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Water Tunnel Design: A Senior Capstone Project to Promote Hands-on Learning in Fluids

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Conference

2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Ocean and Marine Division Technical Session 3

Tagged Division

Ocean and Marine

Page Count

17

DOI

10.18260/1-2--31230

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/31230

Download Count

538

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Paper Authors

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Nathan John Washuta P.E. The Citadel Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-4575-0564

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Dr. Nathan Washuta is an Instructor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at The Citadel in Charleston, SC. He received both his B.S. and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Maryland – College Park. His primary research interests include Hydrodynamics, Turbulence, and Experimental Methods.

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Jason Howison The Citadel

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Jason Howison is an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at The Citadel. His research areas include computational fluid dynamics, wind turbine aeroelasticity, and engineering education.

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Billy L. Clark The Citadel

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Billy Clark is a Mechanical Engineering senior at the Citadel Military College of South Carolina. Originally from Simpsonville, South Carolina, he is an active member in a variety of student activities at the Citadel such as the water tunnel design team as well as a member of the AIAA. He plans to graduate in May with a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering with a focus on Aerospace engineering.

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Robert Hudson Imhoff IV

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Robert Imhoff is senior at The Citadel set to graduate in May 2018 with a BS in Mechanical Engineering. Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, Robert plans to commission in the United States Marine Corps as a fixed-wing aviator shortly after his graduation.

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Luiz Dos Reis

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Luiz Dos Reis is a mechanical engineer who graduated with a bachelor of science from The Citadel. He moved to the United States, from Brazil, at age eighteen and completed a
six-year Active Duty contract in the US Air Force with a career in maintenance production
management in the Civil Engineering Squadron. His interests include renewable energy, project management, and video game development.

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Abstract

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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