Asee peer logo

Multi-course Problem-based Learning Module Spanning Across the Junior and Senior Mechanical Engineering Curriculum: Mechatronics, Fluid Mechanic, and Heat Transfer

Download Paper |


2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Thermodynamics, Fluids and Heat Transfer I

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.1174.1 - 26.1174.18



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


James A. Mynderse Lawrence Technological University Orcid 16x16

visit author page

James A. Mynderse, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the A. Leon Linton Department of Mechanical Engineering at Lawrence Technological University. His research interests include mechatronics, dynamic systems, and control with applications to piezoelectric actuators, hysteresis, and perception. He serves as the faculty advisor for the LTU Baja SAE team.

visit author page


Andrew L. Gerhart Lawrence Technological University

visit author page

Andrew Gerhart, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Lawrence Technological University. He is actively involved in ASEE, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and the Engineering Society of Detroit. He serves as Faculty Advisor for the American Institute of Aeronautics
and Astronautics Student Chapter at LTU, chair of the First Year Engineering Experience committee, chair for the LTU KEEN Course Modification Team, chair for the LTU Leadership Curriculum Committee, supervisor of the LTU Thermo-Fluids Laboratory, coordinator of the Certificate/Minor in Aeronautical
Engineering, and faculty advisor of the LTU SAE Aero Design Team.

visit author page


Liping Liu Lawrence Technological University

visit author page

Liping Liu is an assistant professor in the A. Leon Linton Department of Mechanical Engineering at Lawrence Technological University. She earned her Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2011. Her research focuses on thermal sciences and energy systems, with special interest in addressing transport phenomena in energy processes. She is a member of ASME, ASHRAE, and SAE International.

visit author page

author page

Selin Arslan Lawrence Technological University

Download Paper |


Application of a Student Designed Fluid-Powered Gantry Crane to Problem Based Learning in Mechatronics and Thermo-Fluids CoursesAs part of Lawrence Technological University’s six-year process to incorporate active andcollaborative learning (ACL) and problem-based learning (PBL) in the engineering curriculum,courses throughout the A. Leon Linton Department of Mechanical Engineering have beenmodified to better serve students with ACL and PBL activities. This work details the applicationof a fluid-powered gantry crane, previously designed and fabricated by senior mechanicalengineering students, to PBL experiences in courses including; Mechatronics, Fluid Mechanics,and Heat Transfer.All mechanical engineering students at Lawrence Tech must complete a capstone project, someof which are industry-sponsored projects (ISP). Funded by a teaching grant from the NationalFluid Power Association (NFPA), a new senior capstone project was offered during Fall 2013and Spring 2014 semesters. The student team involved in this NFPA-funded project were taskedto design, build, and test a gantry crane that used fluid power for material handling. Themotivation for this work was twofold: to facilitate deep learning about fluid power in a designsequence for the enrolled students and to develop a platform for future classroom and laboratorysessions on fluid power and associated topics.During fabrication, assembly, and testing of the fluid-powered gantry crane, a number of areasfor improvement of the student design were identified. Among these were the inclusion of acontrol system to limit load swing, redesign of the fluid distribution system, redesign to reducebinding between the trolley and crossbar, and heatsink design for cooling of the electricalsystem. Rather than fixing the deficiencies with a second ISP, PBL exercises were developed tointroduce more students to fluid power using the existing gantry crane.Following PBL implementation in Mechatronics, Fluid Mechanics, and Heat Transfer courses,student surveys were used to qualitatively assess the effectiveness of the PBL experience.Rubrics were used to directly assess student performance. Assessment results are discussed in thepaper.

Mynderse, J. A., & Gerhart, A. L., & Liu, L., & Arslan, S. (2015, June), Multi-course Problem-based Learning Module Spanning Across the Junior and Senior Mechanical Engineering Curriculum: Mechatronics, Fluid Mechanic, and Heat Transfer Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24511

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: © 2015 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