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Mentor Graphics’ Systemvision Software Curriculum Integration

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Improving ME Education: Trends in Mechanical Engineering I

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.1055.1 - 12.1055.10



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Paper Authors


Matthew Knudson Oregon State University

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Matt Knudson is a second-year graduate student at Oregon State University. He received his B.S. in Electronics Engineering in 2005 from OSU and is currently working on his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering with a graduate minor in Computer Science. His research is in advanced system dynamics and intelligent control systems. Matt has designed and executed computer aided design projects for four academic terms of introductory system dynamics and control and is scheduled to teach introductory mechatronics Spring of 2007 at OSU.

Matt currently mentors two senior design teams, one in the area of dynamics and control and one in the area of mechatronics. Matt is also currently the project manager for the Mechanical Engineering department's research in autonomous ground vehicles.

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John Schmitt Oregon State University

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Dr. Schmitt is currently an Assistant Professor in the Mechanical Engineering department at Oregon State University. He received his PhD in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University in 2001. His primary research interests involve the creation and analysis of reduced order models of animal locomotion as they relate to the performance and stability of legged robotic locomotion over rough terrain.

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

Mentor Graphics’ SystemVision Software Curriculum Integration


Dynamic system complexity is growing rapidly, creating the need for more powerful and complex control system design. It can be difficult to ensure that all students working within control system and mechatronic curricula develop an in-depth and complete understanding of the interaction between complex mechatronic systems and the control systems required to stabilize and optimize their behavior.

Due to this increase in system complexity, the need for time efficient yet accurate simulation and experimentation has become essential in dynamic system and control system design and development. Unfortunately, class sizes and lecture schedules have responded inversely and increased the difficultly in ensuring students have the breadth and depth of system analysis and control theory understanding and experience required of them by a demanding industry.

Mentor Graphics’ SystemVision software can improve the understanding and application of control theory, as well as complex dynamic system behavior in a reduced or compressed lecture schedule. SystemVision is a mechatronic and control system simulation package that includes the ability to abstract and simulate systems containing multiple technologies with complex interactions. This reduces analysis time and increases design accuracy by allowing the designer to abstractly determine accurate dynamic system behavior and simulate a control system design.

A great deal of lecture time can be spent working with the students to ensure a strong understanding of the analysis techniques required for even simple dynamic systems. By integrating SystemVision into dynamic system analysis, control theory and mechatronic course work, the students gain not only a more complete understanding of these basic analysis techniques and their results, but also observe and interact directly with the link between these basic concepts and the more complex dynamic systems and control systems the student is likely to see upon entering into industry.

We present the efforts of integrating Mentor Graphics’ SystemVision software into introductory system analysis and control theory as well as introductory mechatronic course work at Oregon State University. The successes, failures, and recommendations for further integration techniques are addressed.

1. Introduction

The complexity of dynamic systems students will face upon entering into industry is increasing quickly. Students must develop strong foundations in system analysis and control design to obtain an intuition for how these systems behave and how control can produce efficient methods of performing required system tasks. However, as system and control complexity increases outside of the classroom, care must be taken to ensure that classroom theory remains connected to the real-world application of these basics. Ensuring that the students come away from basic control theory or mechatronic course work not only with a solid understanding of the basics, but also knowledge of how to effectively apply the techniques can prove difficult.

Knudson, M., & Schmitt, J. (2007, June), Mentor Graphics’ Systemvision Software Curriculum Integration Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2542

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