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The Art and Science of Fluid Mechanics As a General Education Course

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

October 19, 2019

Conference Session

Mechanical Engineering Division Technical Session 3

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Tagged Topic


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Paper Authors


Azar Eslam Panah Pennsylvania State University, Berks

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Dr. Eslam-Panah is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the Penn State University at Berks and her specialty is in thermodynamics and fluid mechanics. Her research interests include unsteady aerodynamics of biologically-inspired air and underwater vehicles, fluid dynamics in human bodies (e.g. cardiovascular and respiratory), and engineering education. She uses various experimental techniques such as Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) and dye flow visualization and try to persuade her undergraduate students to investigate interesting questions in fluid mechanics with her.

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Heidi Reuter

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A new experimental course on flow visualization (PHOTO 321N) is offered to undergraduate students as a General Education (GenEd) course at Penn State University. This course is intended to make integration between two knowledge domains: Art and Science of Fluid Mechanics. The course is not math oriented and is designed for the students with minimal to no background in photography or physics of fluid mechanics. Students explore a variety of aesthetic issues in the form of practical and creative assignments. The course consists of lectures on photography skills, fluid physics, visualization techniques, critique sessions, and a guest lecture. Assignments consist of images paired with written technical reports, and self-reflection sessions to learn "effective communication" skills. Other course objectives evaluated through students’ assignments and projects are "creative thinking" and "integrative thinking". Some samples of student works are presented. This course proved to be very successful in attracting all students (male and female) in both engineering and non-engineering majors.

Eslam Panah, A., & Reuter, H. (2019, June), The Art and Science of Fluid Mechanics As a General Education Course Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--33369

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