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Teaching Dynamics with a Design Projects

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Teaching Dynamics

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Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1387.1 - 22.1387.17



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Paper Authors


David R. Mikesell Ohio Northern University

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David R. Mikesell is an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Ohio Northern University. His research interests are in land vehicle dynamics, autonomous vehicles, and robotics. He joined the faculty in 2007 after work in automotive engineering at Ohio State (M.S. 2006, Ph.D. 2008), six years designing automated assembly machines and metal-cutting tools for Grob Systems, and four years’ service as an officer in the U.S. Navy. He holds bachelor degrees in German (Duke 1986) and Mechanical Engineering (ONU 1997).

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John-David S. Yoder Ohio Northern University

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John-David Yoder received all of his degrees (B.S., M.S, and Ph.D.) in mechanical engineering from the University of Notre Dame. He is Associate Professor and Chair of the mechanical engineering department at Ohio Northern University, Ada, OH. He has previously served as Proposal Engineer and Proposal Engineering Supervisor at Grob System, Inc. and Software Engineer at Shaum Manufacturing, Inc. He has held a number of leadership and advisory positions in various entrepreneurial ventures. He is currently a KEEN (Kern Entrepreneurial Education Network) Fellow, and has served as a Faculty Fellow at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA and an Invited Professor at INRIA Rhone-Alpes, Monbonnot, France. Research interests include computer vision, mobile robotics, intelligent vehicles, entrepreneurship, and education.

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Teaching Dynamics with a Design ProjectFor the past decade, Dynamics students at Ohio Northern University (ONU) have been requiredto complete a design project. This project intentionally incorporates several key principles fromthe list of those covered in the course. All students are required to submit a project whichincludes a problem description, sketches of several design concepts with a clear decision processfor selecting the optimal design, detailed CAD drawings of all manufactured parts required forthe design, calculations supporting the key parameters for the chosen design, as well as othervelocity and acceleration plots applicable to a given project. Students are also given the optionof submitting a physical prototype of their design for extra credit; approximately 75% of studentsultimately build one. Two examples are shown below.The Dynamics project supports educational goals in numerous ways. First, the project reinforcestheoretical concepts and gives students confidence that the textbook principles prove true onphysical models. Second, it draws in related concepts and skills from other courses, such asdecision-making and manufacturing processes. Third, it provides a valuable exercise in writtentechnical communication.Finally, the project provides an opportunity for integrating the design process into the sophomoreyear. ONU freshmen have multiple design project experiences throughout their Intro toEngineering sequence, but they have little engineering background to apply to the solutions. AllONU seniors will have an intensive design process as part of their year-long capstone course.But building skill and experience in the design process, item (c) of the ABET list of criticalengineering program outcomes, is best achieved when continually reinforced throughout thecurriculum. Figure 1: Retracting Landing Gear Mechanism Figure 2: Reciprocating Saw With Rotary Input

Mikesell, D. R., & Yoder, J. S. (2011, June), Teaching Dynamics with a Design Projects Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18873

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