - 25.843.17
Introducing “Lab-on-a-Chip” Type Experimental Activities in “Thermodynamics and Heat Transfer Laboratory” CourseIn recent years, increasing industry demands for skilled graduates from universities required asubstantial focus from engineering technology programs across the nation towards improving oreven changing their traditional ways of imparting the knowledge to students to incorporate asmuch hands-on activities as possible in their curricula without having to curtail the foundationand yet to stay within the total number of existing credits. However, adding more laboratoryactivities implies a financial burden on the department and institution. In particular, for thermal-fluid educational and research areas, experimental equipment could be excessively costly andalso require dedicated laboratory space. In the past years, we performed laboratory activitiesbased on traditional educational equipment practically proving certain theories and modelingcertain concepts such as Newton’s Law of Cooling or Vortex tube principle. While retainingthese valuable experiments, we always thrive to improve and adapt our curricula to moreinteresting and motivating experiments. However, the laboratory space became less available tocreate and develop new experiments that required new equipment. To overcome both financialand space constraints, the lab-on-a-chip approach due to its miniaturized components seems agood path to actually improve laboratory activities in this particular course area.Micro-fluidics (Lab-on-a-chip) approach has a tremendous amount of emerging scientific andindustrial applications from health and medical research to investigation to electronic industry.As a result of these experimental activities, students will gain both in-depth understanding ofphysical phenomena and lectured concepts and hand-on experience in working with miniaturizeddevices, and with the phenomena associated with them.In this paper we propose to develop laboratory activities and to introduce them in the improved“Thermo and Heat Transfer Lab” course that will be offered during the winter term of AY 2011-2012. Also the performance of this course including the new developed activities will beformally assessed by a third party from critical thinking and creativity development perspectivesas a part of an ongoing teaching and research assessment and evaluation effort.The proposed activities are based on development of a micro-fluidic calorimeter that will allowstudent to visualize streams and types of flows (turbulent and laminar) and also to evaluateenthalpy of formation of a substance, heat capacity of substances, heat production. Thetemperature variation will be controlled by a series of thermopiles and local micro-temperaturesensors will be embedded around the channels. The micro-calorimeter is expected to give anexcellent control of the thermal transfer, phenomenon that can be explored further by studentsextending the experiments into small team projects. The fabrication of these micro-devices isfairly inexpensive and can be produced in our lab facility.
Ciobanescu Husanu, I. N., & Mauk, M. G., & Kirby, P. L., & Xu, B. (2012, June), Introducing Lab-on-a-Chip-type Experimental Activities in a Thermodynamics and Heat Transfer Laboratory Course Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/21600
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