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Revitalizing Engineering Education through Practical Applications of Advanced Energy Systems

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Miscellaneous Topics in Energy Education

Tagged Division

Energy Conversion and Conservation

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.1055.1 - 24.1055.11



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Paper Authors


Ryan L. Falkenstein-Smith Syracuse University

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Ryan is a graduate student from Syracuse University with a focus in combustion and energy research. His work mainly focuses on fabrication and characterization of ceramic hollow fibres used in combustion processes that can reduce pollutant emissions.
Ryan is also involved in several educational outreach projects concerning his research. Not only does he assist in the development of advanced energy courses for undergraduate and graduate students, but also has been involved in STEM Education Initiative programs at the high school level.

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Jeongmin Ahn Syracuse University

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Prof. Jeongmin Ahn is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Syracuse University (SU). Prof. Ahn received a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a M.S. degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and a Ph.D. degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Southern California.
Prof. Ahn has extensive research experience in combustion, power generation, propulsion and thermal management. He performed an experimental investigation of catalytic and non-catalytic combustion in heat recirculating combustors, solid-oxide fuel cells, micro heat engines, thermoacoustic engines, and thermal transpiration based propulsion and power generation. He has worked on a DARPA project to develop an integrated microscale power generator based on a solid-oxide fuel cell employing hydrocarbon fuels. Currently, his research is conducted in the Combustion and Energy Research Laboratory (COMER) at SU.
Prof. Ahn has published over 20 papers in peer-reviewed journals (including Nature and other high impact journals) and a book, and made over 100 technical presentations (including over 20 invited seminars in Korea, Japan, China, Germany, and United States). He is an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and astronautics (AIAA) and served as a Board of the Combustion Institute. He is a recipient of the Society of Automotive Engineering (SAE) Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award, LCS Faculty Excellence Award, CEA Reid Miller Excellence Award and WSU MME Excellence in Teaching Award. He has also been named AIAA's Spotlight Member of the Month and awarded the WSU Faculty Excellence Recognition Program.

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Kang Wang

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Revitalizing Engineering Education through Practical Applications of Advance Energy Systems Ryan Falkenstein-Smith, Kang Wang, and Jeongmin Ahn Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY 13244-1240 The Fuel Cell Science and Technology course was developed to broaden participation andimprove student retention in engineering education through a synergistically integrated programof scientific research and education. In order to achieve this, students participated in an activelearning environment where they focused on fuel cell systems, their technologies, and theirenvironmental consequences through detailed lecture and interactive hands-on laboratoryexperiments. Lectures discussed the fundamentals concepts of fuel cell thermodynamics,electrode kinetics, performance and efficiency, and applications. Students were then divided intogroups that would work together to perform detailed experiments relating to fuel cell science andtechnology in a profession research environment. The experiments would consist of suchconcepts as material synthesis and characterization, fuel cell fabrication, performance testing,and system integration. Utilizing the manufacturing techniques of tape casting, dry pressing, wet-coating and extruding, groups were able understand the practical applications behind the variousfabrication processes of Solis Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFCs) as well as the application of thesemachines in industry. The groups were then expected to produce their own SOFC which theywould then test, using a source meter, and then characterize from the determined data. Thegroups then discussed their results and presented a detailed system that could be used in realworld application. While proceeding through in lab assignments, students could reinforce theknowledge presented in the classes lectures. By means of organizing students into separategroups, students were encouraged to develop solid team work and communication skills. Theoverall course provided students with a stronger confidence when dealing with real worldpractical applications using a theory based knowledge and also exposed them to an alternativefield of energy where they could identify the impact that engineering actions have on society.Key Words: Fuel Cell Fabrication, Practical Lab Experiments, Advance Energy Systems, Engineering Education,

Falkenstein-Smith, R. L., & Ahn, J., & Wang, K. (2014, June), Revitalizing Engineering Education through Practical Applications of Advanced Energy Systems Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--22988

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