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Laboratory Development In Power Generation, Conversion, And Dissipation

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Innovative Ideas for Energy Labs

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.837.1 - 9.837.12

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Paper Authors

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Paul Duesing

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David McDonald

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

Session 1133

Laboratory Development in Power Generation, Conversion and Dissipation Prof. David McDonald, PROF. PAUL DUESING School of Engineering and Technology Lake Superior State University

Abstract The School of Engineering and Technology at Lake Superior State University is developing an Energy Conversion Laboratory for undergraduate instruction in electrical and mechanical engineering. The laboratory will enhance students’ interest in, and understanding of, fundamental energy conversion principles through the use of scaled down systems of industrial processes. The laboratory is being created with grants from industry and the National Science Foundation. The development has included extensive student participation. The paper discusses the project background and educational need for this laboratory. The paper also discusses the laboratory development process along with information on unique instructional equipment that has been designed in the areas of machine control and energy conversion.

Introduction There is a national need for engineering graduates who are prepared to enter the energy-related industries. This is especially important with increased dependency upon sophisticated computer- based systems, deregulation and the resulting “rolling blackouts” in recent years, and the possibility of major blackouts. National Science Foundation (NSF) and others have long been concerned about the nation’s aging technical workforce. The recent NSF report, Science and Engineering Indicators 2000,1 confirms that “the average age of science and engineering degreed workers will rise,” and that the “total number of retirements among college-educated workers in science and engineering will increase dramatically over the next 10 to 15 years.” The changing workforce demographics coupled with changes in the energy conversion industry present a challenge for engineering educators to prepare graduates for today’s energy-related industries. There is an on-going concern about decreasing enrollment in electrical power areas, and that the traditional electrical machinery course is outdated.2 As Leonard Bohmann writes “The traditional Electrical Engineering Energy Conversion course is broken. We need to fix it… The course should be tailored to students who will use the technology as opposed to those who will design it.”3,4 In addition, there is a need for engineering graduates to have strong skills in the thermal-fluids areas and a need to provide both electrical engineering and mechanical engineering students with modern control experiences. Therefore, engineering faculty members face the challenge of providing laboratory learning experiences in these areas that reinforce basic principles while being interesting and motivational.

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Duesing, P., & McDonald, D. (2004, June), Laboratory Development In Power Generation, Conversion, And Dissipation Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah.

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