June 18, 2006
June 18, 2006
June 21, 2006
11.1117.1 - 11.1117.14
Senior Mechanical Engineering Laboratory at Clemson University – Experiments, Learning Objectives, and Assessment
The senior undergraduate laboratory in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Clemson University is the fourth and final course in the laboratory sequence. In this one hour course, engineering principles are reinforced through open ended, student conducted, multifaceted mechanical and thermal/fluid system experiments. The students work in a collaborative manner to develop mathematical models, create test plans, apply measurement techniques, perform data analysis, and write comprehensive technical reports. In this paper, an overview of the three experimental systems and accompanying student learning objectives will be presented. The first experiment features the modeling, testing, and analysis of a single degree-of-freedom system subject to excitation from a rotating unbalanced mass. The student teams are tasked to analytically and experimentally investigate the system and design a dynamic vibration absorber. In the second experiment, microprocessor programming and control is explored through software kernel creation and stepper motors. A vertical positioning system with human/machine interface, representative of a passenger elevator with drive motor and operator panel, is created using a scale bench top platform. The third experiment allows students to characterize and regulate the thermal behavior in electronic equipment through the application of thermistors, fans, and heat sinks. One common thread to all experiments is the close collaboration among student team members. Finally, to improve the overall course quality, a supplemental assessment tool has been introduced to gather student feedback regarding the experiments.
The senior laboratory in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Clemson University (ME 424: Mechanical Engineering Laboratory IV) presents students with an opportunity to integrate their course work and laboratory experiences together in the pursuit of open ended experiments. The course’s catalog description states “Mechanical engineering principles and phenomena are reinforced through open ended, student designed and conducted experiments. The laboratory experiments require utilization of measurement techniques, data analysis, and report writing.” The previous three mechanical engineering laboratories are ME 221, ME 322, and ME 323 which are described in the undergraduate catalog as follows:
ME 221: Mechanical Engineering Laboratory I. 1(0,3). Discovery of mechanical engineering principles and phenomena. Introduction to laboratory safety practices, instrumentation, calibration techniques, data analysis, and report writing.
ME 322: Mechanical Engineering Laboratory II. 2(1,3). Mechanical engineering principles and phenomena are reinforced through student conducted experiments. Presentation of fundamentals of instrumentation, calibration techniques, data analysis, and report writing in the context of laboratory experiments.
Chastain, J., & Smith, H., & Morehead, M., & Moline, D., & Wagner, J. (2006, June), Senior Mechanical Engineering Laboratory At Clemson University Experiments, Learning Objectives, And Assessment Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. https://peer.asee.org/594
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