Asee peer logo

Mechanical Engineering Case Studies On The Web

Download Paper |


2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

TIME 6: Web-based Instruction

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.904.1 - 9.904.9



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

James G. Brasseur

author page

Laura L. Pauley

Download Paper |

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

Paper 2004-1374 Session 3166

Mechanical Engineering Case Studies on the Web

Laura L. Pauley and James G. Brasseur Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering Penn State University


We describe the application of “case studies” and a case study web site developed for use in junior-level undergraduate courses in Mechanical Engineering. Case Studies developed by others in the past often focused on design problems while our case studies focus on data analysis. Case studies are small to mid-range out-of-class assignments based on the analysis of data obtained from senior-level design and laboratory courses, graduate theses, and reports from the literature such as NACA reports.. Through the application of the case studies, students learn design and data-analysis methods for real engineering systems using real experimental data in traditionally “lecture” courses. Furthermore, those case studies developed from the senior lab courses provide a bridge between the last two years of the undergraduate curriculum. The case studies motivate junior-level students by exposing them to experiences that will come in the senior year, and in graduate research.


Students in undergraduate lecture courses are often surprised to discover that empirical correlations do not predict real operating systems with high accuracy. A “case studies” web site has been developed to provide undergraduate Mechanical Engineering students the opportunity to analyze actual engineering systems with real experimental data within their lecture courses. These case studies are based on design calculations or are developed from experimental data obtained by ME seniors within their design and lab courses, honors theses, graduate student theses, Co-op experiences (with appropriate permissions), and data from the literature (e.g., NACA reports). Analysis of real data, often within a design framework, provides strong motivation for students to learn basic material in context with real-world applications. Furthermore, students become familiar with data analysis and the inherent uncertainties in experimental measurements before entering the laboratory courses

The case studies were developed in a format that allows them to be easily used as out-of-class assignments. Each case study includes a description of the objectives, the experimental facility,

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

Brasseur, J. G., & Pauley, L. L. (2004, June), Mechanical Engineering Case Studies On The Web Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--12951

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2004 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015