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Theory into Practice: A Collaboration between Lipscomb and Trane

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

College-Industry Partnerships Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

College Industry Partnerships

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Paper Authors


McKenzie Caroline Lawry Lipscomb University

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McKenzie Lawry is a senior mechanical engineering student at the Raymond B. Jones College of Engineering at Lipscomb University.

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Over the past few years, the Raymond B. Jones College of Engineering at Lipscomb University has built a relationship with Trane in Nashville, TN. This relationship between theory at the college and practice at Trane began to develop more heavily during the construction of the Fields Engineering Center on Lipscomb University’s campus. The Raymond B. Jones College of Engineering had a vision to make their new engineering building not only a place to host learning, but also an environment that could be used as a learning tool itself. Trane, as an engineering company with a local Nashville office that has employed Lipscomb engineering students and graduates, found value in preparing students for their future careers through expanded learning opportunities in the classroom. The company saw a need for real-world experiments to be conducted in a learning environment and wanted to keep the college’s goal of having the building itself be the learning tool. In response to the request from the college, Trane employees worked alongside the college faculty to assist the college in achieving this goal through a few different projects. The first project completed through this partnership was the installation of a one-ton water source heat pump created by Trane. Trane employed a current Lipscomb engineering student for a summer internship with the specific purpose of being involved in this project. Trane had a vision to install the water source heat pump to be a stand-alone unit to be utilized as a testing device for engineering students in thermal-fluids courses. The unit has seventeen different types of sensors for a total of thirty-three covering pressure, temperature, flow rate, and humidity measurements in air, water, and refrigerant. The sensors installed allow students to carry out experiments that incorporate junior and senior-level mechanical engineering courses such as Thermodynamics, Fluid Mechanics, and Design of Thermal-Fluids Systems. The one-ton water source heat pump will be used in these classes to conduct experiments that expose the engineering students to more real-life situations while incorporating the stand-alone unit into the building structure. In addition to this project, Trane has made many of the mechanical engineering systems in the Fields Engineering Center available for viewing, recording, and testing including graphical user interfaces. For example, the building’s mechanical room was utilized as a learning tool during a junior-level lab course to better describe the concepts of pumps and piping systems. Though the partnership between Trane and the college is still in its initial phase, both parties have already benefited from the projects completed and hope to continue to collaborate toward improved learning experiences for students in the college. As projects are completed, Trane and the college expect to utilize the various learning tools for educational research by examining student experiences and learning outcomes with respect to ABET criteria.

Lawry, M. C. (2018, June), Theory into Practice: A Collaboration between Lipscomb and Trane Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--31138

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