Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
Ocean and Marine
Mechanical Engineering courses in fluid mechanics typically provide robust instruction into theoretical concepts, while often providing physical examples through lab demonstrations. In order to supplement this instruction with more hands-on design experience in fluid mechanics while also introducing students to naval hydrodynamics research methods, a senior Capstone design project is proposed in which students design and build a portable, affordable, low-speed water tunnel. Upon completion, this water tunnel will be used as a tool for both classroom demonstrations and for research in fluid mechanics and naval hydrodynamics. This project is currently being implemented in an ongoing two-semester senior design course with a group of six senior mechanical engineering students. Throughout this project, the group has surveyed industry experts, performed a market analysis to identify industry standards and competition, developed an array of design concepts, and utilized knowledge acquired in earlier coursework to analyze the function of this device. As these students have moved through the Detail Design phase, they have extended their knowledge beyond their prior coursework in order to utilize the modern engineering tools necessary to analyze and manufacture individual components. While building and testing their device throughout the second semester of the course, the students have become familiar with state-of-the art fluids measurement techniques that the water tunnel will need to accommodate, such as Particle Image Velocimetry and the practical realities associated with creating a research project from inception. When completed, this water tunnel will serve as a tool for classroom and laboratory demonstrations in undergraduate-level courses related to fluid mechanics, as well as a resource in performing undergraduate research on a small scale. One of the capabilities of this device will be interchangeable test section models. This will allow for a variety of applications to different course topics and research ideas. The portability of the device will allow for use in a typical classroom setting rather than requiring a separate laboratory space, which should facilitate more frequent use in demonstrations. This paper provides an overview of the primary aims of this senior design project, detailing the ways in which this design experience provides a unique platform for students to further their knowledge of fluid mechanics and build interest in hydrodynamics research. It also addresses the usefulness of the final design product towards developing undergraduate-level laboratory and classroom demonstrations, as well as providing a means of encouraging undergraduate research. Impact on student learning outcomes are also discussed.
Washuta, N. J., & Howison, J., & Clark, B. L., & Imhoff, R. H., & Dos Reis, L. (2018, June), Water Tunnel Design: A Senior Capstone Project to Promote Hands-on Learning in Fluids Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--31230
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