Asee peer logo

The Future Laboratory: Leveraging Consumer Imaging Devices for Student Projects and Sustainable, Accessible STEM Education.

Download Paper |


2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Experimentation and Laboratory-Oriented Studies Division Technical Session 4

Tagged Division

Experimentation and Laboratory-Oriented Studies

Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Michael G. Mauk Drexel University

visit author page

Michael Mauk is Assistant Professor in Drexel University's Engineering Technology program.

visit author page


Richard Chiou Drexel University

visit author page

Dr. Richard Chiou is Associate Professor within the Engineering Technology Department at Drexel University, Philadelphia, USA. He received his Ph.D. degree in the G.W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology. His educational background is in manufacturing with an emphasis on mechatronics. In addition to his many years of industrial experience, he has taught many different engineering and technology courses at undergraduate and graduate levels. His tremendous research experience in manufacturing includes environmentally conscious manufacturing, Internet based robotics, and Web based quality. In the past years, he has been involved in sustainable manufacturing for maximizing energy and material recovery while minimizing environmental impact.

visit author page


Tzu-Liang Bill Tseng University of Texas, El Paso

visit author page

Dr. Tseng is a Professor and Chair of Industrial, Manufacturing and Systems Engineering at UTEP. His research focuses on the computational intelligence, data mining, bio- informatics and advanced manufacturing. Dr. Tseng published in many refereed journals such as IEEE Transactions, IIE Transaction, Journal of Manufacturing Systems and others. He has been serving as a principle investigator of many research projects, funded by NSF, NASA, DoEd, KSEF and LMC. He is currently serving as an editor of Journal of Computer Standards & Interfaces.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Industry, healthcare and STEM education have often relegated chemical analysis and other similar tests and measurement tools to laboratories with comparatively expensive and sophisticated equipment, skilled technicians, and well-controlled conditions. Recent technology trends seek to develop minimally-instrumented, portable (handheld) systems that can perform chemical and biochemical analysis of samples outside of laboratory settings. Many analytical methods can be done with imaging and optical detection devices such as smartphones, low-cost digital cameras and USB ‘microscopes’, desktop scanners, and CD players. These pervasive technologies are highly familiar and accessible to students, and offer additional features such as connectivity, data processing and archiving, GPS, cloud computing, and virtual reality. There are many reports spread through research literature in adapting such inexpensive, ubiquitous consumer devices for optical analysis (absorption, fluorescence, luminescence, colorimetry), thermal imaging, product inspection, remote sensing, environmental monitoring, bioassays, and various medical tests. In this paper, we will discuss their use and potential for enabling new paradigms in STEM education, and specifically, as lab components of engineering and science courses, senior design projects, enhancements in on-line education, and reducing the burden on educational institutions by providing inexpensive, easy-to-use, safe, analytical tools to students.

Mauk, M. G., & Chiou, R., & Tseng, T. B. (2019, June), The Future Laboratory: Leveraging Consumer Imaging Devices for Student Projects and Sustainable, Accessible STEM Education. Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--33392

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2019 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015