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ASME Conference Presenter Attendance Policy and Archival Proceedings

2013;():V005T00A001. doi:10.1115/IMECE2013-NS5.
FREE TO VIEW

This online compilation of papers from the ASME 2013 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition (IMECE2013) 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to ASME’s conference presenter attendance policy, if a paper is not presented at the Conference, the paper will not be published in the official archival Proceedings, which are registered with the Library of Congress and are submitted for abstracting and indexing. The paper also will not be published in The ASME Digital Collection and may not be cited as a published paper.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: Applied Mechanics, Dynamic Systems and Control Engineering

2013;():V005T05A001. doi:10.1115/IMECE2013-62245.

A novel Control and Sensor System (CASSY) has been developed to teach controls engineering to electrical and mechanical students. The inexpensive platform, which can be built for under $1500, has a first order velocity loop and a first order yaw rate loop with friction. A detailed model of the robot allows students to perform system identification and compare with the model. Students can implement PID, digital filter, and state space controllers on the robot, vary constants, measure performance, identify stability, and perform step and sine based system identification on the open and closed loop system. Wireless telemetry between the robot and a host computer allow all the control signals to be saved for later analysis. Fabrication guides and training videos are located on robotics.ualr.edu, and the robot has been fabricated by students at UALR and Hendrix College, demonstrating the ease with which the platform can be integrated into a curriculum. The CASSY platform has been used in both undergraduate and graduate control courses at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. The practical robot experiments have improved learning outcomes of the largely theoretical material.

Topics: Robots , Teaching
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2013;():V005T05A002. doi:10.1115/IMECE2013-63679.

A design project was used in junior level mechanical design course to challenge the students’ creativity skills. Beside the theoretical foundation of the course subject, the students were introduced to several professional skills such as: decision making tools, technical review meetings, interaction with customers, and teamwork skills. The design challenge was to develop a bike rack to meet a list of technical and marketing constraints. Details of the project requirements are presented with a brief overview of the main project mentoring tools. Students’ creativity is discussed through two samples of the student work.

It was noticed that, the basic creativity skills of the students can be improved by using some of the training tools, however, the students vary in their response to this training.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2013;():V005T05A003. doi:10.1115/IMECE2013-64401.

Vanderbilt University introduced a new course in the 2012 Fall Semester: Cyber-physical vehicle modeling, design and development. This course focused on the design, development, fabrication, verification, and validation of a scale vehicle in the virtual and the physical domains to meet a set of realistic and challenging design requirements for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Model-Based Amphibious Racing Challenge. The students built a series of models in software and hardware to guide the design choices for the 1/5th scale amphibious vehicle. The culmination of this course was a competition against teams from other universities in January 2013 that compared the vehicle’s actual performance with student-created simulation models. This was an elective course outside the traditional capstone design curriculum and consisted of a team of juniors and seniors across the disciplines of mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, computer engineering, computer science, and physics. The students received robust training “to be an engineer” with many activities that can’t be included in a typical classroom environment: hands-on experience designing, modeling, and building a complete vehicle; simultaneously solving several open ended, rigid deadline challenges; and navigating complex team dynamics in a full end-to-end project. Additionally, the students gained experience using modern engineering modeling tools from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s META tool suite under development for the Fast, Adaptable, Next-Generation Ground Vehicle program. The META tool suite is a set of free, open source tools for compositional design synthesis at multiple levels of abstraction, design trade space exploration, metrics assessment, and probabilistic verification of system correctness. This work details the course activities and summarizes the lessons learned from a pedagogy perspective.

Topics: Design , Modeling , Vehicles
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2013;():V005T05A004. doi:10.1115/IMECE2013-65568.

This paper presents the use of a low-cost rapid control prototyping platform, HILINK, in teaching a graduate course on neural network control system design for mechanical engineering students. The HILINK platform offers a seamless interface between physical plants and Simulink for implementation of hardware-in-the-loop real-time control systems. With HILINK, student can quickly build a neural network controller for applications using Neural Network Toolbox in Simulink. As a result, students can use one single environment for both computer simulation and hardware implementation to understand theories and tackle practical issues in a limited time frame. The paper presents the experimental setup and implementation process of the NARMA-L2 controller for DC motor speed control, and demonstrates the convenience and effectiveness of using HILINK in developing a neural network controller.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2013;():V005T05A005. doi:10.1115/IMECE2013-66100.

The Experimental Vehicles Program (EVP) was created in 2004 as an umbrella program for five different undergraduate experimental vehicle design teams. These projects consist of the Solar Vehicle, Moonbuggy, Baja SAE, Formula SAE, and Solar Boat. The goal of the EVP is to foster undergraduate student development through hands-on construction of experimental vehicles with the guidance of faculty mentors and partnerships with both national and international industry leaders.

Each EVP project performs a vital function in the professional development of students. The projects provide a forgiving environment in which students can test their classroom knowledge in a real-world setting and learn important skills such as leadership, effective communication, and working as a team member. Furthermore, the students in the EVP develop highly versatile and qualified skill sets that will allow them to fill various positions within the workplace. In the past 90% of EVP graduates have been able to obtain highly regarded national and international positions upon graduation due to their real-world hands-on experience gained throughout their involvement in the EVP. Each year the EVP sponsors up to sixty interdisciplinary students that come together in peer-led teams to combine and expand upon their classroom knowledge in building innovative vehicles. The successes of the MTSU EVP have been recognized by becoming the national model for hands-on engineering education; helping engineering students take classroom knowledge and apply it to real-world situations. Students work in teams to annually design, construct, and test novel vehicle designs for participation in national and international competitions. Due to the competitive nature of each of the events, students must use cutting edge technology and design methods in order to create the best entries possible. Often times this means creating partnerships with industry leaders who help mentor the students from the design conception, the fabrication, through the manufacturing of each vehicle. These partnerships benefit both the students and the companies; students are able to create real-world contacts and gain a working knowledge of the industry that they cannot learn in the classroom. Furthermore, the students are able to use the contacts to garner equipment like solar panels and wheels. Likewise, the companies are able to receive recognition at national and international competition as program sponsors are advertised on the competition vehicles. Moreover the industries are able to build relationships with future employees who have real-world experience and who have become intimately involved with specialized technology such as “green energy”.

Topics: Vehicles
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Education and Globalization: Curriculum Innovations, Pedagogy and Learning Methodologies

2013;():V005T05A006. doi:10.1115/IMECE2013-63211.

This paper describes an integrated laboratory project between separate heat transfer and machine design courses. The project was structured around a Jominy end quench hardenability test. Most of the students participating were simultaneously enrolled in both classes. In the heat transfer class, students were required to model one-dimensional, transient thermal conduction for an end quench geometry of 4140 steel. In machine design, students applied their theoretical temperature profiles to a continuous cooling transformation curve (CCT) of 4140 steel to predict microstructure and matched the theoretical cooling rates with hardenability curves from literature to predict hardness. In laboratory, students then performed an end quench test in accordance with ASTM A255 on four steel rods. By combining activities across the two courses, students developed an appreciation for the interconnectivity of material within the engineering curriculum, and learned that practical applications typically require they employ knowledge from a variety of sources.

Topics: Heat conduction
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2013;():V005T05A007. doi:10.1115/IMECE2013-63324.

While a course in Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) is a common offering in many universities and for several decades, the author of this paper learnt interesting patterns from the students’ assimilation of the principles and implemented the pedagogical build-up for positive experiences during the recent offering in winter 2012–13. With precise assignments that highlight the appropriate concepts to be learnt and put to coding, the students have progressed in gaining the confidence to tackle a variety of flow problems. Students felt that they could always learn using software and solve problems but the intricate details in understanding and applying the governing fluid dynamics equations was what they were able to gain from the course. The topical treatment given, the problems solved, the techniques applied, the software used are presented in this paper as an example of successful implementation of and enhanced student learning in a graduate course in CFD. Industry-relevant course projects culminated the positive experience, as confirmed by the course evaluation results.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2013;():V005T05A008. doi:10.1115/IMECE2013-65024.

Engineering and Engineering Technology students need to learn to innovate and embrace new technologies as they develop and progress through their careers. The undergraduate degree program needs to provide this first opportunity at innovation allowing the student to gain experience and confidence at solving technological problems. This paper describes the learning experiences in innovation using an undergraduate course in robotics and automation. The course is composed of Mechanical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering Technology students. The paper relates the successful attempt the students had in developing and using innovation through the creation opened-ended industrial robot system projects. The undergraduate student project teams in the course are self-directed and have to use innovation to develop a robotic project of their own design. This breaks the cycle of students just doing the same preset experiments that others have done before them. Although doing preset experiments can reinforce theory given in classroom, it does little to develop skills in innovation, which will be the key to success in the global economy. The course provides an excellent framework for the student teams to demonstrate their ability to innovate using new technology to solve a complex problem while having the mentorship from instructors as they take their first steps in actually doing innovation. The confidence and process used to solve these problems will provide a basis upon which they can formulate new strategies to incorporate new technologies throughout their career.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2013;():V005T05A009. doi:10.1115/IMECE2013-65034.

Potential students and their parents are looking at schools differently than in the past: an out cropping of the new generation of parents and students. Academics are still the prime concern but more frequently than in past years families are concerned about the organization. Does the program have an identity that will assist in getting jobs? Is there a presence within the community? Do the faculty and students take pride in what is being accomplished and are graduates proud of their education and their school? The best way to answer these questions is to allow the families a chance to interact with students, see their products, read the posters of their work and show where graduates work.

This paper will discuss the process needed to cultivate an engineering or engineering technology program into one with an identity, presence and ultimately pride. The paper will describe leadership steps that can be taken to generate pride and distinctiveness, first to the faculty, and then to the student body. Resulting in a close nit and enviable community where education can flourish, and the students’ academic related clubs are active and involved on campus. Where alumni look forward to visiting and helping with student projects. Where they take pride in their alma mater and often seek new hires from the program. Where faculty members win teaching awards and enjoy their time in the classroom and advising students.

A case study will be presented and, detailed examples will be cited demonstrating how the students “caught on” and took pride to a new level based on the successful implementation at a university. It will show that leadership lessons learned by students while in school, continued to be used after they graduated. The case study will further demonstrate why everyone associated with the program feels that the engineering technology program is a great place to learn and work.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2013;():V005T05A010. doi:10.1115/IMECE2013-66092.

The purpose of a Capstone course is to present the students with an engineering problem that needs to be solved. The students work in teams and are expected to document and research each step of the process. The idea is to mimic, as much possible, the situation encountered by engineers in the field. While industry sponsored projects are preferred, suggestions from students are also welcomed. The Mechanical Engineering (ME) and Mechanical Engineering Technology (MET) Department at Eastern Washington University has traditionally pursued industry sponsored projects by reaching out to the local businesses and through the department Industrial Advisory Committee. While the ME degree is a relatively new addition, the MET degree has been offered for many years. With the addition of the ME program, change came to the Capstone course. Emphasis is placed more on research and not on production. The goal now is to create one prototype instead of fifteen while focusing heavily on the research part. This change has an effect on the dynamics of the course and presents additional challenges, especially with industry sponsored projects. These changes are relevant to both the MET and ME Capstone courses. This paper highlights these challenges for four projects done in the spring of 2012 and proposes efficient ways of addressing them. One of these projects was very successful, two were moderately successful, and one was not particularly so. Recommendations for teachers and students on the best ways to approach such a project are also highlighted.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2013;():V005T05A011. doi:10.1115/IMECE2013-66363.

As a subject in an engineering course, Engineering Thermodynamics has earned a reputation for being difficult to understand. Quite often students practice many problems until they can do the assigned tasks, but they still feel mystified by concepts such as entropy. Even though we may use them competently, energy, enthalpy and temperature are not necessarily well understood at a concept level. Statistical Mechanics provides an excellent way of understanding the concepts more fundamentally but the traditional mathematical derivations in Statistical Mechanics require considerable time and effort before a learner gains the comfort of familiarity. Various approaches using spread-sheets to construct combinatorial illustrative examples have been published. An approach based on molecular dynamic simulation is presented in this paper, in which comparisons between actual outcomes of simulations based solely on Newtonian mechanics are compared with the probability based models. Accordingly, this approach allows explanations which meet the objective of demystifying some of the concepts that have hitherto been the bane of undergraduate thermodynamics.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2013;():V005T05A012. doi:10.1115/IMECE2013-66486.

A formal two-loop learning outcomes assessment process has been evaluated in the mechanical engineering department at Rochester Institute of Technology. This initiative, originally called the Engineering Sciences Core Curriculum (ESCC), provided systematic course learning outcomes and assessment data of student performance in Statics, Mechanics, Dynamics, Thermodynamics, Fluid Mechanics and Heat Transfer. This paper reports detailed analyses with some important observations in the Statics-Dynamics sequence to determine obstacles in student performance. New data shows that students’ mastery of Dynamics is affected largely by incorrect interpretations and weak retention of fundamentals in Statics. Further evidence of students’ behavioral influences are discussed requiring a future focus in this area. This report completes the 5 year feedback loop designed to achieve the ESCC goals on the Statics-Dynamics sequence.

Topics: Feedback
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

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

2013;():V005T05A013. doi:10.1115/IMECE2013-62512.

This paper presents the development of a mobile app for learning System Dynamics. A course in System Dynamics is required in most mechanical and other engineering curricula. The app implements several types of the first order and the second order systems under various conditions. Based on the user inputs, the app solves the relevant System Dynamics equations and displays the graphs. The users are able to observe and analyze results by changing the parameters. The user-friendly app was developed for Android and iOS smartphone platforms. The developed app can serve as a complementary learning tool for System Dynamics in Mechanical Engineering. It may help students to understand important concepts and theories behind numerical results, such as the relationships between input and output, solutions in time-domain and frequency-domain, three vibration modes for the systems, and the effects of equation constants and input selections on output responses.

Topics: System dynamics
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2013;():V005T05A014. doi:10.1115/IMECE2013-65118.

A practical e-training development approach can facilitate and promote the development of competencies and knowledge in industry. This paper presents a training strategy and a common methodology for building training courses with the purpose to provide an efficient inter-organizational approach to industrial training development. The methodology for building e-training courses proposes to create training materials in an easier way, enabling various organizations to actively participate on its production. The result is an approach able to facilitate intra and inter enterprises knowledge creation and transfer.

Topics: Competencies
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2013;():V005T05A015. doi:10.1115/IMECE2013-65413.

In various universities, including Miami University (MU), an undergraduate course in vibrations may be offered in a lecture-only format. However, several concepts in vibrations, such as natural frequencies, damping, mode shapes etc., may be improved immensely from experimental demonstrations and hands-on activities for students to fully grasp the concept and its application. In recent years, several online experiments and resources have been developed in the area of dynamical systems and controls in order to provide an experiential learning environment. With the support of the National Science Foundation, a series of Computational-Experimental (ComEx) learning modules are being developed for integrating experimental, computational and validation studies in the mechanical and manufacturing engineering curriculum at MU. These learning modules are web based and are intended for dissemination to a wide audience extending beyond the students at MU. In this paper, salient features of these online learning modules, which integrate experimental data analysis for mechanical vibration course, are presented. Three different group activities associated with these modules are presented with specific details of the activities, assessment plans, and student perceptions of the modules. The content of these modules is evolving based on feedback from students and external, expert evaluators. It is anticipated that such learning studios can be used by instructors who teach lecture based vibration and control courses, and this resource will yield more insight into the theory, computation and practical applications of essential concepts in this area.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2013;():V005T05A016. doi:10.1115/IMECE2013-66396.

This paper is concerned with the implementation of an innovative interactive learning tool in teaching a Mechatronics Engineering course at the University of Waterloo. The course deals with digital logic, PLC programing, and assembly language. The interactive tool, developed at Top Hat Monocle Inc., was used in teaching the assembly language part of the course. The interactive tool has two components: students’ electronic devices and a front-end website in which the instructor has control to launch demonstrations and quizzes and receive students’ responses. Students are connected through WiFi connection or their smart phones. In this study, students’ performance was evaluated using the final exam scores and the surveys. The exam results showed about 23% improvement. According to the results of the survey administered at the end of the term, students who participated on the interactive simulation and quizzes agreed that it helped the concepts “stick in their memory better”.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2013;():V005T05A017. doi:10.1115/IMECE2013-66504.

The cost of primary, secondary and higher education consumes large percentages of the incomes of families, states and even countries every year. In this paper, we describe how automation can not only greatly reduce the cost of education, but also create new learning paradigms that can increase the effectiveness of that education as compared to traditional classroom learning. Intelligent Tutoring Massively Open Online Courses (ITMOOCs) can seamlessly deliver entire curricula while ensuring that students achieve and maintain the required level of proficiency in every curriculum topic. This is achieved by organizing the curriculum into an ontology of interconnected topic nodes, and assessing the students’ performance after he/she covers every node. The Intelligent Tutoring System (ITS) continuously adapts the course’s delivery to the needs of each student by skipping over topics that the student demonstrates proficiency in, and reviewing topics that are determined to be the cause of assessment failures in downstream course nodes. The ITS can also ensure that students maintain the required level of proficiency in the topics they have learned throughout their educational and professional careers by assigning an expiration time to each curriculum node after which it is reassessed. The system allows each student to set unique educational goals by selecting the individual topics that he/she ultimately wants to learn.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Education and Globalization: Emerging and Sustainable Trends in Engineering

2013;():V005T05A018. doi:10.1115/IMECE2013-65637.

This paper discusses a joint educational effort that incorporates sustainability in engineering and technology curricula at Drexel University (DU) and University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). A critical component of a national “green industries/green jobs” effort is to motivate our citizenry to become proficient in STEM and associated manufacturing fields and societies, thus ensuring we have a 21st century workforce. Sustainable engineering is about design that recognizes the constraints applied by natural resources and the environmental system. The needs for engineering students and practicing engineers to understand sustainability concepts and concerns have been noted by many educators, scientists or engineers, and it is the philosophy of the authors that all engineering students need to become versed in sustainability ideas. This paper describes key factors in enhancing the ability of future engineering graduates to better contribute to a more sustainable future, preserving natural resources and advancing technological and societal development. Two approaches are used to incorporate sustainability into the undergraduate engineering and technology curricula that can be adopted or adapted by science and engineering faculty for this purpose. The two approaches described in the paper include: (1) redesigning existing courses through development of new materials that meet the objectives of the original courses and (2) developing upper division elective courses that address specific topics related to sustainability, such as green manufacturing, clean energy, and life-cycle assessment. The efforts presented in the paper also include an increase in social responsibility, development of innovative thinking skills, better understanding of sustainability issues, and increasing students’ interests in the engineering and technology programs. Projects, included in the senior courses or in the senior design project course sequence have been also part of them.

Topics: Manufacturing
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

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

2013;():V005T05A019. doi:10.1115/IMECE2013-63570.

A fluids laboratory experience that introduces students to dimensional analysis and similitude was designed and performed in a junior-level first course in fluid mechanics. After students are given an introduction to dimensional analysis, the technique is applied to the phenomenon of vortex shedding from a cylinder in cross-flow. With help from the instructor, lab groups use dimensional analysis to ascertain the relevant dimensionless pi terms associated with the phenomenon. After successfully determining that the pi terms are the Strouhal number and the Reynolds number, experiments are performed to elucidate the general functional relationship between the dimensionless groups. To conduct the experiments, a wind-tunnel apparatus is used in conjunction with a Pitot tube for measurements of free stream velocity and a platinum-plated tungsten hot-wire anemometer for rapid (up to 400 kHz) measurements of velocity fluctuations downstream of the cylinder. Utilizing an oscilloscope in parallel with a high-speed data acquisition system, students are able to determine the vortex shedding frequency by performing a spectral analysis (via Fourier transform) of the downstream velocity measurements at multiple free stream velocities and for multiple cylinder diameters (thus a varying Reynolds number). The students’ experimental results were found to agree with relationships found in the technical literature, showing a constant Strouhal number of approximately 0.2 over a wide range of Reynolds numbers. This exercise not only gives students valuable experience in dimensional analysis and design of experiments, it also provides exposure to modern data acquisition and analysis methods.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2013;():V005T05A020. doi:10.1115/IMECE2013-63860.

Boiling heat transfer is used in variety of industrial processes and applications, such as refrigeration, vapor cycle power generation, heat exchangers, petroleum refining, and chemical manufacturing. It is also used in cooling of high power electronic components, nuclear reactor cooling and seawater desalination. Enhancements in boiling heat transfer processes are critical for making these applications more energy efficient.

The aim of this paper is to demonstrate the water pool boiling phenomena under the influence of surfactant additives. The test setup has multiple benefits. First, the test setup enhances teaching in Heat Transfer, Transport Phenomena, Fluid Mechanics, and Renewable Energy through in class demonstrations and student experiments. Second, the test setup provides a platform for research in boiling enhancement. This apparatus will be used in the classroom for hands-on experiments and also as a diagnostic tool for boiling performance improvement methods like surfactant effects. For determining surfactant effects, different concentrations of sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) added to pure water were tested and enhancement through surfactant is quantified.

With the integration of boiling experiments into coursework, mechanical engineering students will develop laboratory experiences to enhance the learning of basic boiling concepts. Three pool boiling projects that can be integrated into heat transfer laboratory are explained. The suggested test setup is a valuable tool for improving teaching effectiveness in both classroom and laboratory of heat transfer related classes.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2013;():V005T05A021. doi:10.1115/IMECE2013-65218.

The transportation industry is heavily dependent on ‘big rigs’ or semitrailers. Since its introduction during 1920s semitrailers have revolutionized the industry. However their geometrical designs have not evolved much to make them aerodynamically more streamlined, thus more fuel efficient. While over 5.6 million such commercial trailer trucks are registered in the country and with increasing diesel fuel prices, it is more important than ever to study their aerodynamics, redesign for reducing aerodynamic drag and help make these ‘big rigs’ more fuel efficient. Aerodynamic drag is the force that acts on a solid object moving in air due to difference in dynamic pressure developed around that object. Skin friction also causes resistance force which is small compared to pressure induced drag. Higher drag resistance, just like road and tire resistance, causes loss of energy and thereby lowers fuel mileage. Drag resistance is caused by both surface friction as well as air pressure difference around a moving object/vehicle. An ideal remedy is of course to completely redesign the shape and size of these semitrailers to conform to those with known low drag. Another intermediate approach would be to retrofit the existing semitrailers with devices that change the overall shape towards more aerodynamic ones. During the recent past a wide range of such add on devices have been introduced. Current research was directed in two fronts: CAD and Drag simulation as well as experimental drag testing. First a base CAD model and then various modifications were developed using an industry standard CAD package. These models were then imported into Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software. These followed by modeling add-on devices to reduce drag. The simulations were repeated with various combinations of these add-on drag reducers. The areas targeted for drag reduction study included gap between tractor and trailer, lower sides of the trailer between front and rear wheel sets, and rear of the trailer. The results showed varying effectiveness of these add-on devices, individually and in combination. Scale models of the trailer truck were built using wood as well as Rapid Prototyping (RP) directly from CAD using polymer. These models were then tested in the wind tunnel at speeds between 35 and 75 miles per hour. The data and the trends in Cd values compared well with the simulated values. The overall CFD and scale model studies provided a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the drag in semi-trailers and factors that affect it. Future studies may expand the varieties and locations of these devices as well as complete redesigns of the trailer-trucks.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2013;():V005T05A022. doi:10.1115/IMECE2013-65312.

The national Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) Exam is a critical assessment measure used by some ABET-accredited Mechanical Engineering programs to evaluate quality of their programs and report to ABET. Fluid power transmission and control is one key subject area covered in the FE exam. Before 2012, there was no course in the Mechanical Engineering (ME) curriculum to address this at South Dakota State University (SDSU). This had a direct impact on the metrics used for program evaluation. An instructional project was carried out to meet this need. This paper presents design and implementation of the instructional project. The project includes development of a new hydraulic power control course and establishment of new hydraulic power control lab. The authors intend to share experiences, myths, and lessons learned during this project. The paper also presents the steps taken by the authors to accomplish this instructional project from start to the final course delivery. It includes students’ learning experiences, pedagogical concepts, development of lab assignments, difficulties faced and how they were handled, software used, and existing issues for future work.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2013;():V005T05A023. doi:10.1115/IMECE2013-65893.

The energy production and performance of wind turbines is heavily impacted by the aerodynamic properties of the turbine blades. Designing a wind turbine blade to take full advantage of the available wind resource is a complex task, and teaching students the aerodynamic aspects of blade design can be challenging. To address this educational challenge, a 3D software package was developed as part of the Mixed Reality Simulators for Wind Energy Education project, sponsored through the U.S. Department of Education’s FIPSE program. The software is suited for introductory wind energy courses and covers topics including blade aerodynamics, wind turbine components, and energy transfer.

The simulator software combines a 3D model of a utility-scale Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine (HAWT) with animation, a set of interactive controls, and a series of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations of an airfoil under a number of conditions. Students can fly around the wind turbine to view from any angle, adjust transparency layers to view components inside the nacelle, adjust a cross-section plane along the length of a blade to view the details of the blade design, and manipulate sliders to adjust variables such as angle of attack and Reynolds number and see contour plots in real-time. The application is available for download at www.windenergyeducation.org, and is planned for release as open source.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2013;():V005T05A024. doi:10.1115/IMECE2013-66458.

A set of MATLAB modules has been developed for an introductory graduate course on computational fluid dynamics (CFD) at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). These modules can provide a breakthrough in CFD education because they can assist both learning and comprehension, while avoiding analytical mistakes by the CFD learner. With advances in CFD and availability of software, students in upper level fluid mechanics classes have less incentive to learn theory and the tools for abstract thinking. This paper proposes for the first time an alternate approach to teaching and learning of CFD through the use of symbolic computation in MATLAB, while preserving the accuracy and content of abstract analyses.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Education and Globalization: Globalization of Engineering

2013;():V005T05A025. doi:10.1115/IMECE2013-62471.

Regulatory engineering came to be increasingly needed by extensive people of our society to maintain safety, security, and sustainability of the environment, economy, energy, mineral and other resources of our planet among others, as engineering is increasingly globalized to meet the needs and wants of a variety of people and society in the world. The ASME/VUPRE Conference on Vulnerability, Uncertainty and Probability Quantification in Regulatory Engineering was to be held in Washington, D. C. on August 16–18, 2012 or thereafter. The current paper provides an overview of the planned conference presentations and discussion, based on the topics planned, and abstracts submitted among others, as well as those for IMECE2012 Session 5-7-2 Globalization of Regulatory Engineering, and the author’s paper on fatigue and fracture issues of an offshore structure, etc., and role of regulatory engineering, prepared for the 9th International Conference on Fracture and Strength of Solids (FEOFS2013) on June 9–13, 2013 in Jeju, South Korea. Possible impacts of the outcome on the regulatory agencies, regulated communities, scientists and engineers, and general public in the United States, Europe and Japan among other nations and regions are also discussed.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2013;():V005T05A026. doi:10.1115/IMECE2013-62569.

Global Learning Charter Public School (GLCPS) is an urban secondary school located in the city of New Bedford, Massachusetts. GLCPS educates students in grades 5–12. It is a Title I school with over 74% of the student population on free and reduced lunch. Historically, only 60% of students graduating from New Bedford move on to postsecondary education. It is the goal of our school to change this and increase the number of students entering post secondary education and more specifically to increase their interest in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) fields.

GLCPS provides a unique educational experience where students demonstrate academic excellence and mastery of essential skills. These skills include: technology literacy, public speaking, global citizenship and arts exploration. Incorporation of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics) is a continued goal for our school. After attending teacher educator training/professional development in engineering-based learning (EBL), we decided to create a robotics course, which fully embedded EBL into the curriculum. The goal of this robotics course is two fold: 1) Combine engineering, math, science, and art/creativity into one course; and 2) engineering-based learning can impact the way students learn STEAM principles, retain STEAM theory, and apply them to real world, relevant applications.

The purpose of this paper is to illustrate how engineering-based learning inspired and impacted the development of a robotics course in an urban, financially disadvantaged, secondary charter school. Specifically, we detail how the principles and tools of the engineering-based learning pedagogy affected the development and implementation of this robotics course. Lastly, we will demonstrate how EBL and the robotics course have changed student perceptions of science, engineering, and math.

Topics: Robotics , Steam , Teaching
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2013;():V005T05A027. doi:10.1115/IMECE2013-63254.

Globalization has permeated our personal and professional lives and careers over the past two decades, to a point where communication, product development, and service delivery now are globally distributed. This means that the globalization of engineering practice is in effect. Large corporations tap into the global market for recruitment of engineers. However, the education of engineers occurs within the context of individual Higher Education Institutions. Engineers are educated with varying pacing and scoping of higher education programming with varying methods and pedagogy of higher education teaching. The expectations for engineering practice normed from the corporate side within the engineering marketplace, therefore, often do not match the widely dispersed educational experiences and outcomes of engineering education delivery. This gap brings challenges for all stakeholders, employers, higher education and the engineering graduate. But particularly, university education systems which traditionally are slow to respond to shifting market trends and demands, are expected to realign and restructure to answer this shortfall.

A response to this shortfall has been prepared independently in different regions and countries. This paper discusses the response from Europe, USA, South Africa and Philippines. The European Commission started building a European Higher Education Area (EHEA) with the intention of promoting the mobility and the free movement of students and teachers in European tertiary education. US universities are introducing a design spine and strengthening students’ systems thinking and problem solving competencies. Philippines is trying to be aligned with ABET system from US. South Africa universities are evolving to a solid core undergraduate engineering curriculum with a limited set of electives available to students which include project-based learning. This is intended to address the education-workplace gap as well.

This theoretical paper will provide a comparison study of the differences between the Engineering Education in USA, EU, Philippines and South Africa. The authors will compare current trends and initiatives, aimed at improving the readiness and competitiveness of regional engineering graduates in the workplace. Given that several worthwhile initiatives are underway, it is possible that these initiatives will remain as disparate responses to the need for the globalization of engineering education. Lean performance management systems are widely used in engineering practice internationally and represent one possible rallying concept for the globalization of engineering education in order to address the education-workplace gap. Therefore, this paper examines whether the introduction of a Lean Engineering Education philosophy is a worthwhile global curricular innovation for engineering courses.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2013;():V005T05A028. doi:10.1115/IMECE2013-63930.

This paper focuses on enhancing the integration of manufacturing principles and concepts within curricula in mechanical engineering and mechanical engineering technology education programs. The field of manufacturing engineering covers the broad spectrum of topics derived from the definition, “Manufacturing requires that a modification of the shape, form, or properties of a material that takes place in a way that adds value”. (ABET, Inc. 2010) The ASME’s Vision 2030 surveys of industry engineering supervisors and early career mechanical engineers have illustrated that the curricula of mechanical engineering and related programs have an urgent need to enhance students’ comprehension of ‘how things are made and work,’ e.g., the knowledge and skills needed to design and efficiently produce products via high-performance systems. (Danielson, et. al. 2011) This session is designed to be primarily a dialog among the participants and the presenters, focusing on a model for the manufacturing field called The Four Pillars of Manufacturing Knowledge, developed by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME 2011a), and how it relates to mechanical engineering education. Broader issues and resources related to enhancing manufacturing education are also presented.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

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

2013;():V005T05A029. doi:10.1115/IMECE2013-62977.

In order to promote the pursuit of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education and careers among Kindergarten through 12th grade students (K-12), a partnership between the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) and the Tennessee Valley Chapter of Women in Defense (WID)-a non-profit national security organization-has been established. The collaborative effort commenced as a result of the WID STEM Initiative (STEMi); a program that aims to actively encourage and inspire youth of the United States (US) to seek STEM careers. The UAH/WID partnership was initiated within a Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE) capstone design class at UAH that focuses upon the design and fabrication of unique and patentable products. In order to target the K-12 age groups, the UAH/WID effort centered upon the development of products that would inspire the younger students and allow them the opportunity to interact with a hands-on artifact that conveys a specific STEM phenomenon. Several of these artifacts-referred to as STEM tools-have been developed as a result of the UAH/WID collaboration and include the following: fluid flow circuit, interactive solar system, trebuchet, ballistic pendulum, pulley system, and a Wimshurst machine-to name a few. The hands-on STEM tools motivate younger students, as interacting with hardware reinforces theoretical concepts presented in the classroom. While the primary goal of the UAH/WID partnership is to develop the future STEM workforce by inspiring younger students, through hands-on STEM tool interaction, other critical benefits have resulted. Specifically, the engineering design students have garnered invaluable experience associated with meeting stakeholder expectations, designing with safety as a top-level criterion, as well as gaining teaching experience via lessons directed to the K-12 students. Survey data gathered from the K-12 students and teachers clearly indicates that the younger students are inspired and motivated to seek a STEM education and career as a result of the UAH/WID effort. The current paper provides an overview of the UAH/WID partnership, a description of the resulting STEM tools developed, and data conveying the learning outcome and impact that the UAH/WID partnership has had upon the K-12 students, their teachers, and the engineering students at UAH.

Topics: Design
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2013;():V005T05A030. doi:10.1115/IMECE2013-63314.

The author has been successful with Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Site for the past 15 years attracting funding from the National Science Foundation for the intense 10-week summer research program for undergraduate students in the field of additive manufacturing and its variety of applications in many disciplines. In the current site, a novel undertaking was initiated by asking REU participants, who are junior and senior year undergraduate standing at the time of participation, to come up with ways they can communicate their research to K-12 students and provide teachers a tool for teaching some concepts in the area of their research. Seven modules have been developed by the seven participants and the modules have been found to be very attractive to the teachers in K-12. The paper presents the inner workings of the undergraduate participants getting out of their comfort zones from research to pedagogy about their own work, especially when we need such role models for our children in K-12. It is also exciting to see teachers willing to take REU participants’ finished modules for potential use in their classrooms.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2013;():V005T05A031. doi:10.1115/IMECE2013-64907.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition (AVTC) series is a long running collegiate vehicle design competition for North American universities. The current three year competition series, known as EcoCAR 2: Plugging In To the Future, has students design and build a hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) that also incorporates alternative fuel. Teams are donated a 2013 Chevrolet Malibu by General Motors to modify. A significant aspect of the competition series is the public outreach and education aspect that leverages the expertise of the students in advanced vehicle technologies and alternative fuels. This also highlights the systems level approach to integrating all aspects of the vehicle to build a vehicle that has the best possible fuel economy, lowest well-to-wheel greenhouse gas emissions and lowest criteria air pollutant emissions while maintaining or exceeding vehicle performance, utility and safety. This paper presents an overview of the University of Tennessee’s (Team Tennessee) EcoCAR 2 outreach program, including core program goals and measures of effectiveness of the program for Year 2 of the competition. The paper focuses on the role that such programs can have on effective science, technology, engineering and mathematics recruiting through an overview of the outreach activities and the integration of hands on activities and partnerships with local schools. The leveraging of outreach and education capabilities with the team’s outreach partners is also highlighted.

Topics: Education
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2013;():V005T05A032. doi:10.1115/IMECE2013-66589.

Of late, there is a growing need for quality engineers who have the ability to solve complex engineering problems with reasonable knowledge of ethics and economics. This has led many universities to pursue accreditation by professional engineering bodies. While the accreditation process installs a standardized system of quality teaching, it is important that the engineering entrants have a degree of understanding that allows implementation of quality teaching methods. This study looks at the performance of first year engineering students in a bid to identify major issues that students face in a Bachelor of Engineering program. The learning of students in the School of Engineering and Physics at the University of the South Pacific is influenced by interactions of at least 12 different cultures from the 12 member countries of the university. The study looks at how students perform across cultures in the first year mechanical engineering courses, mainly engineering mechanics and engineering graphics & design. The general trend over the last five years shows that while the student numbers in the program have been increasing, student performance in one course seems to be improving but declining in the other; the two courses differ considerable in contents, required skill sets, and assessment methodologies. The study also presents possible reasons for the varied performance by considering issues such as cultural and academic backgrounds, use of teaching tools and resources, and revisions to the course and program and looks at how multi-cultural engineering education can be improved. The number of female students taking up engineering as their major is also looked at and positive trends are seen with female participation increasing from 7.6% in 2008 to 13.9% in 2013.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2013;():V005T05A033. doi:10.1115/IMECE2013-66693.

Introducing students to engineering concepts in early education is critical, as literature has shown that students’ degree of comfort and acceptance of science and technology is developed very early on in their education. While introducing engineering as a potential profession in K-12 classrooms has its own merits, it has also proven itself to be useful as a teaching tool. Engineering can lend itself to concepts that can engage students in critical thinking, problem solving, as well as the development of math and science skills. In engineering higher education there has been an increased focus on industrial ecology and sustainability in order to help students understand the environmental and social context within today’s society. The authors of this paper discuss the importance of these attributes when introducing engineering to K-12 students. Engineering and sustainability are not two mutually exclusive concepts, but sustainability should be considered throughout the practice of the engineering discipline. The ADEPT (Applied Design Engineering Project Teams) program at the University of California, Berkeley was established to design and deploy a standards-based engineering curriculum for middle schools and high schools (grades 6–12) designed to integrate mathematics and science concepts in applied engineering projects, inspire secondary students, and strengthen the classroom experience of current and future faculty in math, science, and engineering. This paper discusses the importance of introducing engineering and sustainability in K-12 classrooms. Example modules that were developed through the ADEPT program are presented as well as a set of recommendations that were designed as a guideline for educators to incorporate engineering and sustainability in K-12 classrooms. While the module discussed here was designed for middle school students, the curriculum and criteria recommended can be adapted to primary and secondary education programs.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

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

2013;():V005T05A034. doi:10.1115/IMECE2013-62717.

This paper is devoted to the application and evaluation of the software supporting the problem solving in engineering conceptual design. This is a companion paper with IMECE 2012 [1]. Though the situation is slightly better now than in previous years, there is still no software suitable for a completely satisfactory automation of the engineering conceptual design process. However there are some program packages that could be the most helpful and would greatly influence the quality of the designed product, especially in cases of contradicting constraints. In this paper some results of research on the use and effectiveness of Invention Machine (IM™) software products are presented. As reported before such packages as Invention Machine V.2 for Windows, TechOptimizer V. 3.5, and TechOptimizer V.4 were used extensively giving excellent results in teaching, research and practical applications. In this paper some experience in use of Goldfire V. 6.5, Goldfire V.7 and Goldfire V.7.5, that was recently introduced is reported and evaluated. The content and effectiveness of the programs in teaching are discussed. Examples of applications are given, conclusions are derived, and the recommendations for the future use of the software are offered.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2013;():V005T05A035. doi:10.1115/IMECE2013-63205.

Mechanical Engineering Capstone projects traditionally involve design and fabrication of a piece of hardware needed to meet the specifications of an industrial sponsor. Such projects provide an opportunity for the students to apply their classroom knowledge to a practical project and to interact and collaborate with a motivated sponsor. Howard University and Sandia National Laboratories have collaborated for the past seven years on developing research-focused projects from a national laboratory that are appropriate for Capstone design student teams. The students are exposed to a research environment and learn how to use their designs to perform experiments that can acquire high-quality data. As part of these problem-based learning projects, the students employ various Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) tools available as part of their design work, build apparatus, acquire data, and perform data analysis. The projects are focused on design, but lead to an experimental apparatus that is tested, leading to students’ experience with equipment such as data acquisition systems, high-speed cameras, image analysis, evaluation of experimental uncertainty, and comparing data with models. Two example projects will be presented in this paper, one focused on development of apparatus for testing flocculation of small particles, and another on developing a vibration test platform for experiments on bubbles under vibration.

Topics: Design
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2013;():V005T05A036. doi:10.1115/IMECE2013-63278.

In this paper the authors’ experience of teaching an industry sponsored course in Senior Design. The course has been jointly taught by two instructors, one from the Mechanical Engineering Department of the School of Engineering, and the other from the Operations and Information Management Department of the School of Business; and it is part of the Management and Engineering for Manufacturing program at UConn [1]. The student projects have been sponsored by local companies in industries ranging from aerospace to food production. The projects have one main goal: to find the best possible engineering design solution while achieving high production process efficiency. Such an approach relies on the talent of the designer, i.e., the student’s or engineer’s ability to develop a “perfect product” on one side, and the efficiency of the production solutions on the other. In practice, it is difficult to achieve such combined design process formalization successfully. For this reason, the problem solving relies on students’ skills, their knowledge and experience, and the instruction in the course. In particular, the Arena and DELMIA/Quest simulation packages were used for both design and production problem solving. In searching for an ideal solution cost effectiveness and economic constraints were also considered.

The experience gained from over ten years teaching of this course is described and analyzed in the paper. Some results of the course are presented and recommendations for further teaching and practice of industry-sponsored courses integrating engineering and production problem solving are discussed.

Topics: Design , Education
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2013;():V005T05A037. doi:10.1115/IMECE2013-63817.

Students in the mechanical engineering curriculum are rarely given opportunities for direct experience in the topics in many areas. This is especially true for the education component of the manufacturing and design curriculums. Some reading and stylized laboratory and group projects often substitute for real experience. In this paper an innovative experiential learning curriculum called Virtual Learning Factory (V-Learn-Fact) is described for teaching manufacturing and design courses. In the V-Learn-Fact curriculum, the entire class takes part in a single large project, which covers product realization from concept to final production stage. V-Learn-Fact was implemented in MAE464/564 – Manufacturing Automation course (senior elective and graduate level course) between 2006–2012. A student survey was carried out to gauge effectiveness of this curriculum. 89% of the students fully or partially agreed that the V-Learn-Fact helped them learn topics in manufacturing automation better than traditional mechanical engineering courses. Written comments also provided interesting insights.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2013;():V005T05A038. doi:10.1115/IMECE2013-65604.

Most engineering instructors are put into the classroom by virtue of simply holding a Ph.D. in their field of study. Very few have any formal training in education or more specifically in engineering education, which would include a knowledge of various learning styles and how to engage them. Even knowing learning styles, one of the tools that is almost not utilized at all in engineering education is weaving in anecdotal evidence (ie — storytelling) into what is typically a logic-only lesson plan. Research shows that integrating right-brain activities (emotional, imaginative) into left-brain lesson (logical) very much increased student retention of material. Examples are given for how this can be done in mechanical engineering lessons specifically.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2013;():V005T05A039. doi:10.1115/IMECE2013-65914.

Gas compressor reliability is vital in oil and gas industry because of the equipment criticality which requires continuously operations. Currently, plant operators often face difficulties in predicting appropriate time for maintenance and would usually rely on time-based predictive maintenance intervals as recommended by Original Equipment Manufacturer. Delayed decision on compressor maintenance intervention has caused prolonged downtime due to poor readiness of spare parts and resources. The paper discussed on development of a software-based tool which is able to assist machinery engineers to quantify performance deterioration of gas compressor and predict optimum time for maintenance activities. Maintenance history data is collected and analysed regularly and maintenance advices are subsequently produced based on the input parameters. Natural gas compressors of an oil producing offshore platform at Peninsular Malaysia are used as a case study of this project. It was found that isentropic efficiency and head decrease, but gas power increases parabolically with time for the low pressure compressors, suspected due to heavy component fouling. From these information, Compressor Performance Monitoring Program is developed which able to compute the fouling level of the compressor in terms of performance indicators deviations. The results are then being utilized to estimate future maintenance requirements based on historical data. In general, this software provides a powerful tool for gas compressor operators to realize predictive maintenance approach in their operations.

Topics: Gas compressors
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

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

2013;():V005T05A040. doi:10.1115/IMECE2013-62111.

Since the summer of 2006, the department of Mechanical Engineering at Oakland University (OU) has been organizing a research experience for undergraduates (REU) program that has been successful at recruiting underrepresented undergraduates in engineering — women in particular. Funded in 2006–2009 and in 2010–2013 through the National Science Foundation REU program and the Department of Defense ASSURE program, this summer REU program focuses on automotive and energy-related research projects. The main purpose of this paper is to share our 6-year experience of organizing and running a summer REU program and to report on the outcomes and short/medium-term assessment results of the program. Also included are some recommendations that we would make to further enhance the success of similar REU programs. We believe that this type of information could prove to be of value to other REU program directors and faculty seeking to organize similar programs.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2013;():V005T05A041. doi:10.1115/IMECE2013-62393.

This theoretical paper provides a comprehensive examination of the need for the ethical development of the engineering student. A review of the literature regarding the need for the teaching of ethics in the Academy and of the need for ethics in the engineering workplace is described. The Toyota Education Model based on respect for people is presented as a viable method for the Academy’s consideration.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2013;():V005T05A042. doi:10.1115/IMECE2013-64589.

“Mentoring is a brain to pick, provide an ear to listen, and give a push in the right direction” John C. Crosby. Mentoring, by definition, is a relationship between a more experienced or more knowledgeable person and a less one. This relationship improves the personal and professional growth for the mentee. However, mentoring brings benefits for both individuals involved in such relationship. The mentoring process must be regarded not only from the mentee point of view, but also from the mentor perspective. In effect, both sides work together in order to achieve the best outcome considering the initial defined objectives. Mentoring is a growing phenomenon that has demonstrated positive results. This reality is due to the increase number of students applying for postgraduate training and search for guidance. To verify how this process on advanced studies is conducted, several semi-structured interviews were carried out under the postgraduate engineering programme of a Portuguese university. The focus of these interviews was the identification of the parameters that influence the mentoring process. Topics such educational background, age, previous experiences, gender and longevity of mentoring relationship were queried in this study. This paper aims to understand the perceptions of the mentorship relationship from a group of engineering students in advanced education and connect their point of views with some aspects of the mentoring literature.

Topics: Mentoring , Education
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2013;():V005T05A043. doi:10.1115/IMECE2013-64653.

Amesbury High School is a small suburban district located in the northeastern portion of Massachusetts. Amesbury High School offers a traditional science curriculum (biology, chemistry, and physics) blended with many elective courses. Recently added electives include microbiology, forensics, geology, environmental science, and meteorology to name a few. All of these courses offer students a chance to explore in-depth issues connected to each of these fields with a curriculum designed to address real-life connections, strengthen their problem solving skills, and provide opportunities for application of their knowledge. Based upon review of the Next Generation Science Standards, it became evident a need to offer students a STEM course that was strongly focused on problem-based learning, which bridged math and science content, and offered students a better understanding of the engineering field.

In the spring of 2012, a curriculum was written based upon experiences in Northeastern University’s Research Experience for Teachers Program and the CAPSULE Program which are both funded by NSF. Both of these programs offer rich professional development, is focused on engineering-based learning (EBL), have strong connections to University faculty, and provide teachers the opportunity to develop lessons and units that they can directly apply in their classrooms. The CAPSULE program provided extensive training in developing units based upon the engineering design process (EDP), offered intensive training in SolidWorks® (mechanical design software), and provided each of its participants with continued support through classrooms visits and online discussion forums.

Based upon participation in these programs, available support through University connections, and a deeper understanding of the field of engineering and the EDP, we anticipate the curriculum developed for our students will lead to a deeper understanding of STEM topics and lead to an increase in enrollment in our science and math classes. I also feel that the potential exists to have CAPSTONE projects become a requirement in the newly developed course.

This paper covers the details of the initial offering of the newly-developed course, the changes made for the upcoming school year, and the challenges faced throughout the process of implementation. It also addresses the grant writing successes and failures encountered and how the funding has been used to enhance components of the course. Included in the paper are student reactions and feedback that was considered in revising the course. Lastly, the paper summarizes my involvement in both of these professional development programs and how they are integral to developing leadership skills and confidence within the education profession.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2013;():V005T05A044. doi:10.1115/IMECE2013-64861.

Integrating safety with business operations is a problem which challenges all industries, and it can pose unique concerns in academia, as pointed out by a variety of recent reviews of academic safety. Academics must incorporate safety concepts into the engineering and science curricula without significantly adding to the students’ course loads, and they must attempt to make safety education a facilitator of teaching and research activities instead of, as is often perceived, an impediment. Several factors drive this effort in addition to the risk of injury or illness, including litigation, societal expectations for “safe products,” and potential for loss of research funding or tuition if safety is not included in the institution’s core values. This paper will explore challenges faced and initial successes achieved by one university in enhancing its safety culture and reducing overall risk.

Topics: Safety
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2013;():V005T05A045. doi:10.1115/IMECE2013-65367.

There is growing pressure on public colleges and universities to decrease the time students take to earn an undergraduate degree. There are many factors that slow students’ progress towards graduation. For example, urban universities may have a significant number of non-traditional students who don’t take a full load of courses required to graduate in four years. Also, some freshman students interested in engineering may not be prepared for college and are required to take remedial math and science courses. Engineering is a highly-structured program, often with a long sequence of courses requiring one or more prerequisites. If some courses aren’t offered each semester, this can delay progress toward graduation for some students. This paper examines graduating students’ academic records and surveys senior-level mechanical engineering students to identify some of the causes for the increased graduation times. Students provided detailed information such as their full- or part-time status, how many semesters left to graduation, whether they attended summer school, the courses they had difficulty passing, and other issues related to the length of time required to complete their degrees. Feedback from students is essential as universities look to improve graduation rates. The results presented are based on the data for the mechanical engineering program at a public institution in Texas. Although each institution is unique, the findings presented in this paper are expected to apply to similar institutions throughout the nation.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

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

2013;():V005T05A046. doi:10.1115/IMECE2013-62212.

Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) is the process of monitoring and assessing the state of health for aerospace, civil, and mechanical engineering infrastructure. SHM offers the opportunity to reduce inspection efforts and optimize maintenance and mission planning. SHM is a highly emerging field of technology. It brings together a variety of disciplines. To stimulate students’ desire for pursuing advanced study in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and well prepare them for their future careers, STEM educators need to dedicate their efforts to educate the students with this emerging technology. SHM is a field that requires a significant amount of background knowledge to build upon. At Jackson State University (JSU), four course modules (Smart Materials, Data Acquisition Systems, Lamb Waves, and Wavelet Analysis) have been developed and integrated into an existing course to help undergraduate students gain practical experience and have a firm grasp on this emerging vital tool. After taking the class, several students were selected to participate in a research activity sponsored by the Center for Undergraduate Research (CUR) at JSU. This paper describes the content covered in the modules as well as summarizes student perceptions of their learning and research experiences.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2013;():V005T05A047. doi:10.1115/IMECE2013-62979.

The Microsoft Kinect is part of a wave of new sensing technologies. Its RGB-D camera is capable of providing high quality synchronized video of both color and depth data. Compared to traditional 3-D tracking techniques that use two separate RGB cameras’ images to calculate depth data, the Kinect is able to produce more robust and reliable results in object recognition and motion tracking. Also, due to its low cost, the Kinect provides more opportunities for use in many areas compared to traditional more expensive 3-D scanners. In order to use the Kinect as a range sensor, algorithms must be designed to first recognize objects of interest and then track their motions. Although a large number of algorithms for both 2-D and 3-D object detection have been published, reliable and efficient algorithms for 3-D object motion tracking are rare, especially using Kinect as a range sensor.

In this paper, algorithms for object recognition and tracking that can make use of both RGB and depth data in different scenarios are introduced. Subsequently, efficient methods for scene segmentation including background and noise filtering are discussed. Taking advantage of those two kinds of methods, a prototype system that is capable of working efficiently and stably in various applications related to educational laboratories is presented.

Topics: Sensors
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2013;():V005T05A048. doi:10.1115/IMECE2013-63674.

In this paper, the author presents an experiment for teaching advanced manufacturing courses with the objective to maximize the learning experience based on course outcomes. A CAM course was selected to run the experiment on the students in two male sections and two female sections. The course’s outcomes were drafted based on the mechanical engineering program’s objectives. Their focus is on fulfilling as many of the program outcomes as possible. The level of fulfilling a program objective by a course outcome is then also monitored. The strategy focuses on increasing the hands on experience of the students as well as introducing more computer and technology content in the course. Every activity will be evaluated quantitatively and qualitatively. Based on the progress in a regular semester, the students’ performance is monitored and a calibration of theory versus practical experience is done accordingly. Initial results reveal that the sooner the practical part of the course is introduced the better the results will be for both understanding the practical as well as the theoretical part of the course.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2013;():V005T05A049. doi:10.1115/IMECE2013-63838.

Designers in any industry need to understand the processes involved in making a part beforehand in order to communicate with technicians from trade schools and industry. Even a simple engineering drawing can often not be created due to process limitations (e.g., a perfectly drawn internal 90 degree angle in a CAD drawing does not occur in nature OR in a machine shop). This paper describes an affordable way to teach manufacturing to undergraduate engineering students and in the process provide them with hands on training in a machine shop environment. The goal here is not to create machinists, but to enable future Engineers to understand and talk with designers/machinists. The theme here is not to spend on expensive super machines but on simple machines as emphasized in the Toyota Production System. Students learn the techniques that let technicians produce perfect parts on imperfect, simple machines. The result for Auburn University has been an affordable laboratory that mutually supports undergraduate students, graduate research students, and the university as a whole.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2013;():V005T05A050. doi:10.1115/IMECE2013-63956.

This paper describes a hands-on laboratory solid mechanics project which was supervised as an independent study. The experimental study and analysis were focused on strain and stress transformation on cantilever beam subjected to bending within elastic range. A combination of five different metals and two types strain rosette arrangements were used in the experimentation. The project involves the design and construction of test facility and experimental analysis of tested piece. The samples of measured data and analysis are reported in this paper. The strains in rectangular and principal coordinates which were computed from measured strains enabled the stress in both coordinates to be determined. This analysis enables the students to determine experimentally, that the sum of normal strain and stresses are invariant. 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 stress-strain transformation and project management skill was demonstrated by monitoring student performance improvements over the duration of the project. The success of this project leads to an experiment for teaching students stress-strain transformation in mechanics of materials laboratory.

Topics: Stress , Teaching
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2013;():V005T05A051. doi:10.1115/IMECE2013-63971.

The carburizing process requires metallurgical inspection by means of polished metallurgical mounts. Metallographic preparation for a metallurgical mount is an important process. The purpose of this study is to clarify the differences between expert and nonexpert executions of the grinding and polishing process and the consequent polished surface finishes. Three inspectors with 0.5, 2 and 20 years of experience in metallographic preparation were interviewed and their processes analyzed. As a result of the process analysis, the differences between an expert and a nonexpert were determined.

Topics: Finishes
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2013;():V005T05A052. doi:10.1115/IMECE2013-63989.

The carburizing process requires metallurgical inspection by means of polished metallurgical mounts. Metallographic preparation for a metallurgical mount is an important process. The purpose of this study is to clarify the differences in ground and polished surface finishes of metallurgical mounts for carburized parts at each step of the process as executed by an expert and a nonexpert on a semi-automated grinding and polishing machine.

To clarify the differences between expert and nonexpert preparations, microscopic images of the surface finish obtained at each step of grinding and polishing were compared. The surface profile of each of the final finishes was also examined with measuring device. Each inspector has either 20 (expert) or 0.5 years (nonexpert) of experience in metallographic preparation. The ground and polished finish produced by the expert was well balanced over the entire surface. In contrast, the surface finish produced by the nonexpert was dispersed. The number of scratches and edge rounding depth apparent in the final surface finish of the expert were less than those of the nonexpert.

Topics: Polishing
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2013;():V005T05A053. doi:10.1115/IMECE2013-64518.

Over the last few years, academic institutions have started to explore the potential of using computer game engines for developing virtual laboratory environments. Recent studies have shown that developing a realistic visualization of a physical laboratory space poses a number of challenges. A significant number of modifications are required for adding customized interactions that are not built into the game engine itself. For example, a major challenge in creating a realistic virtual environment using a computer game engine is the process of preparing and converting custom models for integration into the environment, which is too complicated to be performed by untrained users.

This paper describes the usage of the Microsoft Kinect for rapidly creating a 3D model of an object for implementation in a virtual environment by retrieving the object’s depth and RGB information. A laboratory experiment was selected to demonstrate how real experimental components are reconstructed and embedded into a game-based virtual laboratory by using the Kinect. The users are then able to interact with the experimental components. This paper presents both the technical details of the implementation and some initial results of the system validation.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2013;():V005T05A054. doi:10.1115/IMECE2013-64932.

Creativity tools are methods that can be used to promote innovative products and creative actions. There is a wide range of tools available for idea generation, employing divergent and convergent thinking for problem definition, exploration of problem features, generation of solution options, evaluation and implementation of ideas. Fundamental to their effective operation is to make use of a suitable creativity tool for a particular application and individual or team, to aid in the process of problem-solving, the refinement of old ideas, and the generation and implementation of new ideas. The principal creativity tool described in this paper is TRIZ which is the Russian acronym for Teoriya Resheniya Izobretatelskikh Zadatch meaning Theory of Inventive Problem Solving. This paper emphasizes the processes and specific TRIZ tools used in the implementation of TRIZ in the exploration of concepts for tip clearance control in gas turbine high pressure compressors in aircraft engines. The TRIZ process was used to categorize ideas generated through divergent thinking thus reducing the number of ideas carried forward for further engineering analysis.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2013;():V005T05A055. doi:10.1115/IMECE2013-66652.

Since the ASYST data acquisition and analysis software was discontinued and the old versions of ASYST do not support new computer operating systems and new data acquisition boards, old computer data acquisition (CDAQ) system is being replaced with a new data acquisition system. The new microcomputer based data acquisition system consists of an i-3 microcomputer with 3.0 GHz CPU and Windows-7 operating system, a Data Translation (DT) DT-304, 12-bit, 400 MHz data acquisition board with STP-300 screw terminal, Data Translation Measure Foundry (DT-MF) software and DT-LV link software [2], a National Instruments (NI) PCI-6250, M-series, low level, 16-bit, 1.25 MS/s board with 4-module SCC-68 I/O Connector Block, four thermocouple-input plug-in modules and NI LabVIEW (NI-LV) software [4]. Data Translation’s DT-LV software links DT boards with NI-LV software. Most ASYST-based data acquisition and analysis application programs used in Mechanical Engineering Technology (MET) courses have been converted to NI-LV and DT-MF application programs.

Purpose of this paper is to describe how our old data acquisition application programs were converted to new data acquisition application programs so that they may be used with our new data acquisition system. Descriptions of the experiments, equipment used, and experiences gained with laboratory experiments are given elsewhere [8–13]. Specifically: Reference [8] covers upgrades made to the Materials Testing Laboratory, including Tinius-Olsen [14] tensile testing machine; reference [9] covers design and development of data acquisition programs for the materials testing, including Tensile Testing of Materials experiment; references [11] and [12] cover Heating Ventilating and Air Conditioning (HVAC) experiments and use of DAQ system in these experiments; reference [13] cover all uses of DAQ system in MET at University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES).

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

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