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Virtual Software and Hardware Environment Provides Enhanced Learning for Mechatronics Engineering Technology Majors

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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

Instrumentation Division Technical Session 1

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Paper Authors


Akram Hossain Purdue University Northwest

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Akram Hossain, Purdue University Calumet
Akram Hossain is a professor in the department of Engineering Technology and Director of the Center for Packaging Machinery Industry at Purdue University Calumet, Hammond, IN. He worked eight years in industry at various capacities. He is working with Purdue University Calumet for the past 27 years. He consults for industry on process control, packaging machinery system design, control and related disciplines. He is a senior member of IEEE and he served in IEEE/Industry Application Society for 15 years at various capacities. He served as chair of Manufacturing Systems Development Applications Department (MSDAD) of IEEE/IAS. Currently, he is serving a two-year term as the chair of the Instrumentation of ASEE (American Society of Engineering Education). He authored over 29 refereed journal and conference publications. In 2009 he as PI received NSF-CCLI grant entitled A Mechatronics Curriculum and Packaging Automation Laboratory Facility. In 2010 he as Co-PI received NSF-ATE grant entitled Meeting Workforce Needs for Mechatronics Technicians. From 2003 through 2006, he was involved with Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL in developing direct computer control for hydrogen powered automotives. He is also involved in several direct computer control and wireless process control related research projects. His current interests are in the area of packaging machinery system design & control, industrial transducers, industrial process control systems, modeling and simulation of Mechatronics devices and systems in virtual environment, programmable logic controllers, programmable logic devices, renewable energy related projects, wireless controls, statistical process control, computer aided design and fabrication of printed circuit board.

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Mohammad A. Zahraee Purdue University Northwest

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Dr. Mohammad A. Zahraee is Professor of Mechanical Engineering Technology and Associate Dean for Graduate Studies in College of Technology at Purdue University Northwest. He holds Bachelor Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Southern Illinois University, MS in Structural Engineering and PhD in Engineering Mechanics, both from University of Illinois at Chicago. Mohammad joined Purdue University Calumet in 1989 and was the Head of the Manufacturing Engineering Technologies and Supervision Department from 1996 through 2007. He was also acting head of Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology Department from 2000 through December 2006. Mohammad is currently PI and Co-PI, working on several NSF and one DOL grant, totaling over three and half million dollars.
Zahraee served ABET from 1992 through 2010 as a program evaluator, commissioner (Accreditation Team Chair), as well as the Chair of the Engineering Technology accreditation commission of ABET during 2009-2010. He was a member of the ABET Board of Directors as a representative of American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) until October 2016. As the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies, Mohammad has been successful in making the MS in Technology program at Purdue University Northwest one of the largest in the U.S.

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Abstract: Virtual software tools such as National Instruments’ LabVIEW, Rockwell Automation’s SoftLogix 5800, Studio 5000, and FactoryTalk View Studio are extensively used for development of electronic products, mechatronics systems and especially designing packaging machinery system. They have become almost essential to follow concurrently engineering principles to meet desired standards such as: high quality, robustness, low cost, time to market, and customer satisfaction.

In order to achieve modular design, serviceability, upgradeability, and disposability, virtual software tools are of utmost importance during development cycle. They play an important role for modeling, simulation, prototyping, including deployment cycle.

Introducing these tools to mechatronics engineering technology courses exposes student in to today’s real world practices and provides enhance learning environment in laboratory. In addition, introduction of these above tools will allow laboratory environment to become less dependent on difficult to maintain and expensive laboratory hardware setups. Because of their virtual nature a reliable computer station and software licensing all that is necessary to provide the knowledge. The intention is not to eliminate the hardware couple with hands-on activities rather to less dependent on them (the laboratory hardware) to carry the concepts and provide theoretical background to students.

Hossain, A., & Zahraee, M. A. (2018, June), Virtual Software and Hardware Environment Provides Enhanced Learning for Mechatronics Engineering Technology Majors Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--31227

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