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Online Interactive Mems Experiments And Web Based Curriculum

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Mechanics and the Internet

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

13.948.1 - 13.948.15



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Paper Authors


Siamak Faridani University of Oklahoma

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S. Faridani is a PhD student at the University of Oklahoma.

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Kurt Gramoll University of Oklahoma

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K. Gramoll is the Hughes Centennial Professor of Engineering and Director of the Engineering Media Lab at the University of Oklahoma. Dr. Gramoll received his B.S. degree in Civil Engineering and M.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering, both from the University of Utah and received his Ph.D. in Engineering Science and Mechanics from Virginia Tech. He has developed and published several CDs and web-based sites for engineering education.

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

Online Interactive MEMS Experiments and Web-Based Curriculum


This paper introduces the research done on providing interactive 2D and 3D content for micro- electro-mechanical systems (MEMS). MEMS is a multidisciplinary field, which uses exclusive lab equipment and high-end design/analysis software adopted from different fields, such as electrical, mechanical, chemical engineering and solid state physics. This multidisciplinary nature, in addition to the highly customized design software, makes it a challenging topic to deliver over the web. Many MEMS software programs lack modern presentation tools which makes it difficult for designers in industry and academics to communicate their designs with their colleagues and students. Authors of this paper have made an effort to bridge the gap between the design/analysis and presentation by introducing interactive tools that can mimic the behavior of the real MEMS devices and their outputs. By using the tools provided, students can learn about different fabrication methods and basic MEMS elements. They can also design their own device and analyze it using the free tools provided. Video of the real experiments are also at the website. Students can play with a simulator of the experiment remotely and obtain the simulated results that follow the behavior of the real experiment. Adobe Flash plays a crucial role in the website, whereas 3D content is delivered in Adobe Shockwave format. Analysis tools are also implemented as spreadsheet templates or interactive MATLAB GUIs. For using the multimedia content a student only needs a generic web browser and expensive engineering packages are not required. This technology pool empowers the instructors to deliver basic MEMS information and provide hands-on practices on MEMS while sharing the expensive MEMS experiments with the universities all over the country as well as their own institutions.

I. Introduction

Education is traditionally one of government’s principal responsibilities within the past century. In particular, science and technology education is seen as critical by most countries if they hope to keep high living standards. Because of the distance, one of the effective ways to educate people within large countries, like the US, is through the Internet. Internet technology gives teachers opportunity to bring high level and well developed material to students who could not attend real classes. For example, Gramoll1 is using interactive electronic books to teach in his solid mechanics classes and Perkins2 uses online interactive simulations to teach physics. Similarly, this work is designed to use Internet connections to empower students and instructors to see results from MEMS experiments done miles away from where they live. While physical distance has no meaning in the Internet era, bandwidth is an important concept. The thinner the bandwidth one has, the further he/she is from getting high quality education. In the last decade Internet access has grown noticeably in US. This growth is shown in Table 1. According to Nielsen//NetRatings statistics3 there were 212,080,135 Internet users until July 07, 70.2% of the population.

Faridani, S., & Gramoll, K. (2008, June), Online Interactive Mems Experiments And Web Based Curriculum Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--4190

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