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ASME Conference Presenter Attendance Policy and Archival Proceedings

2012;():i. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-NS5.
FREE TO VIEW

This online compilation of papers from the ASME 2012 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition (IMECE2012) represents the archival version of the Conference Proceedings. According to ASME’s conference presenter attendance policy, if a paper is not presented at the Conference, the paper will not be published in the official archival Proceedings, which are registered with the Library of Congress and are submitted for abstracting and indexing. The paper also will not be published in The ASME Digital Collection and may not be cited as a published paper.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Education and Globalization: Curriculum Innovations, Pedagogy and Learning Methodologies

2012;():1-10. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-85208.

Engineering Thermodynamics is that engineering science in which students learn to analyze dynamic systems involving energy transformations, particularly where some of the energy is in the form of heat. It is well known that people have difficulty in understanding many of the concepts of thermodynamics; in particular, entropy and its consequences. However, even more widely known concepts such as energy and temperature are not simply defined or explained. Why is this lack of understanding and clarity of definition prevalent in this subject? Older engineering thermodynamics textbooks (often containing the words “heat engines” in the title) had a strong emphasis in their early chapters on the general physical details of thermodynamic equipment such as internal and external combustion engines, gas compressors and refrigeration systems. The working fluid in these systems might expand or contract while heat, work and mass might cross the system boundary. The molecular workings within the thermodynamic fluid are not of prime concern to the engineer even though they are to a physicist or chemist. Modern engineering thermodynamics textbooks place great emphasis on mathematical systems designed to analyze the behavior and performance of thermodynamic devices and systems, yet they rarely show, at least early in their presentation, graphical images of the equipment; moreover, they tend to give only passing reference to the molecular behavior of the thermodynamic fluid. This paper presents some teaching strategies for placing a greater emphasis on the physical realities of the equipment in conjunction with the molecular structure of the working fluid in order to facilitate a deeper understanding of thermodynamic performance limitations of equipment.

Topics: Thermodynamics
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2012;():11-14. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-85234.

Examples of the decline in the mastery of engineering fundamentals and the ability to apply these fundamentals to real world problems are presented. There are enhanced abilities in today’s graduates and these are discussed. No attempt is made to assign blame for the decline in capabilities since there are many contributors to this change. Some of the factors contributing to the decline include student evaluations of instruction, misuse of homework, diminished reading comprehension, pressure on faculty to be productive in research, and the decrease in mastery required in the accreditation process. Each of the factors is discussed in some depth and rational actions are proposed to reverse this disturbing trend.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2012;():15-23. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-85466.

Conventional mechanical actuation mechanisms, which have been used to drive nanoscale devices, have the drawback of requiring high power for operation. However, the piezoelectric actuation mechanism offers the advantages of extremely low power consumption. As piezoelectric materials change the practice of engineering and technology, providing undergraduate students with experiences with these materials has become necessary. This paper presents the design of a course module on precision control of piezoelectric actuators for undergraduate students. The course module incorporates lecture, experiment, and problem-based learning as pedagogical tools. Students are given opportunities to work directly with piezoelectric actuators to gain hands-on experience. Students can learn about actuation advantages of the piezoelectric materials along with their control problems. This course module can improve the knowledge of the students on how to design and analyze piezoelectric devices.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2012;():25-32. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-86011.

In Denmark, the maritime engineering competences requested by the industry have changed in the past one to two decades. The typical naval architects do no longer find them selves working in the ship-building industry but rather in the industry of ship operators, consultancies, class societies, etc. This means that universities educating maritime engineers need to reflect the changes in the curricula for their maritime engineering students. Topics and issues regarding this matter have recently been addressed in a survey made in the Danish maritime industry. The survey concludes that the demand for maritime engineers in the industry is considerably larger than the output from the technical universities. Moreover, it sets forth a series of recommendations to the industry as well as to the universities to facilitate meeting the demand for maritime engineers in Denmark in the future. The recommendations are outlined together with work commenced at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) to update the curricula for DTU’s maritime engineering students. Thus, DTU offers an education reflecting a large share of the recommendations in the curricula.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2012;():33-38. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-86014.

Conventional engineering education in Japan encourages students to widen knowledge built upon work and research by our predecessors. Such education has been effective in producing design improvement for higher efficiency and performance, however, not so in coming up with innovative ideas. Building products from within common knowledge cannot surpass the consumer expectation. We earlier reported about our collaboration between mechanical and industrial engineering educators in finding similarities and differences in the designers’ approaches in the two fields. Industrial designers, like mechanical designers, strive to meet the voice of customer (VOC) by dividing and conquering functional requirements. They also, unlike mechanical engineers, place the starting point of new designs outside the knowledge domain in efforts to define products that surpass consumer expectations. We call the starting point a discomforting seed. This paper reports our experience in educating foreign and native graduate students in mechanical engineering to have them recognize the discomforting seeds.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2012;():39-48. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-86088.

Grounded in motivation theory, the purpose of this research is to use random forest analysis to identify factors of motivation of students who participate in a project-based learning experience. Our research aims to answer: 1) How does project-based service learning affect students’ motivation as compared to conventional (non-service) project-based learning? 2) How are women affected differentially by project-based service-learning? The research, which began in 2011, was completed over a two-year period. The students and activities in Component Design, an existing junior-level course at the University of Colorado at Boulder served as the research focus. Specifically, project-based service-learning curriculum was implemented into a required design and build activity for Component Design students. Using a conventional design project as the control, how the context of project-based service learning affects aspects of student motivation was studied.

This paper discusses the research design, theoretical framework, data analysis methods, and random forest results. Our findings indicate that students’ initial non-technical skills were the most important predictor of motivation in the conventional project-based learning experience and that students’ perceived value of the course and the project were the most important predictors of motivation in the project-based service-learning experience.

Topics: Students
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2012;():49-57. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-87224.

A team of faculty members from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) has coordinated multidisciplinary courses in collaboration with universities from other countries. The team, who is composed by faculty from the School of Engineering and the School of Architecture, coordinates with pairs of Stanford University, the University of California at Berkeley, and the Technical University of Munich; to teach three particular design courses.

All three courses are related to product innovation but they have different emphasis depending on the collaborating partner. The focal points of each of the three courses are: (1) innovation, (2) user centered design and sustainability and (3) transport in megacities of the future.

Engineering and industrial design students are involved in the courses. They are organized in teams that include participants from the two collaborating universities. During the courses teams carry out projects working mostly at a distance; they use different means of communication and information sharing and also pay reciprocal visits between the universities involved in the collaboration.

This paper describes each of the three courses highlighting their particular characteristics. The outcomes and results of the courses and specific projects are commented. In the end of the paper lessons learned are discussed and final remarks are presented.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2012;():59-68. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-87473.

During a senior level thermal system design class given at York College of Pennsylvania, a customer-based design project has been implemented. This project provides the students with the opportunity to apply the knowledge that they learned in class and allows them to think creatively to achieve the given task. For this project, students are required to prepare a project proposal based on the needs of the customer and deliver a written report at the end of the semester. The main purpose of the project is to design an interactive museum display to show the working principle of a ram pump for the York County Heritage Trust Museum. The hydraulic ram pump utilizes the power of flowing water to operate without the use of electricity. The project requires students to apply energy and cost analysis. This paper presents the details of the design requirements, procedures and the final design. Examples of student work and the assessment of the work are also provided.

Topics: Pumps
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2012;():69-73. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-87511.

Nowadays, the iPad tablet is the first choice by frequent users of new technologies. According to Nielsen Company, the iPad holds about 82% of tablet’s market share in the USA. Due to the multi-touch interface, the iPad can captivate the user since it allows interactivity, it is a friendly tool and the user’s interface is activated by our natural and most used pointer, the finger. The user easily learns how to work on this kind of technology because iPad has also an elegant and intuitive interface. These aspects, among others, make the iPad a relevant tool for work, study and leisure. Once Apple makes both hardware and operating system, it is possible to develop an application to take advantage of the iPad’s hardware. In this sense, the main idea of this project is to develop an iBook for iPad that will serve as a support tool to two Course Units of the MSc in Industrial Electronics and Computer Engineering (MIEEIC) at School of Engineering in University of Minho: Applied Mathematics (second year) and Digital Control (third year). A portable tool like the iPad is an asset to the student’s needs in learning process. In particular, the iBook for this project will really help and support the students and make their study easier when learning Digital Control and Applied Mathematics.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2012;():75-79. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-88215.

In engineering subjects both simple and complex, retention is an issue. Interested students appear to excel in such subjects, but the retention rates for everyone else suffer somewhat. In this paper an example is laid out of how to utilize motion pictures, and specifically the scientific errors therein, to create interesting problems that this author has found helps in student retention of complex engineering material. Why linking elements of entertainment aids in retention is due to creating emotionally arousing stimuli that enhances memory for central details, as has been shown in neurological studies. The example here focuses on dynamics in general, and calculating kinematic and kinetic elements in particular. The problem from motion pictures is both interesting and complex enough to engage students in a meaningful experience where engineering tools are utilized.

Topics: Kinematics , Teaching
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2012;():81-84. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-88225.

It has become increasingly apparent in our combined years of teaching engineering subjects that there is a discontinuity between how related subjects are taught. By that, we mean that fundamental principles of mass, energy and momentum are indifferent to the application, yet they are introduced and utilized very differently in various engineering courses, specifically those in the general area of solid mechanics versus those in the fluid and thermal sciences. One example of this disparity is the conservation of energy principle, one of the two most fundamental of principles for which all things appear subject to without limitation. Also known as the 1st Law of Thermodynamics, the statement simply says “energy cannot be created nor destroyed.” This implies that, within these broad but absolute limits, energy can be converted from one form to another or transported from one place to another, or both, but that the total energy remains a constant.

This 1st Law of Thermodynamics is taught earlier in the curriculum from its namesake, thermodynamics. In fact, most introductory statics and dynamics courses do teach some form of the conservation of energy, but usually call it “energy methods.” The plural form “energy methods” indicates that there is more than one, which can be readily observed in most statics and dynamics textbooks. Unfortunately, these methods are only special-cases of the conservation of energy principle. At no time, however, in any statics and dynamics textbook that we have seen, is the full conservation of energy principle utilized, which is unfortunate for reasons of consistency and continuity in the curriculum.

It is the intent of this paper to show, through an example, that the same basic form of the conservation of energy can and should be utilized throughout the curriculum, starting with basic statics and dynamics and progressing into thermodynamics and the rest of the curriculum. This would indeed help student comprehension and retention of this very important principle in implication and application.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2012;():85-89. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-88283.

One of the problems that many engineering graduates face when looking for their first job is: do you have experience? Employers prefer graduates with relevant experience to those without. Why is experience so important to employers? Can students accumulate “working” experience while studying in college? This paper discusses the use of design projects inside and outside of classrooms to help students gain “working” experience and skills through hands-on design activities that simulate the actual design activities that occur in the industry. Faculty members from the Mechanical Engineering Technology and Computer Engineering Technology departments were involved in creating multidisciplinary design projects. The design projects give students new insights into what they learn in their coursework and provide students the valuable experiences in analytical skills, concurrent engineering approach, people skills, and management skills needed for the students when looking for employment.

Topics: Design
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2012;():91-95. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-88296.

“The Coach” is a web-based tool developed to guide students through the technical writing process. It provides instruction about form as well as critique of different aspects of the students’ writing. It goes beyond the Microsoft word spell check and grammar check. It gives feedback about writing complexity and appropriateness for different word choices in a technical document. It also gives background about the appropriate contents for technical writing in addition to example documents. The latter is extremely important for the novice writer who may not have much experience in working with technical reports.

The initial document type in “The Coach” is a lab report. If the lab report can be developed into the web-based tool, other forms will be more easily implemented. In addition to developing the website, the development team is preparing a document and a video for a professor to use to instruct students on the use of “The Coach.”

The instructional materials and “The Coach” were beta tested with a freshman engineering class. A baseline writing sample was collected before the introduction of “The Coach.” Students in some sections were instructed in use of “The Coach,” and other sections were controls. Additional beta testing is ongoing.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2012;():97-101. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-88758.

The paper provides the method to develop the drafting and CAD standards for mechanical engineering program based on the systemic approach.

The drafting has been used since the early stage of engineering. Lots of drafting technique has been developed and standardized. Recently, Computer Aided Design (CAD) software has been used widely in academia and industries too. Because of these reasons, every mechanical engineering program offers Drafting and CAD courses to its students. Some programs even have their own Drafting and CAD standards. However, it is not easy to develop the Drafting and CAD standard for whole program. It needs a careful plan to develop the standards. It needs to meet the certain requirements. Those requirements are 1) It needs to meet ASME Y14/ANSI Y14 standard as much as possible, 2) Students should be able to understand the standards and apply the rules to their own drawing and CAD models, 3) Any instructors should be able to give the proper feedback to students about their drawing using the standards, 4) Graduating students should be able to adopt the standard of their company easily.

To meet these requirements, some preliminary work must be done. 1) Understanding of ASME Y14 is needed, 2) Expertise of one or more CAD software packages is required, 3) Students’ level of understanding the ASME Y14 standards needs to be measured, 4) Feedback from industries is required. Each steps of development of Drafting and CAD standards are explained using real example of students work.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2012;():103-110. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-88868.

The growing trend of global, multi-company collaboration within the engineering community has led to a changed work environment where new graduates must function under constraints that include global, cultural, and business contexts as part of the new engineering “fundamentals”. The classical “engineering science” education model lacks opportunities for students to gain experience that prepares them for this new work environment. To provide learning opportunities that will enhance the global communication and intercultural collaboration skills of engineering students, a pilot project for providing some goal-directed learning space was set up as a global experiential learning design studio in aeronautical engineering. During this project, engineering teams spread across the globe are designing, building and testing innovative blended wing body UAV airframes. The lessons learned from this pilot project are intended to generate a template that can effectively be used across different disciplines of engineering. This paper describes the education initiative and the accomplished designs. It additionally reports on experiences and lessons learned to date, and steps taken to improve the learning outcomes and graduate attributes, to enhance global team collaboration skills.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2012;():111-120. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-89046.

The innovative learning methodology Project-based learning (PBL) has been functioning in the first semester of the first year of the Master Degree in Industrial Engineering and Management (IEM) at University of Minho, Portugal, since 2004_2005. This methodology was implemented by a team of teachers from the Department of Production and Systems of the Engineering School just before the Bologna process was adopted in Portugal. The process required substantial changes in the teaching/learning methods and methodologies and had a significant impact on students’ learning and motivation. The team of IEM teachers designed a full semester project based on the contents of four project-supporting courses (PSC), and formed a coordination team involving PSC lecturers, tutors and educational researchers. The latter aimed to accompany students’ teams, assess the learning process and evaluate the PBL experience at IEM. After nine editions of PBL in the first year, the IEM curricular structure has been reformulated to include a semester-wide project course in the first semester, recognizing PBL as a distinct part of the curriculum. It is therefore time to reflect on the past experiences and the merits of the PBL experiences. After presenting the overview of PBL based on the IEM specific context, its merit will be discussed through the analysis of surveys results and workshops organized at the end of last three PBL editions. This learning approach has put many challenges to the coordination team, brought discussion and triggered research that supported PBL along the way.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2012;():121-130. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-89349.

This contribution discusses aspects and benefits from involving physical representations when teaching engineering design and Computer Aided Engineering at Linköping University, Sweden.

The paper presents a syllabus for a comprehensive introductory CAD course. The course is populated by some 300 students on the Mechanical Engineering Master’s and Bachelor’s programs, as well as the Design and Product Development Master’s program. Assessment is made via a project where the students are assigned to model and optimize a small catapult. The catapult is then produced, using cheap materials, by the hands of the students who modeled it. Finally, the catapult is validated by entering a contest, where it is judged in respect of accuracy, weight, and cost. The catapult assignment is constructed in such a way that the students are forced to seek individual ways of applying their newly acquired knowledge of the CAD tool. Some 100 catapults are produced but the material cost for each catapult is only about €4.

The low-cost nature of the catapults originates from research conducted at the Division of Machine Design at Linköping University, where the concept of Low-Cost-Demonstrators for enhancement of the conceptual design phase has been developed over the past decade. The results from this research point towards several benefits from using physical representations alongside the common digital tools during the early stages of the product development process. Furthermore, evaluation of parameters such as the students’ performance and their own opinions of the course show notable enhancement compared to previous courses.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2012;():131-138. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-89547.

Engineering curricula, regardless of the specific discipline, need to evolve. Realizing also that the pedagogical value of any educational artifact is closely linked to the methods of instruction used to interact with students, it is imperative that the development of new learning materials be accompanied by the implementation of innovative techniques with demonstrated success in knowledge transfer. This paper presents details of the development of studio styled modules associated with groups of courses within the mechanical and manufacturing engineering curriculum. Within each studio, newly developed activities engage students through experiential learning techniques. These activities, or learning exercises, represent a fusion of hands-on experimentation and computational simulation/analysis in key areas of engineering, such as dynamical systems, thermal sciences and materials. This endeavor is also intended to promote STEM education through enhancements in the quality of technical content, methods of instruction, training of student as effective educators, and the establishment of outreach activities expected to have an enduring effect on the preparation and recruitment of young talent into the sciences.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2012;():139-146. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-89682.

Enrollments in Mechanical Engineering programs continue to increase. Unfortunately, increases in faculty size have not kept pace at many universities, resulting in large course enrollments in even junior- and senior-level major courses. The primary goals of this study were to increase (or at least maintain) the quality of instruction, and increase student competency and understanding in a large lecture course having the same instructional personnel resources as a course with 60% of the enrollment. Hybrid and problem-based learning techniques, along with two optional weekly recitation sessions and an online discussion forum were incorporated into the course to meet these goals.

The course, a classical controls course, is one in which course concepts are generally considered to be a bit abstract to a considerable percentage of the class. The instructor had previously taught the course several times, so a well-paced course schedule and solid foundation of course notes were already in place. Student evaluation instruments in previous offerings included weekly homework, bi-weekly short quizzes, two exams and the final exam.

For the large lecture course (with an enrollment of 84 students), the evaluation instruments (homework, quizzes and exams) remained the same; however, the students formed self-selected triad teams. Approximately two-thirds of the quizzes, one-half of the homework and sixty percent of the final exam questions were assigned to the triad teams (the balance and both mid-term exams were individual submissions). The primary advantages of group quizzes and assignments were multi-fold: they facilitated group learning and peer-teaching to reinforce course concepts and allowed the instructor and teaching assistant to give the type of detailed feedback on submissions that would have been difficult or impossible to give on 84 individual submissions.

Course notes (including short Echo360 modules), handouts and homework and quiz solutions were maintained on an online course management system (i.e., Blackboard); additionally, the use of an online threaded discussion forum, Piazza, allowed students to post/answer questions (anonymously, if desired) and follow discussions about course content.

Team-based learning techniques were heavily used in latter course topics; the assigned readings, along with online course notes were used to prepare the students for the individual readiness assessment tests (RATs). Students discussed their answers on the RAT instruments in their triad groups (another opportunity for peer teaching) and disclosed group answers (which generally reflected a much higher level of understanding) to the entire class.

Student assessment of course techniques and a comparison of traditional (lecture-based) and hybrid-/problem-based techniques will be used to assess the efficacy of the problem-based approach and to suggest improvements for future offerings.

Topics: Feedback , Teaching
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2012;():147-153. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-89827.

A comprehensive training program for graduate students is presented in which the students are coached in being a Teaching Assistant (TA) and for performing research. A semester-long course ENME808Q – Professional Essentials was created as a vehicle to improve the effectiveness of the TAs in the classroom and to train them in long-term skills for their professional success.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2012;():155-162. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-89899.

“Work-ready” college graduates, upon their first day at work, are able to make employee contributions which are comparable to those associated with a typical employee who is three years removed from his/her undergraduate graduation. The objective of CLIC-form (Chrysler Learning and Innovation Center for Sheet Metal Forming), a program recently implemented at Oakland University, is to deliver work-ready college graduates to the American sheet metal forming industry. Long-term fulfillment of this objective is expected to increase productivity and job satisfaction in the American work-force, enrich educational experiences for university students, and foster greater funded research opportunities for the university.

CLIC-form is a proven educational model. Now in its second year, it is recruiting a third cohort of Oakland University students, hosting once-per-week educational workshops for both students and local industry professionals, and continuing to generate revenue through direct support from Chrysler Group, LLC and funded research activity from other sources. Presented in this paper is a description of CLIC-form’s structure, operation and financial outlook. A proposed form for extending the CLIC-form template to different fields of study is offered.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Education and Globalization: Distance/Online Engineering Education, Models and Enabling Technologies

2012;():163-170. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-86905.

Though face to face class is still a dominant-teaching approach in most higher educational institutes, with the development of internet technology, on-line teaching has been increasingly popular. This paper intends to share experiences, myths, and lessons that the authors have learned during exploration of hybridization between classroom and on-line teaching of an undergraduate course in the area of mechanical engineering. Several key factors have been used to determine effectiveness and efficiency of this blended teaching approach. The paper will also discuss how the hybridization takes advantage and avoids disadvantages of both traditional classroom teaching and on-line teaching. The hybridization approach is also compared with traditional classroom teaching. The current student survey and course assessment indicates that the approach provides a promising alternative for teaching an undergraduate course.

Topics: Teaching
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2012;():171-179. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-86931.

Laboratory experiments are an important and integral part of the learning experience for undergraduate engineering students. They help the students in getting hands-on experience and in better understanding theoretical concepts. In recent years, a significant number of remotely accessible experiments have been developed and integrated into engineering laboratory courses at many educational institutions worldwide. There exist several approaches and technologies for making experimental hardware accessible via the Internet.

This paper will discuss some of the available technologies and a specific method for acquiring data from experimental setups via LabVIEW Virtual Instruments over a network. As an example, a remote experimental apparatus that was developed by upgrading a commercially available air flow rig with remote control and monitoring capabilities is presented. This system is used in a junior-level mechanical engineering course on fluid mechanics. It enables the students to access the experimental setup via the Internet either in real-time or batch mode. For real-time use of the experimental setup, remote panels are used. These remote panels are exactly the same as those that would be used on a local on-site server. They can be run under LabVIEW’s Web server to be observed and controlled by the client via any Internet browser. For the batch-mode use of the experimental setup, on the other hand, simple HTML pages in conjunction with forms are used to generate experimental requests that are sent to the LabVIEW server. This server then places these experimental requests in a queue and executes the appropriate LabVIEW scripts on a first-come first-served basis. This paper will discuss and compare both methods for performing remote laboratory experiments.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2012;():181-190. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-86944.

While real-time remote experiments have been used in engineering and science education for over a decade, more recently virtual learning environments based on game systems have been explored for their potential usage in educational laboratories. However, combining the advantages of both these approaches and integrating them into an effective learning environment has not been reported yet. One of the challenges in creating such a combination is to overcome the barriers between real and virtual systems, i.e. to select compatible platforms, to achieve an efficient mapping between the real world and the virtual environment and to arrange for efficient communications between the different system components.

This paper will present a pilot implementation of a multi-player game-based virtual laboratory environment that is linked to the remote experimental setup of an air flow rig. This system is designed for a junior-level mechanical engineering laboratory on fluid mechanics. In order to integrate this remote laboratory setup into the virtual laboratory environment, an existing remote laboratory architecture had to be redesigned. The integrated virtual laboratory platform consists of two main parts, namely an actual physical experimental device controlled by a remote controller and a virtual laboratory environment that was implemented using the ‘Source’ game engine, which forms the basis of the commercially available computer game ‘Half-Life 2’ in conjunction with ‘Garry’s Mod’ (GM). The system implemented involves a local device controller that exchanges data in the form of shared variables and Dynamical Link Library (DLL) files with the virtual laboratory environment, thus establishing the control of real physical experiments from inside the virtual laboratory environment. The application of a combination of C++ code, Lua scripts [1] and LabVIEW Virtual Instruments makes the platform very flexible and expandable. This paper will present the architecture of this platform and discuss the general benefits of virtual environments that are linked with real physical devices.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2012;():191-200. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-87828.

Recently, multi-player game engines have been explored regarding their potential for implementing virtual laboratory environments for engineering and science education. In these developments, the virtual assembly process of the laboratory equipment is a critical step, and a detailed formalized description of how different components of the experimental equipment are to be joined in the assembly process is necessary. This description includes the joint types (lower and upper kinematic pairs) and the associated degrees of freedom, the resulting mobility of the assembly as well as the joint fit requirements.

In this paper, a formalized representation of the assembly process that captures the information on the joint kinematics and the components’ degrees of freedom generated when assembling laboratory equipment in a virtual laboratory environment will be discussed. A planetary gear train system will be used as an example to illustrate the proposed method. In particular, the structure of the assembly of a planetary gear train system involves assembly constraints between a group of components (sun, planet and ring gears, shafts, planet carrier assembly, etc.) that generate the desired relationship between the input and output motions. This paper will identify important requirements for modeling different configurations of planetary gear train assemblies within a game-based virtual laboratory environment. These requirements include the positioning and the orienting of the components, the verification of the kinematic joints, the propagation of the mating constraints and the capturing of the joint attributes.

Topics: Manufacturing
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2012;():201-204. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-88750.

The demand for engineering courses in online format is growing for both undergraduate and graduate level coursework. Because of the abundance of software tools available for creating virtual learning environments, online courses are rapidly evolving past the posting of hour-long lectures in video format to lecture notes that are interactive, instant self-assessment feedback, and teaching modules that are fully ADA compliant. This paper explores the challenges faced by faculty members in creating a fully online course that can effectively present challenging, engaging material that solidly focuses on student learning objectives and provides authentic assessment of those same objectives.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Education and Globalization: Emerging and Sustainable Trends in Engineering

2012;():205-210. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-86318.

Increasing demand on workforce for nanotechnology implementation has resulted in an exponential increase of demand on educational material and methods to qualify this workforce. However, nanotechnology is a field that integrates many areas of science and engineering requiring a significant amount of background knowledge in both theory and application to build upon. This challenge is significantly magnified when trying to teach nanotechnology concepts and applications at the undergraduate engineering level. A considerable amount of time is needed for an undergraduate engineering student to be able to design and build a useful device applying nanotechnology concepts, within one course time.

This paper presents an actual experience in teaching hands-on applications in nanotechnology to undergraduate engineering students through an optimized model, within a normal course time. The model significantly reduces the time needed by undergraduate students to learn the necessary manufacturing techniques and apply them to produce useful products at the micro and nano levels, by ensuring that infrastructure and legwork related to the educational process are partially completed and verified, before the course starts. The model also provides improved outcomes as all its pre-course work is also tested with students working under different arrangements of professors’ supervision. The result is an optimized infrastructure setup for micro and nanotechnology design and manufacturing education, built with students in mind, to be completed within the frame of one semester course.

The model was implemented at GVSU-SOE as the core hands-on part of a senior undergraduate course titled (EGR 457 nano/micro systems engineering). Students in the course were able to go through the design and build steps of different MEMS and NEMS products, while learning and utilizing cleanroom equipment and procedures. This was based on infrastructural arrangements by students preceding this class by a semester and working closely with the professors. Assessment was conducted on both sides of the model and results were collected for evaluation and improvement of the model.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2012;():211-218. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-86896.

This paper intends to discuss a course assessment procedure to link course learning outcomes to program outcomes for ABET accreditation requirements. ME 323 Vibrations is used as an example to demonstrate this course assessment procedure. The procedure begins with the development of course objectives and learning outcomes. Then course learning outcomes are directly mapped with the program outcomes. Mapped learning outcomes and program outcomes are integrated into the course syllabus, and shared with students. Students are required to read both of them as the first course assignment. Further, the course teaching contents and learning activities are developed according to the established course objectives. Achievements of students are evaluated according to a program assessment evaluation form. The current course evaluation results indicate that the approach provides a promising tool for ME course assessment per ABET requirements.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2012;():219-228. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-86967.

The Mechanical Engineering faculty at the Cooper Union is leveraging a new high performance academic building as a learning resource for students to connect undergraduate theory to professional practice. The new teaching strategy utilizes an energy efficient building to provide students with direct, practical exposure to modern heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) and Building Management Systems. Students are taken on tours of the building’s HVAC mechanical rooms and partake in laboratory experiments that illustrate the principles of operation and control of these building systems. Furthermore, the student activities are supplemented with new undergraduate curriculum material that introduces basic thermodynamic principles of HVAC operation and provides an overview of the control systems theory involved. This paper will present the pedagogical motivation and goals of the new teaching methods, an overview of the building systems under study, and the development of corresponding curriculum materials and assessment methods.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2012;():229-239. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-87723.

At the University of Colorado Boulder (CU), a research-based undergraduate mentoring program is now in its second year of implementation. The program, Your Own Undergraduate Research Experience (YOU’RE@CU) has three main goals: improve the retention rate of diverse groups in undergraduate engineering, build undergraduate interest in engineering research, and prepare graduate students to take on leadership roles in either academia or industry-based research careers. In YOU’RE@CU, undergraduate students are paired with a graduate mentor and work in the graduate student’s lab several hours a week. Undergraduate mentees enroll in a one-credit seminar course focusing on research and graduate school opportunities, and are assessed via pre- and post-surveys to gauge their excitement and interest in engineering. The undergraduates also respond to biweekly qualitative reflective questions while participating in the program. Graduate mentors complete several reflective questions about their experiences and are required to complete pre- and post-assessments.

Adopting a person-centered, case study approach, this paper focuses on two telling examples of research-based mentoring relationships in the YOU’RE@CU program. Given identical mentor training through YOU’RE@CU, two graduate students start the Spring 2012 semester by meeting with their mentees to launch a research project. By examining application, pre-survey, reflective questions, and post-survey responses from these four participants, the differences in the trajectory of the two paired mentoring relationships can be clearly seen over the course of one semester. This close examination of two disparate mentoring relationships is instructive in understanding the subtle details that create either a positive learning environment or an uncomfortable lab situation for young engineers, and assists program administrators in making improvements in subsequent years.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Education and Globalization: Fluid Mechanics, Heat Transfer, Experiments and Energy Systems

2012;():241-245. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-86361.

The purpose of this paper is to describe the implementation of a laboratory-scale solar thermal system for the Renewable Energy Systems Laboratory at the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE). The system development began as a student senior design project where students designed and fabricated a laboratory-scale solar thermal system to complement an existing commercial solar energy system on campus. The solar thermal system is designed specifically for educating engineers. This laboratory equipment, including a solar light simulator, allows for variation of operating parameters to investigate their impact on system performance. The equipment will be utilized in two courses: Applied Thermodynamics, and Renewable Energy Utilization. During the solar thermal laboratories performed in these courses, students conduct experiments based on the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) 93-2010 standard for testing and performance characterization of solar thermal systems. Their measurements are then used to quantify energy output, efficiency and losses of the system and subsystem components.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2012;():247-262. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-87195.

Natural gas as a transportation fuel is a practical and viable replacement for petroleum based fuels. To implement natural gas fuel technologies, strategic plans must be put in place by city, state, and national agencies to not only fund the technology with monetary investments but also fund the social change to encourage long term technology growth. With the discovery and exploration of the Marcellus Shale the potential for natural gas infiltration as a fuel into the transportation market has grown exponentially. The region of interest for this specific plan focuses on a 150 mile radius around the Pittsburgh metropolis as the initial test bed region of interest. This region lies upon the Marcellus Shale and therefore there is a positive push towards the use of natural gas fueled by local interest. This region has the intellectual knowhow from universities and government agencies alike to develop technologies from theoretical design to product deployment. To ensure an effective and successful strategy the methodology of this investigation was one which looked to the past, present and the future. Past strategies were studied to determine what key features lead to success, the present was explored to define what laws and regulations are in place which affects the new technologies, and the future benefits of a successful implementation were hypothesized based on economic theory. The proposed strategy is a closed loop operation; meaning one industrious customer is temporarily both the supply and the demand chain of the technology. Public and private investments are vital to a successful implementation in the region by steering social awareness and subsidizing the market.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2012;():263-272. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-87834.

A top-wicking cooler box was designed for this purpose and included an experimental and theoretical analysis of an evaporative cooling technique utilizing mounted water troughs and a single transfer surface. Construction and insulation material, cooling capabilities, and environmental sustainability were compared between two boxes with different dimensions. The smaller boxes were found to be more effective due to a smaller ratio of volume to surface area, which resulted in higher cooler system effectiveness than the larger boxes. Regardless of the roofing metal, it was found that the square dimensioned boxes were unsuitable to sufficiently cool numerous RDTs irrespective of their scaling. Future testing on rectangular boxes and additional evaporative cooling options warrant further investigation.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2012;():273-279. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-87902.

Laboratory courses can be, and are often used to provide practical demonstrations of physical phenomena studied in various lecture courses. At Manhattan College, a senior-level Thermal-Fluids Laboratory incorporates a Design of Experiments (DoE) component into the syllabus, in which students learn about development of a text matrix, construction of an experiment to fulfill that matrix, and statistical analyses to confirm hypotheses. This paper describes the entire course syllabus, the portions of the course relevant to DoE, and some of the experiments conducted in recent years.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2012;():281-289. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-88316.

A challenge in an undergraduate mechanical engineering curriculum is having students demonstrate “an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as analyze and interpret data” as required for ABET accreditation. It is expected that students be able to identify and quantify sources of uncertainty, propagate uncertainties to intermediate and final results, interpret the relative importance of uncertainty sources, and develop experimental strategies to reduce the uncertainties in the final results. A spreadsheet application is presented that helps students learn these concepts and “see” what drives the uncertainty in the final results. The method known as sequential perturbation is used and shown to greatly reduce the tediousness of the calculations. As presented, the method significantly reduces the complexity of uncertainty analysis by eliminating the need to differentiate relationships between primary measurements and inferred measurements. Differentiation of complex relationships is often tedious and error-prone. The method is applied to three thermal-fluid application problems. Feedback from students is presented and is positive. The method summarized here should help students learn about the propagation of uncertainties and help demonstrate meeting ABET outcome “b”. The method can be extended beyond laboratory classes and is shown to be useful in design of experiments.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2012;():291-307. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-88392.

It is a common practice to approximate the thermodynamics properties of fluids in the compressed liquid regions from their saturation properties. Most thermodynamics textbooks state that the specific volume, specific internal energy, and specific entropy in the compressed liquid region are functions of temperature only and are independent of pressure. Therefore, compressed liquid property tables are not provided for any substance, except for water, and compressed liquid properties are approximated by their saturated liquid properties at a given temperature. Recent examination of current practice in approximating compressed liquid properties has shown that the internal energy of fluids exhibits growing dependency on pressure with increases in temperature. This paper compares the behavior of internal energy and enthalpy four compressed fluids along isotherms with those behaviors along isentropic lines. Water, ammonia, methane, and propane are examined in this study. It is shown that effects of pressure on the internal energy and enthalpy of compressed liquids are much lower along isentropic lines than those along isotherms.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2012;():309-316. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-88525.

This paper presents the design and testing of a fluid loss characterization device for use in engineering education as a classroom or laboratory demonstration in a core curriculum fluid dynamics course. The design is specifically tailored for clear demonstration of the abstract concept of fluid loss in a way that supports collaborative, hands-on, active, and problem-based learning.

This stand-alone device is intended as a prototype for a Desktop Learning Module (DLM) cartridge. The DLM module framework was developed by engineering educators at Washington State University as part of a collaborative NSF-sponsored program. The fluid loss characterization device was sponsored by the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Honors Program in Daytona Beach, Florida.

The purpose of the experiment is to have students determine the loss coefficients and friction factors of different piping components in a fluid flow system. The experiment involves measuring volumetric flowrate changes in the system due to the introduction of minor and major losses. A pump circulates water at a specified rate tunable by the students to achieve a steady state flow condition. Height sensors report tank heights and a flow meter shows volumetric flow rate which is verifiable with student’s data collection. A graphical computer interface allows students to control pump rate and also reports tank height in real time. The computer and height sensors are not critical to the learning objectives and may be replaced with rulers and a potentiometer for motor control.

The educational goals are for students to gain a better understanding of the transition between Bernoulli’s flow equation and the Energy equation, to study major and minor losses, and experimentally determine volumetric flowrate. Fluid flow loss concepts can be reinforced by experimentally verifying these concepts immediately after presenting them on the whiteboard.

Educational assessments measuring gains with pre- and post-tests and a conceptual test one week later were performed with a control group and experimental group. Results are presented that allow direct comparison between a hands-on activity versus conventional lecture-based instruction alone. The results indicate no statistically significant differences in gains between control and treatment groups; however the trend indicates improved ability to describe abstract concepts on the material 1 week later in the experiment group. The most promising results show that a greater percentage of students who were actively involved with the demonstration increased their scores from post- to conceptual assessment. This agrees with previously published results on CHAPL [1]. The majority of passive observers showed decreased scores. These results warrant more devices be built and tested to engage the entire class in the hands-on collaborative experiment.

Topics: Fluid dynamics
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2012;():317-321. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-89065.

The advanced energy storage industry is a rapidly growing field. This industry is looking for engineering graduates with the skills and training to work in the area of energy storage. The School of Engineering at Grand Valley State University is developing a three-course certificate in advanced energy to address this need. The objective of the certificate is to prepare students with a sound engineering and science education which is augmented with knowledge of energy as applied to advanced energy storage for electrified vehicles and power management.

As part of the certificate in advanced energy, a course is being developed in Materials for Energy Storage. This course will study the components of electrochemical cells and the various materials used for these components. The focus will be on the properties of the different materials, the benefits and drawbacks of each one, and the selection of materials for specific applications. The interaction between the materials of the individual components within the cells will be examined. Finally, the electrochemical energy storage system will be considered as a whole and the testing and performance of the cells will be studied.

This paper will present a description and overview of the course, and the topics that will be covered. As the course is in the development stage, the plans for assessment after its pilot offering will be discussed.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2012;():323-328. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-89077.

Thermal design was incorporated into an undergraduate heat transfer course through a multistage design project. The students were tasked with designing water channels to be cut in an aluminum block using a wire electrical discharge machining (EDM) process. The students begin the process by analyzing the internal channels as a one dimensional array of fins using traditional analysis and correlations and Engineering Equation Solver (EES) to perform the calculations. Working in groups of two, the students conduct several parametric studies and develop a preliminary design using an array of fins method. The requirements for the design included outcomes that had to be met, along with weighting factors for key aspects of the design such as thermal performance, pressure drop, fabrication cost and volumetric flow rate. Next, the students analyze their preliminary design using SolidWorks flow simulation and compare their results to the one dimensional array of fins analysis. The groups then begin the process of refining their design using SolidWorks flow simulation to predict key parameters. Finally, the students select their best design which is fabricated using a wire EDM machine. The heat sinks are tested using a single experimental apparatus and the best design is determined based on the original requirements. The project is first introduced when the students are covering resistor networks and the analysis of an array of fins. The computational aspect of the project begins after the students have covered steady state conduction using finite difference methods. Using the computational results the students plot the heat transfer coefficient on the surface of the channel, which complements the lectures on internal developing flows.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2012;():329-335. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-89356.

This paper outlines a proposed experimental setup for characterizing the vertical motion of a horizontal circular cylinder through a free surface. Both water entry and exit are studied. The proposed experimental setup will enhance the student’s learning of the hydrodynamic impact phenomena. The experimental study is based on the flow visualization of free surface and surrounding water during the cylinder’s motion. The fluid flow phenomenon around the submerged cylinder is investigated using high-speed digital imaging and Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV). The proposed experiment is used as part of an undergraduate mechanical engineering fluid mechanics course taught at a university, which aims to educate young male and female engineers for the local oil and gas industry and particularly for the companies involved in sponsoring the institution. The details of the flow visualization system and teaching strategy for implementing this experiment in a Mechanical Engineering curriculum is discussed.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2012;():337-346. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-89383.

This paper describes a hands-on laboratory thermofluid project which is taught as part of a one-semester, junior-level mechanical engineering course titled Core Measurements Laboratory. The experiment focuses on the characterization of multi-mode heat transfer from a range of cartridge-heated fin geometries cooled by conduction, natural convection and radiation. The project involves the design and construction of the test facility, experimental characterization of fin heat transfer, and comparison of experimental results with corresponding analytical and numerical predictions, with a formal report submitted on completion. The project is undertaken by a team of four students over a five-week period. Emphasis is placed on highlighting potential discrepancies between measurement and predictions, which are inherent in the test configurations considered, reflecting realistic engineering situations. Sample measurement and analysis results are reported in this paper. The teaching strategy employed to integrate fundamental theories with hands-on experiences is described. The effectiveness of the laboratory project in enhancing student learning of heat transfer, engineering analysis of discrepancies between predictions and measurements, and project management skills was demonstrated by monitoring student performance improvements over the duration of the project.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Education and Globalization: Globalization of Engineering

2012;():347-353. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-87435.

The common model for engineers’ engagement in philanthropic development work is to find a community with a technical need, design the solution, raise funds for the solution, construct the solution, and hand the solution over to the community. While this approach has yielded many completed projects around the world, there are limits to the efficacy, sustainability, and long-term enabling potential to this approach. The Dayton Service Engineering Collaborative, or DSEC, takes an alternative approach to philanthropic community development which is demonstrated via a case study in bringing clean water for drinking and agricultural purposes to Caliche, Honduras.

Caliche, an impoverished village of approximately 350 people located in central Honduras, had access to a mountain spring as a source of water until a 2009 earthquake sent the spring’s flow underground. As of late 2011, the village did not have a clean source of drinking water, utilizing collected rainwater and surface water ponds for all of their water needs. Waterborne illness and malady was prevalent, with severe consequences to the young and the elderly. After a survey of the geography, the resources of the local people, and partner institutions, a community-scale biosand filtration system with requisite delivery structures was proposed, accepted, and brought to design fruition.

Design and implementation of a solution to the technical problem of water delivery and treatment, while rigorous and complex, is not out of the realm of practice for technical groups working in communities such as Caliche. The innovation in this project, however, was the “lead from behind” approach in the context of a best practice called asset-based community development. A multi-partner initiative led first and foremost by the community leadership, and through local institutions and power structures, was managed from distance. In addition to DSEC, partners in this project included a multi-national non-governmental organization (NGO), a financial investor, the Honduran government, several missionaries, the Caliche Water Council, a local landowner, the Caliche leadership known as the Patronado, and the local church. DSEC provided technical leadership and project oversight, ensuring that not only were the technical obstacles overcome, but that the community and local authorities were empowered to tackle future development projects with independent vision. It is through this enabling approach that impact beyond the immediate project is attained, and where DSEC believes the leadership potential of the engineer is fully realized.

Topics: Water
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2012;():355-360. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-87509.

One of the oldest industrial diseases, silicosis, results from exposures to respirable crystalline silica, also known as silica dust. Workers worldwide exposed to silica dust span a variety of industries from construction, mining, sandblasting, to masonry, and machinery. In the United States alone 1.7 million workers are exposed to crystalline silica, which can also lead to lung cancer, tuberculosis, and other chronic airway diseases [1].

This paper will examine the health effects of silica dust on the worker, discussing exposure paths, work groups affected, occupational safety measures, worker health policies, and compare these among the developed and developing world. Implementing worker safety programs, which include wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and health monitoring and developing exposure limits, can help mitigate the adverse health risks of working with silica dust. A comparison of the successes and limitations of several programs from around the world will show that strong national occupational safety programs can reduce the mortality and illness rates of silicosis due to occupational silica dust exposure.

Without a strong national occupational safety program history shows that workers will remain unprotected until they rally together under tragedy to fight for safety. Before more workers suffer and die tragically and unnecessarily, global safety policy makers can take a lesson from history, examine and compare current programs, and implement strong national occupational safety programs that save lives.

Topics: Dust , Hazards
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2012;():361-368. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-88881.

The Leveraged Freedom Chair (LFC) is a low-cost, all-terrain, variable mechanical advantage, lever-propelled wheelchair designed for use in developing countries. The user effectively changes gear by shifting his hands along the levers; grasping near the ends increases torque delivered to the drive-train, while grasping near the pivots enables a larger angular displacement with every stroke, which increases angular velocity in the drivetrain and makes the chair go faster. This paper chronicles the design evolution of the LFC through three user trials in East Africa, Guatemala, and India. Feedback from test subjects was used to refine the chair between trials, resulting in a device 9.1 kg (20 lbs) lighter, 8.9 cm (3.5 in) narrower, and with a center of gravity 12.7 cm (5 in) lower than the first iteration. Survey data substantiated increases in performance after successive iterations. Quantitative biomechanical performance data were also measured during the Guatemala and India trials, which showed the LFC to be 76 percent faster and 41 percent more efficient during a common daily commute and able to produce 51 percent higher peak propulsion force compared to conventional, pushrim-propelled wheelchairs.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Education and Globalization: Pre-College (K-12) STEM - University, School and Industry Alliance (USIA)

2012;():369-382. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-86240.

The Australian Government and industry groups have been discussing the projected “skills shortage” for a number of years. This concern for the future is mirrored in many countries including the USA and the UK where the risk is not having sufficient skilled people to realise the projects being proposed. Growing tertiary qualified practicing engineers takes time and commitment but without the excitement of the possibility of such a career being seeded in the youth of the world, school leavers won’t be attracted to engineering in sufficient numbers.

In response, one successful model for exciting school children about engineering and science careers is the international F1inSchools Technology Challenge which was created in the UK in 2002 and implemented in Australia in 2003. It is now run in over 300 Australian Schools and 33 countries. In the Australian context, the program is managed and promoted by the Reengineering Australia Foundation. It is supported and fostered through a range of regional hubs, individual schools and some exceptional teachers. Presented in this paper are some perspectives drawn particularly from the Australian experience with the program over 10 years — which by any measure has been outstanding.

The F1inSchools model has been designed specifically through its association with Formula One racing to attract the intrinsic interests of students. It is based on the fundamentals of action learning. Role models and industry involvement are utilised as motivation modifiers in students from Years 5 to 12. While immersing children in project based learning, the program explicitly encourages them to engage with practicing mentors taking them on a journey outside their normal classroom experience. In this program, students have the opportunity to use the design and analysis tools that are implemented in high technology industries. Their experience is one of reaching into industry and creative exploration rather than industry reaching down to them to play in a constrained and artificial school based environment.

Anecdotally F1inSchools has been very successful in positively influencing career choices. With the aim of objectively assessing the impact of the program, doctoral research has been completed. Some key findings from this work are summarized and reported in this paper. The children involved truly become excited as they utilise a vehicle for integration of learning outcomes across a range of educational disciplines with a creative design focus. This enthusiasm flows to reflective thought and informed action in their career choice. As a result of F1inSchools, students are electing to follow engineering pathways and they will shape tomorrow’s world.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2012;():383-393. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-86355.

For many years, literature has documented the benefits of project-based learning (PBL) and its impact on student learning especially at the high school level. More often than not however, students are still losing interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education because current educational teaching pedagogies have become antiquated and are not impacting student learning, as it should. With that said, our discovery through elicitation of high school educators has cited the main reason for such disinterest is due to the inability of students to connect STEM abstract concepts and theory with STEM application to appreciate the value of learning STEM. With access to information easier than ever, students are forgetting that learning is not about getting the right answer but understanding how to solve a complex problem. In the past, PBL has benefited students in engaging them in hands-on learning however, with a more complex paradigm shift in student learning style, PBL and lecture-based learning are no longer the most effective methods of teaching. Engineering-based learning has the opportunity and potential to modify STEM education and revolutionize STEM teaching pedagogy by changing the one-size-fits-all model to an individual, student-centered learning approach where education is mass customized. This paper discusses a new teaching pedagogy dubbed Engineering-Based Learning (EBL) that is a more systematic approach to high school STEM teaching for open-ended problems. This paper presents the EBL model, the EBL tools, and its impact thus far on high school students. It also presents sample feedback from both teachers and students and how it has influenced their outlook of engineering and STEM in the real world. The purpose of this paper is also to disseminate this new teaching pedagogy to support the notion that STEM education can be successfully taught and provide students with a structured, systematic, hands-on approach, as well as the appropriate tools and resources allowing them to connect complex STEM theory and real-world application.

Topics: Teaching
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2012;():395-401. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-86438.

Students from The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art created new installations and activities for an Interactive Light Studio for pre-kindergarten students at The American Sign Language and English Lower School (P.S. 347) in New York City. The studio creates ways for both deaf and hearing students to explore light and sound while simultaneously promoting science and technology to students at a young age. Improvements to the studio in the 2011–12 school year strove to further the educational mission of the project while introducing new and exciting interactive multimedia installations. A digital projection system was created using easily assessable sensors, electronics, and open-source computer software creating an interactive play and learning environment that encourages self-driven discovery. The project engages young children, including minorities, girls, and disabled children, in active science learning while providing Cooper Union students with an opportunity to work on a real world project in their community.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2012;():403-410. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-86444.

Global competencies of engineering graduates have been identified as traits that are increasingly necessary for professional competitiveness of graduates, but continue to be elusive and difficult to address in the engineering curricula. Study abroad and experiential learning programs have been invoked to address some of the global competencies with varied degrees of success. In this paper, a faculty-led program model developed by West Virginia University and several institutions in Mexico and the US is presented, in which senior engineering students from the US and Mexico team up to conduct meaningful engineering projects in industry in Mexico. Intermixed teams of students are formed and placed in various industrial sites to work full time under the advice of engineering practitioners and faculty members from both Mexico and USA. Global competencies are addressed in the context of a project that requires students to work with peers of similar disciplines and level across language and cultural barriers.

Topics: Competencies
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2012;():411-420. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-88775.

The fall 2011 DREAM design project required teams to design and build a working wind turbine. The turbines were tested at three wind speeds, with the most points awarded for power production at the lowest speed, forcing mentees to optimize their blade designs. The Pre-engineering Concept Inventory (PCI) and Intuition Inventory (II), which focus on wind energy, were used to measure pre- and post-content knowledge of high school mentees. The use of mini-lectures to convey content simultaneously with design is discussed.

The Inventories show that participation in DREAM generally increases mentees’ understanding of wind energy concepts. However, insufficient mathematics foundations hamper their ability to understand algebraic representations and evaluate numerical predictions. Results provide feedback on current practices and help pinpoint specific areas for improvement to increase the efficacy of DREAM in future years.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Education and Globalization: Problem Solving in Engineering Education, Research and Practice

2012;():421-432. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-86495.

The process of generating the most attractive product concepts in engineering design is still one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century. There are several tools for supporting this extremely uncontrollable phase of engineering design. Except for the method, the problem-solving software is the very important tool. One of the most useful methods in teaching and learning, i.e. Brief Theory of Inventive Problem Solving (BTIPS), is discussed in other papers [1], [2], [3] and [4]. This paper is devoted to the software supporting the problem solving process. There is still no software suitable for a completely satisfactory automation of the conceptual design process. However there are some software packages that could be the most helpful in supporting the process and would greatly influence the quality of the final product, especially in cases of contradicting constraints. In this paper some results of the research on the use and effectiveness of Invention Machine (IM™) software products are described. Four packages are discussed and compared: the IM v. 2 for Windows, TechOptimizer v. 3.5, TechOptimizer v. 4.0 and Goldfire v. 6.5. Goldfire v. 6.5 evaluation is still in the process and is not completely finished yet. The first three packages were used in teaching several junior, senior and graduate courses at the University of Connecticut (UConn) for many years. The experience with Goldfire v. 6.5 is comparatively limited. In the research described in this paper the content and the teaching effectiveness of the software packages in teaching were studied. Data from student feedback was evaluated, conclusions were derived. On the basis of this - recommendations for the future use of the software are offered. This paper concentrates on some instrumental software qualities that could be used in teaching of solving problems of industrial products conceptual design. The user’s experience and its connection with the effectiveness of the packages used are discussed in the paper. Conclusions are derived at the end.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2012;():433-440. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-88527.

The Engineering Problem Solving process has two aspects. It relies on the talent of the designer on the one hand and the efficiency of the problem solving tools on the other. Talent is an attribute of a person. It is very difficult to formalize the talent of an individual, and no satisfactory formalization has been achieved successfully. For this reason only the original designer’s talent and his/her knowledge and experience are available for use during the problem solving process. However, there are several choices and decisions that can be made concerning methods, algorithms, and software packages. After those choices are made the next steps in the problem solving process can be outlined. The problem solving method described in this paper is called a Brief Theory of Inventive Problem Solving (BTIPS) and was developed on the basis of TRIZ (Russian: теория решения изобретательских задач, teoriya resheniya izobretatelskikh zadatch) and TIPS (Theory of Inventive Problem Solving) and taught at the University of Connecticut (UConn). The application of this method starts with the accurate definition of the problem. The problem has to be properly separated from the environment. Further problem solving choices depend on the knowledge of the designer and include the right sequence of steps, definition of contradictions, choice of solution modules, algorithms, definition of designed systems and subsystems, and choice of elements and objects. There are several further paths to be selected and resulting decisions to be made. Those decisions and the processes following them are described in this paper. The recommendations for the proper path are given and the procedures are discussed. The derivation of the Ideal Solution is described and tests of the solution’s effectiveness and economy are given. The experience gained from teaching one Mechanical Engineering course, three MEM (Management Engineering for Manufacturing) courses at UConn, one graduate course at UConn, one graduate course at the University of Fairfield, and several special non-academic courses for practicing engineers is summarized. Some students’ opinions are analyzed and recommendations for further education and the practice of engineering problem solving are derived. The references to the existing teaching, research, practice, and development studies are quoted. This paper is devoted to the characteristics of BTIPS method. The companion paper [1] is devoted to the characteristics of the software that could be used with the method. TIPS (the Theory of Inventive Problem Solving) is a further development of Altshuller’s theory done by Invention Machine under the leadership of Valery Tsourikov [2]. BTIPS (Brief Theory of Inventive Problem Solving) is a simplified version of TIPS developed at the University of Connecticut (UConn) especially for teaching purposes, though it is also powerful when applied to engineering practice problems [3].

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2012;():441-447. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-89145.

Problem solving is one of the main activities in achieving design and research goal. While problem solving in general is an activity aiming at transforming unacceptable state of reality to acceptable state of reality, problem solving in engineering is usually a means for tackling other activities such as design and research. By breaking down design and research into a set of engineering problem solving activities, the goals of complicated design and research projects can be achieved. For this reason, the transitions from design or research to problem solving in some cases are unidentifiable. The identification of the problem solving activity goals and the transition between the three activities, however, are essentials for creativity and achieving the desired objectives especially when dealing with conflicting objectives and constraints.

In this paper, design, research, and problem solving are distinguished as realization activities performed in different reality domains with different beginning and ending states. These three activities use modeling and simulation as basic elements of mapping between realities to perform analysis and integration. While analysis and simulation are mainly the analytical actions, modeling and integration are mainly the creative actions. With these distinctions, the identification of problem solving activity goals, and transitions between activities, can be easily realized. Also, creativity and dealing with conflicting objectives can be greatly facilitated. To demonstrate these concepts and their implications some illustrative examples are discussed.

Topics: Creativity
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2012;():449-457. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-89559.

Problem solving is the primary intellectual activity of engineers. Therefore, enhancing problem-solving skills is essential for preparing engineering students for practice in the profession. A powerful approach for enhancing problem-solving skills is the problem-based learning (PBL) method. This paper presents the design and construction of a PBL-based course in materials science at the junior level in a mechanical & aerospace engineering (MAE) department. We assess the ability of a PBL course based on longer complex problems to enable students to learn both fundamental knowledge of the subject matter and also problem solving skills and contrast it with outcomes in a traditional lecture based course. The issues and challenges faced in assessing and implementing PBL are discussed.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2012;():459-465. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-93452.

Lean is a key process that understands customer value and its goal is to provide perfect value to the customer by engaging a process cycle that minimizes waste. This paper focuses on the implementation of Lean in the Design and Manufacturing Industries. The complex interactions of the financial, logistical, and geological processes that are involved in developing a product and then handing it over to customers are driving forces in today’s industries. Hence, if industries do not implement Lean, product cost will rise.

Lean design involves identifying wastage in the processes of product manufacturing/production. This means, specifically, eliminating waste and non-value-added activities in design, production, marketing, supply chain integration and customer interactions by making product flow through the Value Stream without any interruption. Our goal is to minimize production resources by eliminating non-value-added activities, thus saving time in production and improving product quality.

The basic goal behind this paper is to reduce product cost by eliminating unnecessary elements that increase final product cost. This will be demonstrated by way of manufacturing a fuel tank by removing or redesigning the parts now used by the current industry.

The paper also will show how Virtual Reality plays a key role in helping students and engineers to learn applications and to understand simulation more effectively. It is a powerful learning tool for both engineers and students. The paper will emphasize the development of active learning experiences in relation to Lean Product Development. The different models that are developed in this paper will help students and engineers to gain knowledge in various streams like Engineering, Business and Sciences, with the aid of Virtual Reality. This paper concentrates mainly on undergraduate and graduate students. Solid Works, one of the more common and available tools in most U.S. schools, is utilized as a software that allows users to change product designs on their own, so as to get better results. After learning these tools, users will be able to apply their skills in various industries to reduce non-value-added activities. Developing Lean Manufacturing models using Virtual Reality will increase any user’s capability, quality and efficiency in Product Development.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Education and Globalization: Societal and Ethical Dimensions of Engineering, Safety and Assessment

2012;():467-473. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-87438.

Implementation of a safety management system (SMS) in automotive manufacturing and assembly has been recognized as an effective way to provide a safe working environment for employees, increase employee morale, and reduce corporate costs. Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Texas, Inc. (TMMTX) has implemented a SMS in part of a regional goal initiated by Toyota Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc. (TEMA) to support the OSHA’s Injury & Illness Prevention Program (I2P2). This system provides a systematic way to identify hazards; eliminate or control the risk and incorporate in Toyota Production System. In addition, the established management system provides a framework to meet legal obligations under occupational health and safety regulation. The system implemented provides methods to manage injury and illness related to process safety, ergonomic, and industrial hygiene risks. The system uses joint labor and management teams to identify and evaluate jobs and develop and implement solutions. This paper summarizes the efforts of TMMTX in implementing and maintaining workplace activities that meet the requirements of this safety management system. The methodologies, strategies, and challenges are outlined to provide important links that are critical in sustaining these activities.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2012;():475-492. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-87833.

In a progressively materialistic and relativistic society, professional engineering ethics has become an increasingly important safeguard, but remains neglected in most formal engineering education. In response, at our university ethics content has been implemented and measured in both an undergraduate and graduate engineering course as a trial for further implementation across the university. In a senior-level seminar course, instructional emphasis was placed upon ethics in general, and engineering case studies readings reinforced with written responses were used to more effectively impart discipline specific knowledge. Other written activities such as current event articles and term papers with ethical content were implemented to promote higher level cognitive reasoning skills Students were surveyed at the end of the course and submitted work analyzed using a rubric to assess learning. On senior exit surveys, program graduates identified a 17.1 increase from 2009 to 2011 in their ability to understand professional, ethical and social responsibilities-this timeline was concurrent with the sited changes in the seminar course. For the graduates, emphasis was placed upon ethics with regards to research. An online series of training modules that meets the NSF minimum content as expressed by the COMPETES Act was used in the graduate course to supplement instructor lectures. In the case of the graduate learning experience, a pre and post training survey was conducted to determine changes in knowledge and understanding as a result of ethical training. On a pre-survey, forty-eight percent of the graduate students demonstrated a lack of understanding with regards to ethical issues relating to authorship. Fifty-two percent of graduate students pretested also incorrectly responded that a conflict of interest was always an issue of academic misconduct. These misconceptions were minimized by the end of the online training. Additionally, embedding profession ethics content into a senior-level seminar course has contributed significantly to satisfying our ABET learning outcomes and program objectives, while the graduate-level training has begun a fundamental change in the ethical culture of our graduate student researchers.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2012;():493-494. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-88407.

Computational modeling is a growing area of mechanical engineering that focuses on the use of numerical simulation to examine complex phenomena. Computational modeling includes work in finite element analysis, computational fluid dynamics, and multi-body dynamics modeling. Intrinsic to most of these modeling efforts are common elements including:

1. Assumptions that are made to reduce a problem to a solvable mathematical problem,

2. Formulation of a mathematical representation based on scientific principles,

3. Reduction of the mathematical representation through the removal of terms of small effect (neglected terms)

4. Collection and use of input data,

5. Algorithm development using numerical methods and discretization of the mathematical problem,

6. Implementation of the algorithm in computer code,

7. Creating representations of the model results,

8. External validation of the model, and

9. Dissemination of the model and model computer code.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2012;():495-502. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-89392.

This theoretical paper will provide a review of the literature regarding the need for ethics in the workplace and how taxonomical ethical development can be used in engineering education. In fact, advocacy to educate for ethics in engineering education by design is discussed as a solution to this problem. By spiraling ethical competency development into engineering education as a body of practice, rather than as a theory of knowledge, it is possible to integrate engineering “hard science” content with engineering “soft science” competency. This means that current programs’ scopes and sequences may remain in place, with recommended changes in pedagogy.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Education and Globalization: Teaching Laboratories, Machine Shop Experience, and Technology-Aided Lecturing

2012;():503-508. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-85782.

Modern technology and manufacturing methods often require engineers who understand the fundamental principles of vibration theory and who are also skilled in vibration applications. Simply processing, remembering and applying the material learned from lectures and laboratory experiments with artificial criteria are inadequate.

Hands-on teaching techniques with real-world problems are needed to complete the engineering students’ education. This paper demonstrates how hands-on experiments performed in industry support and increase the students’ understanding of fundamental principles and skill in their applications. Graduates with both knowledge and skill are more competitive in today’s job market.

A one-quarter industry-based vibration course was developed and taught with a hands-on segment at the Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering and Technology (MMET) program at Oregon Institute of Technology (OIT) - Portland Campus. This novel instructional approach provided students with the opportunity to immediately apply material, learned in class and laboratory, in real-world industry situations with real-world problems.

This instructional approach is applicable in many engineering fields and the author found the mechanical vibrations class particularly well suited for this instructional design style. The hands-on approach, grounded in the vibration course curriculum, provided a direct link to the fundamentals of vibration in industry.

Student comments are included to demonstrate the value perceived by the students. Although this curriculum experiment involved mechanical engineering technology students, it would benefit mechanical engineering students equally well.

In addition, the paper provides a brief description of the industries that participated in this project. Industries were selected because they use vibration based manufacturing, perform extreme testing or design their products to avoid failure due to vibrations.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2012;():509-516. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-86700.

Teaching classical controls systems design to mechanical engineering students presents unique challenges. While most mechanical engineering programs prepare students to be well-versed in the application of physical principles and modeling aspects of physical systems, implementation of closed loop control and system-level analysis is lagging. It is not uncommon that students report difficulty in conceptualizing even common controls systems terms such as steady-state error and disturbance rejection. Typically, most courses focus on the theoretical analysis and modeling, but students are left asking the questions…How do I implement a phase-lead compensator? …What is a non-minimum phase system? This paper presents an innovative approach in teaching control systems design course based on the use of a low-cost apparatus that has the ability to directly communicate with MATLAB and its Simulink toolbox, allowing students to drag-and-drop controllers and immediately test their effect on the response of the physical plant. The setup consists of a DC micro-motor driving a propeller attached to a carbon-fiber rod. The angular displacement of the rod is measured with an analog potentiometer, which acts as the pivot point for the carbon fiber rod. The miniature circuit board is powered by the USB port of a laptop and communicates to the host computer using the a virtual COM port. MATLAB/Simulink communicates to the board using its serial port read/write blocks to command the motor and detect the deflection angle. This presentation describes a typical semester-long experimental protocol facilitated by the low-cost kit. The kit allows demonstration of classical PID, phase lead and lag controllers, as well as non-linear feedback linearization techniques. Comparison between student gains before and after the introduction of the mechatronic kits are also provided.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2012;():517-522. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-86853.

In conjunction with a shift from an academic calendar based on ten–week quarters to one based on semesters, the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at The Ohio State University has completely re–designed the mechanical engineering curriculum. As a part of this re–design, the MAE department has added a new course for sophomores entering the department that will emphasize hands–on skills in machining and electronics while simultaneously giving students a broad introduction to the kinds of problems that mechanical engineers typically confront in industrial practice.

This paper describes the evolution of our thinking as we created the teaching platform that is the heart of the course, a multi–cylinder compressed air motor. Lectures are structured to provide ‘just in time’ information to the students as they build and test this platform in the laboratory. It was crucial to create a device that would be complex enough to challenge the students and provide an opportunity to explore the widest possible range of mechanical engineering concepts. After a review of similar courses in other programs, we decided to employ a multi–cylinder compressed air motor, controlled by a commercially available microprocessor, as the teaching platform.

Because the course will be required of all students entering the major, an overriding constraint on the design is that the device is simple enough for three hundred students a year, working in teams, to construct and test it. At the same time, the air motors must also be complex enough to support the learning objectives of this course and subsequent courses in the curriculum. Our final design is a direct–injection six–cylinder radial compressed air motor that is controlled by an Arduino© microprocessor. Students will spend five weeks machining and assembling the motors in the machine shop, another four weeks learning to program the Arduino© to control the motor, and the remainder of the term testing and analyzing the performance of the motors.

The air motors allow us to introduce students to machine design, engine design, thermodynamics, fluid flow, vibrations, electronics, and controls. We have pilot tested this course twice, and find that the students quickly take ownership of the motors, and are quite interested in optimizing the design to improve performance.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2012;():523-529. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-87244.

One of the challenges in teaching applied control theory is to provide students with easy to understand experimental setups, which show complex but comprehensible dynamical behavior. We propose a flying-ball-in-tube experiment with stable, critically stable and unstable behavior. The benefit of the flying-ball-in-tube experiment are its in respect to time scale observable dynamics as well as the simplicity of the setup. A model of the flying-ball-in-tube experiment is derived and analyzed with respect to its stability properties. The derived model is identified and the predicted behavior is validated. In addition, the use of the experimental setup within a one week undergraduate practical is described. Within the course the students program the control environment on a micro controller within the FreeRTOS real time environment and design their own control structure.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2012;():531-539. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-87949.

Several universities and colleges recently have offered courses and certificate programs for training students and returning engineers in advanced energy storage, particularly in electric energy storage technology. However, few integrated advanced energy storage laboratories have been established for educational purposes. This paper presents the design, development and implementation of an interactive and computer-controlled test system for four different electric energy storage devices (electro-mechanical flywheel, electro-chemical batteries, supercapacitor and pumped hydroelectric) that serve as a teaching-aid. These units provide hands-on experience for students with multidisciplinary backgrounds who are enrolled in the advanced energy storage courses. The developed teaching-aid not only enhances the advanced energy storage training and education, but also inspires students’ interest in the green movement of renewable energy.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

General Topics: Posters

2012;():541-549. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-86638.

Wedge filters constitute a useful type of Beam Modification Devices (BME) in Radiation Therapy. Its use is routinary in both Forward and Inverse Treatment Planning Optimization (ITPO). In previous contributions we presented the exact/approximated path of a Pencil Photon-Beam (AAA Model, Anisothropic Analytic Algorithm), through standard manufacturing alloy wedges. It was found a so-defined Limit-Angle (LA), beyond of which the outpoint of the beam is located improperly at the lateral side of the wedge. LA exists because of the photon-beam physical divergence phenomenon. In this paper we carry out the Geometrical and Analytical determination of the LA in function of the beam divergence angle, collimator output distance, and the size parameters of the wedge filter. Two methods are used, Geometrical and Analytical. A series of Mathematical Formulations for LAs, is shown with basic approximations according to the industrial manufacturing wedge standards. Formulation is verified with Optimization Mathematical Methods.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2012;():551-555. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-87213.

The CMP (Chemical Mechanical Polishing) process is an essential process in the semiconductor manufacturing for MLM (Multilevel metal) with high-integration of devices. The targets of CMP process are such as: obtaining the uniform polishing rate on the wafer surface and high-grade flatness in each chip and removing the foreign substances with uniform cleaning. However, as the wiring density increases and the wafer size becomes larger for MLM structuring, some problems have been encountered such as: size of the CMP equipment, non-uniformity of the slurry distribution. The CMP in this research supplies the slurry from 12 nozzles for polishing process and it is important to decide the locations and the flow rates of the nozzles. In this research, we verified that the polishing rate on the wafer is related with the uniformity of slurry distribution. The locations of the slurry nozzles are investigated to distribute the slurry uniformly on the polishing pad using numerical analysis. The results of the research were applied to manufacture a revised CMP equipment.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2012;():557-563. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-87223.

As the demand of complex and small scale semiconductor devices has been increased, the measurement technologies were developed to meet the accurate requirement in semiconductor manufacturing process. The uniform temperature requirement on the wafer is the major factor related to the semiconductor device yield. It is normally acquired from the thermocouples following the inner wall of the chamber. However, since the temperature difference between the wall of equipment and the surface of wafer is existed, the actual wafer temperature is commonly measured by a thermocouple wafer to calibrate the temperature measurement accuracy of the equipment. However, as the diameter of the commercial thermocouple wires is larger than the recently demanded pattern size, the TC wafer has not been able to measure the micro scale temperature differences on the micro patterned wafer. We, therefore, designed a micro-scale thermal sensor. The developed sensor has 37 sets of the measurement points on a 4-inch silicon wafer. The size of the measurement point is approximate to 16 um2. Two alloys, chromel and alumel which are as same as the materials of the K-type thermocouple are used to generate the thermoelectric voltage. The sensor has the temperature range of −200°C to 1300°C. The commercial K-type thermocouple extension wires are connected to the pads of the sensor array and they transfer the analog voltage data to a data acquisition device (DAQ). The sensor was calibrated by comparing the EMF voltage at different temperatures to the standard thermocouple EMF voltage. With the developed micro-scale thermal sensor system, the temperature distribution of the wafer in the furnace chamber is obtained.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2012;():565-569. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-87226.

An etching equipment for a printed circuit board (PCB) sprays chemical and DI water through nozzles on the surface of a substrate. The horizontal type equipment moves the substrate between the upper and lower rollers and they cause the damage on the patterns and sagging of the substrate. The flow rate difference between the upper and lower air knives also causes the damage on the substrates when drying them after the end of etching and washing process. To prevent this problem, the forces of the upper and lower air knives should be compensated. The drying rates of the upper and lower sides of the substrate could still be different for the horizontal type because of difficult control of drying flow rates. The vertical type equipment that the rollers don’t contact to the circuits has recently been developed as an alternative to solve the problems. This equipment has advantages that the DI water flows on the both sides of the substrate in the direction of the gravity and the flow rate of the air from the knives can be balanced because of its structural distinction. They lead to the better drying performance without damage on the substrate. The drying process of the substrate consists of two stages which are removing the extra water by wind from the air knives and evaporating the remained moisture by the high temperature of the chamber. In this research, we selected two parameters to optimize the drying capability to the angles of air knives and the temperature in the chamber. We also investigated about the removal capability of the extra drop of water and the remained moisture by using CFD. The design conditions for the process the refore have been founded by analyzing the velocity vector of wind and the time to get the target temperature.

Topics: Drying
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2012;():571-577. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-87234.

As a chip mounter demands the high speed and accuracy, the exact reviews of thermal deformations are necessary in these equipments although those are a relatively small. These deformations have a bad influence on the specification of the product or its productivity because the products are manufactured with a micro scale accuracy. The linear motor in chip mounter has an advantage that more comfortably control the linear motion of the motor than the rotary or ball-screw type one. But the linear motor has a disadvantage about thermal problem than the other types. The heat has an effect on the life of the motor and its performance. It causes the mechanical errors by thermal stress and deformation. The heat transfer analysis is complex in chip mounter because of a plate being contacted with the moving linear motor coil on the fixed frame with which the magnetic is attached. For this reason, the trial & error methods have been used for most cases. In this research, we analyzed the thermal stress and deformation of the plate being contacted with the linear motor coil and thermal problems in the equipment using CFD. The reliability of the numerical analysis is verified by being compared with the experimental results. The suggested model is investigated with installing the fans on the upper cover, which confirmed decreased the temperature on the important parts of the equipment.

Topics: Temperature , Cooling
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2012;():579-583. doi:10.1115/IMECE2012-87251.

A mobile robot equipped with 3-axis accelerometer, gyroscope, and incremental optical encoders is constructed to evaluate its capability of assessing slip risks in the workplace. The velocity of the mobile robot is controlled by a digital signal processor (DSP) such that the mobile robot is brought to a sudden stop or maneuvers with constant velocity while measuring the accelerations and wheel-rotation speeds of the mobile robot to identify the surface condition of workplace floor. Based on the measurements, a correlation between frictional coefficient and the acceleration and the wheel rotation speed is identified. The mobile robot capable of evaluating the surface condition of a workplace floor is expected to greatly contribute to reducing injuries from slipping and falling in the workplace.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

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