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Redesign of Lab Experiences for a Senior Level Course in Dynamic Systems with Controls

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Dynamic Systems and Control

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.1320.1 - 26.1320.19



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Paper Authors


Diane L Peters Kettering University

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Dr. Diane Peters, P.E. is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Kettering University.

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Richard Stanley Kettering University


Craig J. Hoff Kettering University

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Dr. Craig J. Hoff is currently Professor and Head of the Mechanical Engineering Department at Kettering University, in Flint, Michigan, where he teaches in the areas of energy systems and automotive engineering. Dr. Hoff’s research focus is on sustainable mobility technologies.

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John Casci Kettering University

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Redesign of Lab Experiences for a Senior Level Course in Dynamic Systems with ControlsAt the authors’ university, all mechanical engineering students take a two-course sequence inDynamic Systems; the first course is Dynamic Systems with Vibrations, and the second isDynamic Systems with Controls. In the past, the first course has been purely a lecture class,while the second has included both lecture and lab time. Previous student experiences, however,have indicated that the lab time was not effective at reinforcing the lecture portion of the course,so the courses were changed. A lab component was added to the first Dynamic Systems course,and the lab component of the second course was completely redesigned. This paper will focus onthe changes to the lab component of the second course, Dynamic Systems with Controls.The redesign of the lab experience was completed in two stages. In the first stage, a new set oflab exercises was designed, based on the use of the Mathworks® Matlab/Simulink software forsimulation of dynamic systems and the design of their controls. Students who experienced thisversion of the lab experience were exclusively those who had not gone through the labcomponent of the first Dynamic Systems course. In the second stage, the use of Quanser® Qube-servo hardware with National Instruments® myRIO units was also integrated into the lab. Thesimulation labs were evaluated, with some simulation retained in the lab and some of theconcepts shifted into hardware-based labs.This paper will first present the background of the course and reasons for the redesign, includingthe desired student outcomes. Next, it will discuss the design of the simulation labs, followed bythe design and implementation of the hardware-based labs. This discussion will include the keytopics covered, the learning objectives of the labs, and the practical challenges inimplementation. Finally, data will be presented on student evaluations of the lab experiences, andfuture changes based on this data will be discussed.

Peters, D. L., & Stanley, R., & Hoff, C. J., & Casci, J. (2015, June), Redesign of Lab Experiences for a Senior Level Course in Dynamic Systems with Controls Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24657

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