June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
12.1303.1 - 12.1303.13
Strategies for the Integration of Computer-Based Simulation Technology into the Engineering Curriculum Abstract
While Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE) technology has revolutionized engineering analysis, design and research, its penetration into the undergraduate mechanical engineering curriculum has been limited. As a result, undergraduate students do not acquire a solid foundation in CAE technology that they can build upon during the course of their careers. Our pedagogical approach for integrating CAE software into courses has three key elements. First, the CAE experience revolves around a series of case studies in which students use CAE software to simulate canonical problems with known analytical solutions, approximations or experimental data. These case studies are a platform both to provide a guided introduction to the appropriate use of CAE technology as well as to reinforce basic theoretical and physical concepts traditionally covered in lectures. Second, web-based tutorials are used to teach students the mechanics of using the software interface. This ensures that instructor time is devoted to explaining underlying concepts rather than to teaching the intricacies of the software interface. Thus, our emphasis is on imparting concepts rather than raw software skills. Third, the necessary numerical concepts are introduced “just-in-time” in a focused manner in order to meet tight time constraints. Verification and validation of results are emphasized throughout. The above approach has been implemented in a fluid dynamics course using the FLUENT package and in two solid mechanics courses using the ANSYS package. “Teaching modules” based on selected case-studies are being developed for the FLUENT and ANSYS packages. Each teaching module consists of three components: (i) a web- based tutorial that takes students through the steps involved in solving the case study problem (with nominal parameters) using the relevant CAE package; (ii) notes describing related theoretical and numerical concepts that can be handed out to students; (iii) problem set with solutions.
Within the last fifteen years, computer-based simulation has become an integral part of design, analysis and research in engineering. The increasingly widespread use of Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) has been driven by the dramatic reduction in the cost of computing hardware and the maturing of off-the-shelf, commercial software packages. Commercial CAE packages such as ANSYS, ALGOR, FLUENT, Pro/Engineer, and STAR-CD are now routinely used to simulate engineering systems in a wide range of industries. Despite the pervasive use of CAE technology in industry and research, its use in the undergraduate curriculum has been limited. As a result, undergraduate students do not acquire a solid foundation in CAE technology that they can build upon during the course of their careers. Furthermore, the potential for CAE tools to enhance the learning experience is not realized. For instance, these tools can be used as virtual-lab environments for hands-on, visual learning. They also enable the instructor to make strong connections between theory and practice.
Bhaskaran, R. (2007, June), Strategies For The Integration Of Computer Based Simulation Technology Into The Engineering Curriculum Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/2751
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